AHL Report Headlines: Saturday July 8, 2017

  On this day in hockey history1999 — Dave Tippett began his NHL coaching career as he was hired as an assistant by the Los Angeles Kings.  1995 — The Ottawa Senators selected Bryan Berard with the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Wade Redden was taken second overall by the New York Islanders. Berard and Redden were swapped for each other on January 23, 1996.
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Kenny Agostino (Photo courtesy of the AHL)

by Joseph Whalen, Staff Writer, AHL Report

► AHL Governors commit to expansion

  • The AHL Board of Governors met in Hilton Head, South Carolina this past week for their 2017 Annual Meeting. Here are a few of the highlights for 2017-18.
  • The Board reaffirmed the alignment as approved in May including the addition of the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators to the North Division.
  • The regular season will commence on October 6th. The full schedule for 2017-18 was approved and will be announced next week.
  • Teams will wear light jerseys at home until Christmas, then dark jerseys at home for the rest of the season.
  • The Board of Governors has committed to AHL expansion by one team for the 2018-19 season bringing the league total to 31 teams ensuring each NHL team will have a primary affiliate.

► Who’s behind the bench?

  • The Rochester Americans have named Chris Taylor as their new head coach. Taylor returns to the Amerks after spending last season as assistant coach withe the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Taylor had spent 14 season with the Americans as a both a player and a coach.
  • Sylvain Lefebvre was named the first head coach of the Laval Rocket. Lefebvre continues with the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate as they make the move from St. John’s to Laval for the 2017-18 season. Lefebvre will be entering his sixth season behind the bench for the club. Larry Carriere was named General Manager of the Rocket. 
  • The Vancouver Canucks have named Trent Cull as head coach of the Utica Comets. Last season Cull was an assistant coach with the Syracuse Crunch who had a successful playoff run all the way to the Calder Cup Finals. The Comets vacancy came as former head coach Travis Green was named head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

► It’s signing season

  • Free-agent frenzy kicked off at 12 noon on Canada Day for NHL teams with a number of big names changing sweaters including Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR), Nick Bonino (NSH) and Karl Alzner (MTL).
  • But NHL free agency also affects their affiliates as two-way and minor league deals were finalized. Here is a list of AHL-related contracts signed in the past week.

July 1

  • New York Islanders acquired goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Carter Verhaeghe. Gudlevskis posted a 15-10-7 record last season with the Syracuse Crunch, while Verhaeghe racked up 29 points in 45 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
  • Minnesota Wild signed Landon Ferraro and Cal O’Reilly to two-year, two-way contracts and also signed, Alex GrantNiklas SvedbergKyle Rau and Ryan Murphy all to one-year, two way deals.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning signed goaltender, Michael Leighton to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Carolina Hurricanes signed Jeremy Smith, Dennis Robertson and Brenden Kichton, all to one-year, two-way contracts
  • Buffalo Sabres signed Kevin Porter and Kyle Criscuolo each to two-year, two-way contracts, signed Seth Griffith to a one-year contract, signed Matt Tennyson to a two-year contract (the first year of the contract is a two-way deal, and the second year is one-way), and signed goaltender Adam Wilcox to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Columbus Blue Jackets signed Cameron Gaunce to a two-year, two-way contract, and Andre Benoit to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • New York Islanders signed Seth Helgeson to a one-year, two-way deal.
  • Toronto Marlies signed Jean Dupuy.
  • Chicago Blackhawks signed Jean-Francois Berube and Jordan Oesterle on two-year contracts.
  • Colorado Avalanche signed Andrew Agozzino and David Warsofsky to two-year contracts, and Joe Cannata to a one-year deal.
  • Edmonton Oilers signed Mitch Callahan and Ryan Stanton to two-year contracts. They also signed Grayson DowningBrian FerlinTy RattieKeegan Lowe and Eddie Pasquale to one-year contracts.
  • Boston Bruins signed Kenny Agostino and Paul Postma to a one-year, one-way contracts. They also signed Jordan Szwarz to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Florida Panthers signed Chase BalisyConnor Brickley, Reece Scarlett and Harri Sateri to one-year, two-way contracts. The club also signed Curtis Valk to a one-year, entry-level contract.
  • Detroit Red Wings signed Turner Elson on a one-year contract. Also re-acquired Tom McCollum from the Calgary Flames, in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning signed Jamie McBain, Mat Bodie and Alex Gallant to one-year, two-way contracts.
  • Montreal Canadiens signed Matt Taormina to a two-year, two-way contract and Byron Froese to a two-year contract. Froese received a two-way contract for 2017-18 and a one-way contract for 2018-19.

  • Philadelphia Flyers signed Corban KnightPhil Varone and Mike Vecchione to two-year contracts.
  • Calgary Flames signed Marek Hrivik to a one year, two-way contract.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs signed Colin Greening to a one-year contract while Chris Mueller and Vincent LoVerde have signed two-year contracts.
  • New York Rangers signed Paul Carey and Cole Schneider.
  • San Jose Sharks signed Antoine Bibeau to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Dallas Stars signed Mike McKenna to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Arizona Coyotes signed Zac Rinaldo, Michael Sislo, Andrew Campbell and Joel Hanley to two-way contracts.

  • Nashville Predators signed Anders Lindback to a one-year, two-way contract. They also signed Matt O’Connor and Pierre-Cedric Labrie both to one-year, two-way contracts.
  • Winnipeg Jets signed Michael Sgarbossa on a one-year, one-way contract. They also signed Buddy Robinson and Cameron Schilling on one-year, two-way contracts.
  • New Jersey Devils signed Bracken Kearns and Brian Strait to one-year, two-way contracts.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins signed Chris Summers to a two-year deal. They also signed Jarred TinordiZach Trotman, and Greg McKegg to one year deals.
  • Vegas Golden Knights signed Brad Hunt and T.J. Tynan to two-year contracts. They also signed Stefan Matteau, Paul ThompsonChris Casto and Maxime Lagace to one-year contracts.

  • Ottawa Senators signed Ben Sexton and Erik Burgdoerfer to two-year, two-way contracts. They also signed Max ReinhartTyler Randell and Danny Taylor to one-year, two-way contracts.

July 2

  • Calgary Flames signed forward Luke Gazdic to a one year, two-way contract.
  • Anaheim Ducks signed Steve Oleksy to a two-year, one-way contract and Derek Grant to a one-year, one-way contract. In addition, the Ducks signed Mike Liambas and Scott Sabourin to one-year, two-way contracts.

July 3

  • Washington Capitals signed Devante Smith-Pelly and John Albert to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Florida Panthers signed Alexandre Grenier to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • Edmonton Oilers signed forward Brad Malone to a two-year contract.
  • Vegas Golden Knights signed goaltender Oscar Dansk to a one-year contract.

July 4

  • Rochester Americans signed Andrew MacWilliam to a one-year AHL contract.
  • San Jose Sharks signed Brandon Bollig to a one-year contract.
  • Arizona Coyotes signed Michael Latta to a one-year, two-way contract.

July 5

  • Texas Stars signed Greg Rallo to a one-year, AHL contract.
  • Manitoba Moose re-signed Patrice Cormier and Darren Kramer, along with Peter Stoykewych, to one-year contracts. The club also signed Brody SutterFrancis Beauvillier, Jake Kulevich and Colton Phinney to one-year deals.
  • Charlotte Checkers signed Zack Stortini, Nick Schilkey and Martin Ouellette to AHL contracts.
  • Tucson Roadrunners signed Zac Larraza to a one-year, AHL contract.
  • Anaheim Ducks signed Reto Berra to a one-year contract.
  • Arizona Coyotes signed Emerson Etem to a one-year, two-way contract.

July 6

  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed Colin Smith to a one-year, AHL contract.
  • Lehigh Valley Phantoms signed five players to AHL contracts including Chris Conner to a two-year deal. They also signed Derek Hulak, Matt WillowFrank Hora and John Muse to one-year deals.
  • Bakersfield Condors signed Josh Currie to a two-year AHL contract and Zach O’Brien to a one-year AHL contract.