Tag Archives: Dane Byers


Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

When the Connecticut Whale gathered for a team meal Saturday night in Manchester, N.H., coach Ken Gernander had a surprise, especially for veteran defenseman Wade Redden.

After the Whale had been without a captain for nearly 16 months, Gernander announced he and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller had decided the man affectionately known as “Papa” would be wearing the “C” for the first time in his illustrious career. Redden had been an assistant captain several times, including since he arrived in Hartford last season, but never was the official leader of the pack.

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5496092722_f7d0efa886_mIn a move that is long overdue, veteran defenseman Wade Redden has been named the sixth captain in the history of the New York Rangers Hartford affiliation, first with the Wolf Pack and now with the Whale.

Head Coach Ken Gernander was the teams first captain for the Wolf Pack’s first eight seasons in existence, He was succeeded after he retired and became a coach by Craig Weller. Weller was followed Andrew Hutchinson, then  Greg Moore and the last captain was Dane Byers. The hasn’t had a captain since Byers was traded by the parent New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 10, 2010 for Chad Kolarik.

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Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_[2]      VERSUS      Springfield-Falcons_thumb

There are a multitude of ways to lose in any sporting event, and the Connecticut Whale have certainly explored many of them this season, but Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in front of 5,003 was in no small part due to some of the most bizarre officiating certainly of the season and possibly longer than that.

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Connecticut Whale      VERSUS      Springfield Falcons

Both I-91 rivals are a mix of veteran and young talent, but after scoring four unanswered goals over the last two periods, the Connecticut Whale  showed how they have managed to hold onto first palace in the Northeast Division while the Springfield Falcons struggle to remain out of the division basement with a chemistry-led and convincing 5-2 win over in front of 5,448 at the XL Center on the last game of 2011.

Despite having strong talent like goaltender Manny Legace, AHL All-Star Martin St. Pierre, veteran Adam Mair, left winger Matt Calvert, ex-Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers and future AHL Hall-of-Famer Alexandre Giroux and young talent like Cam Atkinson and Tomas Kubalik the Falcons just seem adrift on the ice as they have lost all five games against the Whale this season.

For the Whale, Francois Bouchard, the game’s First Star, had a break-out game pacing the Whale with three assists. Kris Newbury extended his points scoring streak to seven games with two goals and Pavel Valentenko, quickly moving up the depth chart, had a goal and a helper, including what proved to be the game-winner for the Whale.

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Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

If you want to see the personification of tough luck, look no farther than Connecticut Whale right wing Chad Kolarik.

After persevering through nagging hamstring problems last season to earn kudos from New York Rangers coach John Tortorella for his work during four games with the parent club, returning to continue his solid play in the AHL playoffs and then getting a contract extension on June 17 and married on Aug. 5, Kolarik was primed to enjoy a run at a steady job on Broadway.

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Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb1      VERSUS     Springfield Falcons

In 1973, with the New York Mets mired in last place at the time, but still within striking distance in a very tight divisional race, the press asked, then Manager, Yogi Berra if the season was finished, he replied with the classic line, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

For the 2011-2012 Connecticut Whale, truer words have never been spoken.

Entering the third period trailing for the ninth time in twenty-two games, the Whale scored five, that’s right five, power play goals and came from behind in the third period for a win for the fifth time already this season and defeated the Springfield Falcons 6-3 in front of 3,523 at the MassMutual Center Saturday night.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced the following suspensions:

Connecticut Whale center Kris Newbury has been suspended for four (4) games as a consequence of an illegal check to the head of an opponent in a game vs. Bridgeport on Nov. 18.

Newbury will miss Connecticut’s games Wednesday (Nov. 23) vs. Portland, Friday (Nov. 25) at Bridgeport, Saturday (Nov. 26) at Springfield and Nov. 29 vs. Hershey.

Springfield Falcons left wing Dane Byers has been suspended for two (2) games as a consequence of an illegal check to the head of an opponent in a game at Providence on Nov. 18.

Byers will miss Springfield’s games Friday (Nov. 25) at Adirondack and Saturday (Nov. 26) vs. Connecticut.

Providence Bruins center Zach Hamill has been suspended for one (1) game as a consequence of a boarding incident in a game at Portland on Nov. 19.

Hamill will miss Providence’s game Wednesday (Nov. 23) at Hershey.

3’s and 2’s

Connecticut Whale      VERSUS      Springfield_thumb

After knocking off the Springfield Falcons 4-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 2,764 at the XL Center, if the Connecticut Whale were at all superstitious they would be heading to place 3-3-3 as their lottery number because Sunday was all about threes and twos.

  • The Whale won for the 3rd straight time.
  • The team won their games in 3 consecutive days.
  • The game started at 3pm.
  • They won by 3 goals.
  • Jonathan Audy-Marchessault had 3 points (1g, 2a)

You could also sprinkle in a couple of two’s as well.

  • Won both ends of the back-to-back with Springfield.
  • Audy-Marchessault has goals in two straight games.
  • The Whale killed off two lengthy 5-on-3 penalties. Continue reading


BY: Bruce Berlet

The Connecticut Whale had quite an addition at their pregame skate Friday morning, but unfortunately he isn’t likely to be playing any time soon.

New York Rangers All-Star defenseman Marc Staal worked out with the Whale at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell looking like a slimmed-down Santa Claus in his bright red “Please Do Not Touch” uniform.

“I’m the man in the big red suit,” the 6-foot-4, 203-pound Staal said with a chuckle.

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Andrew Gross reports on his Twitter page from Connecticut Whale training camp at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT stated that Chad Kolarik’s injury that has kept him out of virtually everything to this point, has been diagnosed as a torn ACL. Kolarik will have surgery on Tuesday and will miss at least six months.

Kolarik’s injury is a big blow for a young Whale team that historically has had some trouble scoring goals early in a season. It is also a major setback for Kolarik, who came to the Whale last season in a trade for then captain Dane Byers, who was hoping to have a big season to expand upon a productive 2010-2011 season where he notched a combined 21g, 20a for 41pts in 49 games played between Springfield and Hartford.

Kolarik also got his first taste of NHL action playing in four games with the Rangers and tallied an assist for his first NHL point.

Ken Gernander and his staff will need to find a way to pull together the young talent on the roster and others will need to step up to fill that offensive role.

Our best wishes to Chad Kolarik for a full and speedy recovery.