I'll be totally honest here. I love watching The Colbert Report. Steven Colbert's style of comedy is entirely awesome, and I am a fan. I'm also a fan of the AHL since that league contributes heavily to the success of the NHL. A lot of good young talent comes through the AHL, and the graduates to the NHL are plentiful. Today, Hockey Blog In Canada brings you the "AHL Report". Yes, you can pronounce it as "re-POUR" in the same way that Steven Colbert pronounces "report". It just makes it sound more sophisticated. Or something. Anyway, onto the news!
- News out of Rochester today has former NHL centerman Mike York signing with the Rochester Americans for a one-year deal. York led the Syracuse Crunch in scoring last season with 58 points, and should bring both a scoring and a leadership influence to the youthful Americans team. York has appeared in 579 NHL games, and will be re-united with head coach Ted Nolan whom York played for while both were with the New York Islanders in 2006-07. This is a very good signing for the Amerks as they look to climb back to glory after an off-year last season.
- The Manitoba Moose signed a former NHLer on Monday as they inked home-grown forward Marty Murray to a deal. Murray led the Manchester Monarchs in scoring last season with 54 points, and is excited to be coming home to Manitoba where he starred with the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings. "Manitoba's a team that likes to win and they're hungry for a winner. Some teams at the American Hockey League level are content at just developing players, they don't care about wins and losses. This organization is different - they want to win right now," Murray told Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press.
- The AHL released its schedule, and the season starts on October 2 2009. October 2 features a rematch of the Western Conference Finals last season as the Moose play the Houston Aeros in Winnipeg, as well as the first game for Dallas' new affiliate in the Texas Stars as they meet one of their cross-state rivals as they visit the San Antonio Rampage.
- In new team news, the Stars will officially open the Cedar Park Center one night later as the home-and-home series moves to Austin, Texas on October 3. Saturday, October 3 will also see the Adirondack Phantoms play their first game in their new home as Glen Falls, New York welcome the Worcester Sharks to town. The Abbotsford Heat, Calgary's affiliate, gets their season underway on October 9 as San Antonio makes their way into British Columbia for the first time.
- The Albany River Rats signed former NHL goaltender Mike Morrison to a deal one week ago. Morrison played in 29 NHL contests with three teams. After playing in Slovenia and Sweden last season, Morrison makes his way back to North America. The veteran goalie should help to stabilize the River Rats' goaltending situation this season.
- Thomas Greiss appears to be a mainstay as the "goalie of the future" for the San Jose Sharks. They signed the 23 year-old German netminder to a two-year deal one week ago. I actually really like this signing as Greiss has shown tremendous growth during his time with Worcester. The Sharks also inked another goaltender as they picked up Henrik Karlsson in a one-year deal. Karlsson was with Malmo of the Swedish Elite League last season.
- The Puckdrawn blog, who has some impressive work on the site, and the Grand Rapids Griffins have seen a contest come to an end. The Griffins held the contest for two aspiring designers to come up with an alternate jersey design, and they settled on two fairly impressive jerseys: Chad B. Stilson's design, which will be worn on New Year's Eve this season, and Brian Oesch's design, which will be worn on January 30, 2010. Both jerseys will be auctioned off after their respective games. The auction for Stilson's jerseys will go to support the Grand Valley State University’s club roller hockey team, while the auction for Oesch's jerseys will help the Griffins Youth Foundation. Excellent designs, gentlemen! Two big thumbs-up from this writer, and kudos to both Puckdrawn and the Griffins for this awesome contest!
- Speaking of aspiring designers, you have less than two weeks left if you want to get in on the Hartford Wolf Pack's jersey design contest. The Wolf Pack are accpeting submissions for their specialty jersey night, and you have a chance to put your artistry and design skills to work! Get at it, kids! I want to see a great design for the Wolf Pack!
- Great little article here written by Kami York-Feirn, that is featured on the Milwaukee Admirals' site, where she speaks to Triston Grant, an AHL enforcer. Note how he refers to "the code". This is a guy who knows how to fight properly and fairly. Excellent article, and kudos to Miss York-Feirn on the great piece.
- Everyone who follows hockey knows who Rick Jeanneret is. The man is a legend in the play-by-play world as his work on Buffalo Sabres' broadcasts is always entertaining. The Portland Pirates announced on August 12 that Rick's son, Mark Jeanneret, has been hired to call the play-by-play action for Pirates' broadcasts after spending twelve seasons with the OHL's Erie Otters. Could the Pirates be grooming the next Jeanneret for the Sabres' broadcast booth?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!