AHL Report Headlines: Tuesday August 21, 2017

  On this day in hockey history1912 — Hockey Hall of Fame forward Toe Blake is born in Victoria Mines, Ontario.  Blake signed with the Montreal Maroons in 1935, where he won his first Stanley Cup, before being sent to the Montreal Canadiens. He became part of the Habs’ famous “Punch Line” with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard. As a player and a coach, Blake went on to win the Cup 11 times.
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Photo courtesy: Grand Rapids Griffins

by Joseph Whalen, Staff Writer, AHL Report

► A golden opportunity

  • With the NHL expanding to 31 teams this season, many hockey professionals are finding new opportunities in Las Vegas. A voice familiar to many AHL fans has gotten his own callup to the big show, as former Syracuse Crunch broadcaster Dan D’Uva heads to Vegas to become the play-by-play radio broadcaster for the Golden Knights. D’Uva was chosen from about 200 applicants for the position and team president Kerry Bubolz claims Dan shot to the top of the list very quickly. Most recently, D’Uva provided the play-by-play voice for the 2015 AHL All-Star Game and was a television broadcaster for the 2016 game. He spent five years broadcasting Syracuse Crunch games.

► Remembering Parker MacDonald

  • Parker MacDonald, an American Hockey League All-Star winger who later won the league’s coach of the year honors, passed away Thursday at age 84.  MacDonald played 349 games in the AHL during his 16-year professional playing career, collecting 151 goals and 152 assists for 304 points. He won two Calder Cup championships — with the Springfield Indians in 1960 and the Pittsburgh Hornets in 1967 — and was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star in 1956 and 1960.MacDonald moved behind the bench after his retirement and coached the Cleveland Barons in 1970-71 before guiding the New Haven Nighthawks for parts of seven seasons, earning a career record of 267-222-73 (.540).  Under MacDonald, who earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 1978-79, New Haven won two division titles and reached the Calder Cup Finals twice.

    A native of Sydney, N.S., MacDonald also played 676 games in the National Hockey League, and later served as head coach with the Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings.

► Brampton Beast re-sign Folkes

  • Brampton Beast re-signed rugged defenseman Mike Folkes to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the upcoming 2017-18 ECHL season. Folkes, 28, will be entering his second season with the Beast. In 58 games played last season, Folkes established himself as one of the league’s top shutdown defensemen. In addition to his stellar defensive play, he contributed two goals and four points.

► Who’s behind the bench?

  • The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins that Tim Army has been named an assistant coach, joining head coach Clark Donatelli and fellow assistant J.D. Forrest behind the Penguins’ bench. Army joins the Penguins with 29 years of coaching experience in the NHL, AHL and NCAA, most recently spending the past seven seasons serving as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche.

► It’s signing season

  • Teams continued to add to their rosters during this busy offseason, as the league gets deeper into free agency with rookie and training camps fast approaching.

August 17

  • The Lehigh Valley Phantoms signed forward Alex Krushelnyski to an AHL contract. Krushelnyski is entering his fourth professional season in 2017-18. He played 43 games in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators last season, recording three goals and four assists for seven points.

  • The Toronto Marlies signed goaltender Cal Heeter to a one-year American Hockey League contract. Heeter made 12 appearances with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins last season, going 10-2-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and one shutout. He also appeared in 17 games with Toledo (ECHL).
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed forward Tye McGinn to a one-year, two-way contract. McGinn was limited by injury to 21 regular-season games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch last season, recording 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points. He went on to skate in 22 postseason games, tallying five goals and 11 assists for 16 points as the Crunch advanced to the Calder Cup Finals.

August 18

  • The Ontario Reign agreed to terms with forwards Jamie Devane and Matt Schmalz. Devane skated in 43 AHL games with the Stockton Heat last season, picking up four goals and nine assists for a career-high 13 points. Schmalz finished his junior career with Owen Sound (OHL) last season, recording 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points. A fifth-round draft pick by Los Angeles in 2015, Schmalz made his pro debut with the Reign at the end of the 2015-16 season, notching a goal and an assist in three games.

August 21

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea to a one-year, two-way contract. Dea notched 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 73 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, his third pro campaign. He also tied a career high with a plus-13 rating.