AHL Report Headlines: Sunday July 16, 2017

  On this day in hockey history1988 — Wayne Gretzky marries actress Janet Jones in Edmonton. Some Canadian media referenced the event as “the royal wedding”. One month later, Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings.  1965 — Forward Claude Lemieux is born in Buckingham, Quebec. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Lemieux went on to win the Stanley Cup four times with three different teams.
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Dan DeSalvo (Photo Credit: Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun)

by Joseph Whalen, Staff Writer, AHL Report

► 2017-18 AHL schedule released

  • After announcing last week after the Board of Governors meeting that the American League season will commence on October 6, 2017, the AHL unveiled the complete schedule for the 2017-18 season. Here are some key dates:
  • The 2017-18 regular season opens with six games on October 6, including the opening of Place Bell in Laval, Quebec. On that night, the Laval Rocket will host the Belleville Senators in the inaugural game for both teams.
  • The Hershey Bears, commemorating their 80th AHL season this year, will host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Hersheypark Stadium on January 20 in the 10th outdoor game in league history.
  • There are three days this season which feature all 30 AHL teams in action: Friday, October 21, Saturday. January 27, and Saturday, March 31.
  • The 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs will get underway the week of April 16, 2018, featuring the top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions as ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available).

► AHL announces Team Business Service Award winners

  • League President and CEO David Andrews announced the winners of this year’s Team Business Services awards, at the gala reception held during the Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting last week.
  • The awards recognize team achievements in the areas of ticket sales, community service, and fan experience. For a full listing of award winners, check out the full press release: AHL Presents Team Business Services Awards.

► Who’s behind the bench?

  • The Chicago Wolves have promoted Bob Nardella to the position of assistant coach after he served as the team’s skills development coach for two years, and as a part-time assistant for three years. Nardella, 49, who played with the Wolves from 1994-2006, holds the franchise record for highest-scoring defenseman with 298 points and is ranked second in games played at 476.
  • After announcing a new head coach last week, the Rochester Americans have added Toby Petersen and Gord Dineen as assistant coaches. Petersen spent the past two seasons serving as assistant coach for the Cleveland Monsters, whereas Dineen has had a place behind the bench with the Toronto Marlies for the past eight seasons as an assistant coach, head coach, and associate coach.
  • The Iowa Wild announced on Friday that Brett McLean will join the organization as an assistant coach. The former forward has played in 385 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning hired Karl Goehring as goaltending and video coach for the Syracuse Crunch. Goehring spent part of his eight-year AHL career with the Crunch, and is the franchise leader in wins (78) and games played (178).

► It’s signing season

  • Teams continued to add to their rosters during this busy offseason, as the league gets a little deeper into free agency.

July 10

  • Hershey Bears announced signing of forward Garrett Mitchell to a one-year, American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season. Mitchell has served as Hershey’s captain the past two seasons.

July 11

  • Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman to a one-year, two-way contract. Czuczman spent last season with the Manitoba Moose.
  • Utica Comets announced signing of forward Darren Archibald to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season. Archibald set a franchise record for Utica with 47 points this past season.
  • Washington Capitals signed right wing Wayne Simpson to a one-year, two-way contract. Simpson played for the Providence Bruins last season, setting a career high in points with 49.

July 12

  • Hartford Wolf Pack signed forward Dan DeSalvo to an AHL contract. DeSalvo played this past season with the Manitoba Moose, racking up 40 points.

July 13

  • Utica Comets signed defenseman Jaime Sifers to a two-year American Hockey League contract. Sifers had spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Monsters.

July 14

  • Boston Bruins announced the re-signing of goaltenders Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban each to matching two-year, two-way contracts worth $650,000 at the NHL level.

July 15

  • Toronto Marlies have announced the signings of center Joshua Winquist and defensemen Michael Paliotta and Matias Cleland to contracts.