Category Archives: Charlotte Checkers

SPOTLIGHT: JAMES DOLAN SPEAKS

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

New York Rangers owner James Dolan made a rare, spontaneous visit to the Madison Square Garden media room after his team’s 3-0 victory over the Nashville Panthers on Tuesday night.

Dolan, the CEO of MSG, praised Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather for building a team from within with youth and good drafting that is close to winning its first Stanley Cup since 1994. Dolan didn’t mention Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller, but coach John Tortorella has often praised their work as the Rangers (29-11-4) have moved to the top of the NHL’s overall standings with 62 points in 44 games.

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SPOTLIGHT: DAN GIRARDI

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

One of the great success stories in Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale history continued Thursday when defenseman Dan Girardi was one of three New York Rangers named to the NHL All-Star team.

Girardi, who earned his first All-Star selection, was joined by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and right wing Marian Gaborik, locks to be named for the third time among the 36 players chosen to play Jan. 29 in Ottawa. It’s the first time since 2002 that the All-Star selections included three Rangers, and another of the first-time selections was goalie Jonathan Quick, a Hamden native who starred at Hamden High, Avon Old Farms and UMass before joining the Los Angeles Kings, for whom he has a league-high six shutouts this season.

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HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

AHL LogoROSTERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2012 AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL VP of Communications

The American Hockey League announced today the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star rosters for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, to take place Jan. 29-30 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

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SPOTLIGHT: HARTFORD GRADUATES

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale graduates are helping the parent New York Rangers more all the time.

Take Thursday night, in a 5-3 victory over the host Carolina Hurricanes, in which the Rangers rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits.

Former Wolf Pack All-Star right wing Ryan Callahan and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer each scored, with McDonagh’s tally coming after a tenacious forecheck by Brian Boyle and the two most recent call-ups, John Mitchell and Carl Hagelin, had a bunch of worn-out Hurricanes scurrying to get to the bench, leading to a bad change.

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FAN-FARE: The Art of the Undrafted

Nhl_logoBY: Adam Gavriel

We all know the stories about the kid from Canada playing in the OHL who went undrafted and is now a future all-star in the NHL. We know the story about the kid from Norway who took the Swedish Elite League by storm and now is in North America on a professional contract. Of course we know about those stories because we are Rangers fans. The Dan Girardi’s and Mats Zuccarello’s of the world are hard to find, but when found can prove a valuable asset to an NHL organization.

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FAN-FARE: 82 Games – The Marathon

New York RBY: Adam Gavriel

As a fan of a hockey team playing in the NHL it is important to remember that the season is one of the longest out of all the professional sports. The 82 games span six months from October to April, and if you’re lucky your team will be playing through June which would make it an eight month season. Baseball’s 162 games and playoffs span from April to November, seven months. Football’s sixteen games and playoffs span from September to February, 5 months. Only the NHL and the NBA (when they’re playing) can boast an eight month regular season to playoffs marathon. With this, as a fan it’s important to remember that all teams will experience their ups and downs as the season goes on, and it’s a long one.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO A GREAT GUY!

We’ve had the good pleasure of speaking and working with Michael Kahn, the owner of the Charlotte Checkers, who today became a part-owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mr. Kahn is just an absolute pleasure to deal with and one of the smartest people we’ve ever had the good pleasure to deal with in hockey. I know this was something that was a goal for him and something he really wanted so we wish him all the best.

Here’s the official release:

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – DEVEAUX, IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE

BY: Bruce Berlet

Upon reflection, Andre Deveaux had one overriding thought.

“I’m just happy I wasn’t hurt,” Deveaux said.

Happy, indeed.

Deveaux, a noted tough guy, is the latest victim of a seemingly increasing number of senseless hits from behind and the blind side that have unfortunately invaded hockey. Deveaux was run face-first into the boards when the Flyers’ Tom Sestito took a major-league run at the New York Rangers right wing Monday night in Philadelphia. Defenseman Stu Bickel, who played for the Connecticut Whale last season, immediately came to Deveaux’s defense and pummeled Sestito as a melee broke out. Veteran pest Sean Avery also was a major help, and Sestito received a five-minute major for boarding, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – WADE REDDEN, YEAR TWO

BY: Bruce Berlet

Despite spending a pleasant summer in picturesque Kelowna, British Columbia, with his wife and young daughter, Wade Redden experienced a bit of an unsettling offseason, proving again that money can’t buy you complete happiness.

First, Redden had a chat with New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, who, not surprisingly, told the 13-year NHL veteran that he didn’t fit into the Blueshirts plans despite a strong finish to his first season in the minors with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale. In fact, Redden wasn’t invited to Rangers training camp because if he got injured, his $6.5 million contract would count against the salary cap, meaning the Rangers would have to release and/or trade other players.

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BABY RANGERS COME UP SHORT IN TRAVERSE FINAL

BY: Bruce Berlet

The New York Rangers prospects team felt it had a lot more to do and give Wednesday night after a lackluster effort during most of an overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in their robin-round finale Tuesday afternoon.

The Rangers didn’t consistently have the speed, grit and play making that they had shown in convincing wins over the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, and there would be no better time to atone for the unimpressive performance than against the Buffalo Sabres in the championship game of the prospects tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.