AHL Report Headlines: Sunday July 15, 2018

  On this day in hockey history2005 — Mike Babcock is named as the new head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. Under his leadership, Detroit would win the Presidents’ Trophy twice in his first three seasons behind the bench, including 2008 when the team also wins the Stanley Cup. 1994 — Just over a month after the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years, head coach Mike Keenan suddenly announced his resignation citing “breach of contractual obligations.” No further details are disclosed and he’s announced as the head coach and general manager of the St. Louis Blues two days later.
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Jeremy Gregoire (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

by Joseph Whalen, Staff Writer, AHL Report

► 2018-19 AHL Schedule revealed

  • The AHL unveiled the schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 season. It is set to begin on October 5th with nine games, including the defending Calder Cup champions, the Toronto Marlies, heading to Utica to do battle with the Comets. The Laval Rocket open up their season on the road October 6th when they visit the Providence Bruins.
  • The Springfield Thunderbirds will host the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic, January 27th and 28th at the MassMutual Center.
  • The AHL Playoffs will begin the week of April 15, 2019.

► Lightning hire former Wild coach, Lalonde, as assistant

  • Derek Lalonde has been hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to be an assistant coach to Jon Cooper. Lalonde had spent the previous two seasons coaching the Iowa Wild of the AHL. Under his guidance, the Wild went 69-58-17-8, setting franchise records in wins, home wins, road wins, fewest losses and total points in a season.

► Eagles hire Cronin as head coach

  • Greg Cronin has been named the head coach of the Colorado Eagles. Aaron Schneekloth and Ryan Tobler, who were head coach and assistant coach in the ECHL last season, will stay on as assistants to Cronin. Cronin has had a long career of coaching spanning 30 years, including 12 years as an assistant in the NHL and two seasons as a head coach at the AHL level. He spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, and was promoted to associate coach in 2017-18.

► Admirals add Rallo to coaching staff

  • The Milwaukee Admirals hired Greg Rallo as an assistant coach to Karl Taylor. Rallo, 36, just completed his 12 year career, spending the 2017-18 season with the Texas Stars where Taylor was an assistant coach. Over his 615 game AHL career, Rallo played for Texas, San Antonio, Manitoba, Albany, Rockford and Iowa, totaling 341 points. He also played in 11 NHL games, all for the Florida Panthers.

► Blackhawks, Coyotes swing a deal

  • The Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes made a deal that saw longtime AHL defenseman Andrew Campbell traded to the Blackhawks organization. Chicago acquired Campbell, Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie EntwistleJordan Maletta and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick from the Coyotes in exchange for Marian HossaVinnie HinostrozaJordan Oesterle and a 2019 third-round pick.

► Signing season

July 9:

  • The Bridgeport Sound Tigers signed forwards Chris BourqueRyan BourqueBen Holmstrom and Connor Jones, as well as goaltender Jeremy Smith to AHL contracts. Last season, Chris Bourque skated in 64 regular-season games for the Hershey Bears, tallying 17 goals and 36 assists for 53 points. He also represented the United States in the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. His younger brother, Ryan, will be playing with Chris for the third time in their pro careers.
  • The Milwaukee Admirals have signed forward Jeremy Gregoire to an AHL deal. Gregoire, 22, is coming off a career year in which he set career highs in goals, assists and points. Putting up 25 points in 63 games with the Laval Rocket.  Gregoire spent three seasons with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliates in Laval and St. John’s, totaling 27 goals and 21 assists for 48 points in 181 games.
  • Will O’Neill is returning to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. They signed him along with forwards Ryan HaggertyPatrick McGrath and Cameron Brown to American Hockey League contracts for the 2018-19 season. O’Neill was an AHL All-Star with the Penguins in 2015-16, before leaving to spend the last two seasons with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

July 12:

  • The Colorado Eagles signed forward Michael Joly to an AHL contract for the 2018-19 season. Joly, 23, helped lead the Eagles to an ECHL championship in 2017-18, earning postseason MVP honors after tallying 29 points in 24 playoff games. He also led the ECHL with 41 goals and added 26 assists for 67 points in 52 regular-season contests. Joly has played in 47 games in the AHL putting up 19 points in those contests with San Antonio and Hartford.
  • The Springfield Thunderbirds signed forward Harry Zolnierczyk to an AHL contract. Zolnierczyk spent the last two seasons in the Nashville Predators organization. In 2017-18, he scored a career-high 21 goals and added 21 assists for 42 points in 73 games with the Milwaukee Admirals.

July 13:

  • The Florida Panthers have agreed to terms with defenseman Julian Melchiori on a one-year, two-way contract. Melchiori is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals, points and plus/minus. Melchiori spent six seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization, appearing in 324 AHL games with Manitoba and St. John’s, tallying 12 goals and 42 assists for 54 points. He also has two assists in 30 career NHL games with the Jets.