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Welcoming Habs Fans to St. John’s: Culture, Tradition, Hockey [GALLERY]

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent and Julia Price, Photographer, IceCaps Hockey Report

Fan at most easterly point in Canada (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)
Habs fan at most easterly point in Canada (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — Besides being reporters, photographers and videographers, like you, we’re hockey fans. Passionate hockey fans. And we are very proud to welcome the entire Canadiens fanbase to our backyard. With the Montreal Canadiens moving their AHL affiliate to St. John’s, we are excited to introduce you to the city that Habs prospects will be calling home.

St. John’s is North America’s oldest city. The Capital of Newfoundland and Labrador calls the rocky shores of the Atlantic home, with a population of nearly 200,000 in the metro and surrounding areas. With almost half the province compressed into one area, it became a natural breeding ground for competitive sports and in turn, minor hockey structure which results in multiple organizations with hundreds of registrants every year.

Cape Spear (3)
Cape Spear (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)

This in itself is the first line of what drives hockey fans in Newfoundland and Labrador. Parents are accustomed to travelling between towns and cities for Tuesday night games or hours across the province for a tournament in Central Newfoundland. Likewise the children develop a love for the game at an early age and that love for the game becomes ingrained in the culture of what it means to be from this province.

Newfoundland and Labrador is such a diverse province, with such a large area and relatively small population you can drive for hours at times without seeing a gas stop, depending on which part of the province you’re in. These smaller outport communities that call rural Newfoundland and Labrador home rely on hockey, as a means of entertainment. Community pride is at stake, no matter the level of the players, from Novice to Senior, when a game is being played at the local rink you can guarantee to see more than just the parents of the players in the stands.

St. John's Harbour (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)
St. John’s Harbour (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)

In St. John’s the culture remains, in recent years there has been an influx of out-port communities dwindling while their former inhabitants flock to St. John’s looking for steadier work or to attend post-secondary school. Although they find themselves in a larger city the passion for the sport still remains. This is where the IceCaps come in. The Maple Leafs came to St. John’s in 1991, it was the pride of the province for the better part of 15 years. Once they left there was a void left behind, and “Townies” as residents of the St. John’s area are so elegantly referred to, filled this void with minor hockey, senior hockey and our passion only grew for the sport.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are quite possibly the most friendly people you will meet in a country which is perceived as one of the friendliest in the world. Everyone is willing to have a conversation with a stranger, and certainly if it means recapping last nights IceCaps game. Danny Williams, former premier of the province, played a large role along with ex-Hamilton Bulldogs president Glenn Stanford, in bringing the AHL back to this province. We are forever thankful to both individuals and their organization for giving us back our pride of the province, and have repaid them in full through the passion we show for the organization.

Habs fan at Mile One Centre (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)
Habs fan at Mile One Centre (Photo by Julia Price | Rocket Sports Media)

St. John’s is a city of culture, and hockey is such a large part of what we know, if you ever visit to take in migration of the Humpback Whales, visit Cape Spear (North America’s most easterly point) or even take in an IceCaps game be sure to stop and have a chat with anyone you see on the streets, chances are they’ll have a story to tell.

But no matter where you are across the globe, you can be confident that our IceCaps Hockey Report team will be at the Mile One Centre for every home game bringing the most comprehensive coverage to the All Habs community.

Welcome to St. John’s Habs fans!

 

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Press release

26 Player Roster for Canadiens Rookie Camp

Canadiens announce rookie camp details
26 PLAYERS TO PARTICIPATE

(Photo by Canadiens.com)
(Photo by Canadiens.com)

St. John’s IceCaps PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL (September 1st, 2015) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that 26 players will participate in the team’s rookie camp from September 11-16. The Club will participate in a rookie tournament which will take place from September 11-13, in London, Ontario (99 Dundas Street, London, Ontario).

The tournament features rookie players from four NHL clubs; the Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Each team will play three games in three days.

You can find the full roster below.

http://allhabs.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Roster_2015_Rookie_Camp.pdf

Among the 26 players to participate in the rookie camp, there will be 15 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. Sixteen (16) players at camp are Canadiens draft selections, including three of the five players selected by Montreal at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Twenty-three (23) of the 26 players also took part in the Canadiens’ development camp last July.

St. John’s IceCaps coaching staff led by head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, along with Donald Dufresne, Vincent Riendeau and Nick Carrière will handle coaching responsibilities for games and practices.

Schedule – Canadiens 2015 Rookie Camp / Tournament
Friday, September 11: 9:30 a.m. Practice (London); 4 p.m. Game vs Pittsburgh (London)
Saturday, September 12: 11:30 a.m. Practice (London); 7:35 p.m. Game vs Toronto (London)
Sunday, September 13: 8:30 a.m. Practice (London); 4 p.m. Game vs Ottawa (London)
Monday, September 14: Day Off
Tuesday, September 15: 10:30 a.m. Practice (Bell Sports Complex – Brossard)
Wednesday, September 16: 10:30 a.m. Practice (Bell Sports Complex – Brossard)

Categories
Press release

IceCaps Sign Defenceman Travis Brown to One-Year Contract

Travis Brown participated in the Canadiens Development camp in July at Brossard.

IceCaps sign former Blackhawks pick Brown

Travis Brown
Travis Brown

St. John’s IceCaps PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, QC. – Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the IceCaps have signed defenseman Travis Brown to a one-year, two-way American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

Chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 149th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the six-foot-two, 200-pound blueliner split the past four seasons between the Moose Jaw Warriors and Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Last year was Brown’s best as a junior, as the 21-year-old collected 18 goals and 57 points in 71 games with the Royals. Overall, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native rang up 181 points in 281 WHL career contests. Brown attended the Montreal Canadiens development camp in July at Brossard, Quebec and will also participate with the Canadiens in a four-team, NHL rookie tournament in September at London, Ontario.

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Player Features

IceCaps Roster Feature – Sven Andrighetto

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

Sven Andrighetto (Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)
Sven Andrighetto (Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — In this exclusive IceCaps Report series, we will feature 30 players which may call Mile One Centre home at some point this season leading up to puck drop in the fall. You will also be interested in our St. John’s IceCaps Projected Lineup for 2015-16.

In alphabetical order our first feature is Sven Andrighetto. The Zurich, Switzerland native is no stranger to offense. After playing competitively through the junior and pro ranks in his home country, Andrighetto moved over the North America for a chance at one day playing in the NHL. Signing with Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.

Andrighetto had a breakout campaign in 2011-12 with 74 points (36G – 38A) in 62 games played. He followed that up with an even better sophomore year finishing sixth in scoring in the “Q” posting 98 points (31G-67A) in 53 games played. To put that in perspective his 1.85 pt/g clip was good for fourth in the league, a tick behind Jonathan Drouin (2.14), Nikita Kucherov (1.91) and a shade ahead of 2013-14 Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon (1.70).

Andrighetto knows how to light the lamp but how he projected into the pro ranks remained to be seen as at 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds, he’s not necessarily terrorizing opposing defensemen on the boards. In his rookie season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Sven posted a respectable 17 goals and 27 assists in 64 games played.

Finally in 2014-15 Andrighetto found himself at the Bell Centre splitting the season between the Canadiens and the Bulldogs. On December 6th, 2014 in Dallas, Andrighetto managed to score on his first and only shot of the game, he would go on to add a goal and an assist in the next two games, however that would be all he would manage before being sent down to the Bulldogs nine games later. He finished the season with 14 goals and 29 assists in Hamilton.

Andrighetto doesn’t figure to be a shutdown guy, or a physical third liner. His potential with the Canadiens is strictly a top-6 role, and it is entirely up to him to determine how far he goes within the organization. At this point we have him slotted to play on the IceCaps top two lines filling the RW roles with rookie Nikita Scherbak. If he goes on to play the entire season in St. John’s fans can expect him to lead the way offensively. However if the Habs run into injury problems early-on, won’t be long before the brass give him another chance to shine in La Belle Province.

Categories
Fan focus

Habs Join Tradition of St. John’s Hockey

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

Mile One Centre (Photo by Colin Peddle)
Mile One Centre (Photo by Colin Peddle)

ST. JOHN’S, NL. — St. John’s, Newfoundland. The most easterly city in North America, the oldest city in North America. Growing up in Newfoundland we knew three things: Fog, Snow and Hockey.

The St. John’s Maple Leafs were the first professional team to call “The Rock” it’s home. Arriving in 1991, the Leafs became the culture of the city, children grew up idolizing AHL greats like Nathan Dempsey or Marcel Cousineau. Rivalries with the Fredericton Canadiens and Saint John Flames dominated as Atlantic Canada hit its peak in popularity.

Fast forward to 2005, the Baby Leafs were on their way out as the big club wanted to move it’s prospects closer to the Air Canada Centre for ease of access and lowering travel costs. All the while, the local community still craved hockey and the city dipped into the QMJHL, announcing it’s new affiliation with the St. John’s Fog Devils. Once again St. John’s had it’s team, and once again the city watched them leave in short order.

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Without a full time resident, Mile One and the local economy took a hit. Insert former Premier and local folklore legend, Danny Williams. Mr. Williams paired up with Glenn Stanford, better known locally as the VP of Hockey Operations for the St. John’s Maple Leafs between 1991 and 2005. Glenn is also familiar with the Canadiens organization, serving as the president of the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2006-2011 winning a Calder Cup with the Carey Price at the helm in 2007.

The Bulldogs made a stop at Mile One in October 2010 to play an exhibition game against the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa) with names like Aaron Palushaj, J.T. Wyman and David Desharnais in the lineup. Goaltender Robert Mayer picked up the shootout victory for the Baby Habs.

In 2011, the St. John’s IceCaps were born. Inheriting the team from the Manitoba Moose and True North Sports & Entertainment, the executive committee opted to change name to the IceCaps due to an ongoing struggle between the the Provincial Government, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador surrounding overpopulation of moose, which had become hazardous causing numerous accidents annually.

So here we are, on the day of the 2015 IceCaps jersey release. Growing up a Habs fan I can only hope it pays proper tribute to Le Bleu Blanc Rouge. The city is buzzing again, a crowd which had sold out 127 straight games from it’s inception, ready to crowd Mile One once again and cheer on a competitive young squad. Habs fans who had been forced to watch the prospects of Toronto and Winnipeg develop before our eyes finally have their turn.

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Ignore Press release

AHL Board Approves Changes for 2015-16

Board of Governors approves changes for 15-16

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American Hockey League Media Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2015 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded Thursday, saw the approval by the Board of the following items to be implemented beginning in 2015-16:

Playing Schedule/Standings
• The 2015-16 regular season will consist of 1,120 games, played between Oct. 9 and Apr. 17. All teams will play 76 games each with the exception of the clubs which joined the AHL in January as part of the creation of a Pacific Division (Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton); those five teams will play 68 games each.

• Teams will receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) will qualify for the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, with one exception in each conference: if the fifth-place team in the Atlantic or Central Division finishes with a better points percentage than the fourth-place team in the North or Pacific Division, it would cross over and compete in the other division’s bracket.

• The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs will feature a divisional playoff format, leading to conference finals and ultimately the Calder Cup Finals.

• The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all subsequent rounds are best-of-seven.

Rule 85 (“Overtime”)
• During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be five minutes (5:00) in length.

• Full playing strength will be 3-on-3 (plus goaltenders) for the entire period.

• Overtime will be preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.

• Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.

• If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.

Rule 79 (“Video Review”)
• A team may use a “coach’s challenge” to initiate an official video review; only those situations which are subject to review by rule may be challenged.

• A team may only request a coach’s challenge if it has its timeout available, and the coach’s challenge must be effectively initiated prior to the resumption of play.

• If the coach’s challenge does not result in the original call on the ice being overturned, the team exercising such challenge will be charged with a timeout.

Rule 76.4 (“Face-offs”)
• For all face-offs (excluding center ice), the defending player shall place his stick on the ice first; for face-offs at center ice, the visiting player shall place his stick on the ice first.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 14th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2014-15.

Categories
Press release

IceCaps Sign Goaltender Eddie Pasquale to One-Year Contract

IceCaps Sign Goaltender Eddie Pasquale
ORIGINAL ICECAP BACK IN THE FOLD

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St. John’s IceCaps PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, QUEBEC (July 3, 2015) – Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the IceCaps have signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

An original IceCap, Pasquale played three seasons in St. John’s from 2011-12 to 2013-14 and holds many team records, including most games played by a netminder – 112.

Selected by the Atlanta Thrashers 117th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft., Pasquale was traded by the Winnipeg Jets to the Washington Capitals last summer in an exchange of draft picks. However, the 24-year-old, Toronto native sat out the entire 2014-15 season recuperating from hip surgery.

Categories
Press release

IceCaps Sign Defenceman Josiah Didier to One-Year AHL Contract

IceCaps Sign Defenceman Josiah Didier
UNIVERSITY OF DENVER PRODUCT FINISHED 2014-15 SEASON IN HAMILTON

didier-release1-994x468

St. John’s IceCaps Media Release

MONTREAL (June 8, 2015) – Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the IceCaps have signed defenceman Josiah Didier to a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

Originally signed in March to a professional try out contract with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Didier recorded an assist and five penalty minutes in eight games.

In 148 career NCAA games with the University of Denver from 2011 to 2015, the 6-3, 220-pound blueliner recorded 29 points (4 goals, 25 assists) and 203 penalty minutes. Before college, the Littleton, CO. native played with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.

IceCaps season tickets are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office (noon-5 p.m.), by phone at 709-576-7657 (noon-5:30 p.m.), or online at www.mileonecentre.com.

Categories
Ignore Press release

IceCaps Sign Forward Brandon McNally to One-Year AHL Contract

IceCaps Sign Forward Brandon McNally
Dartmouth College Product Completed 2014-15 Season in Hamilton

Brandon McNally (Photo by Valley News - Tris Wykes)
Brandon McNally (Photo by Valley News – Tris Wykes)

St. John’s IceCaps Media Release

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the IceCaps have signed forward Brandon McNally to a one-year American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

Originally signed in March to a professional try out contract with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Hamilton, McNally recorded three points (two goals, one assist) and eight penalty minutes in 11 games.

In 105 career NCAA games with Dartmouth College from 2011 to 2015, the 6-2, 215-pound forward recorded 65 points (31 goals, 34 assists) and 196 penalty minutes. Before college, the Saugus, Mass. native played at Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Mass.

IceCaps season tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office (noon-5 p.m.), by phone at 709-576-7657 (noon-5:30 p.m.), or online at www.mileonecentre.com