Tag Archives: J.J. Daignault

SPOTLIGHT: “PAPA” REDDEN, THE CAPTAIN

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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FAN FARE: MIKHAIL PASHNIN

New York RBY: Adam Gavriel

Let’s start with the simple understanding that when depending upon Google translating an article from Russian to English there could be some slight nuances, and maybe even who phrases not exactly written as they were meant to be.

Given that ground rule, according to cska-hockey.ru New York Rangers defensive prospect Mikhail Pashnin was selected by Lokomotiv, yes that Lokomotiv, after the KHL agreed to a makeshift expansion draft in order to rebuild that devastated organization. Remember, this is the Lokomotiv club that was struck by tragedy earlier in the season when the charter plane carrying their team crashed. The plan had been for the 6’, 187-pounder from Chelyabinsk, Russia to play for in North America, either with the Connecticut Whale or the Rangers themselves in the upcoming 2012- 2013 campaign, however it would certainly appear as though that might change now. Pashnin will finish the current season with CSKA Moscow. The soon to be 23 year old has three goals and three assists for six points and sixty PIM in 46 games this season.

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SPOTLIGHT: CARL HAGELIN

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

A month after his call-up from the Connecticut Whale to the parent New York Rangers, left wing Carl Hagelin continues to solidify his position with the big club.

The rookie speedster from Sweden had his second two-goal game in only 16 NHL starts on Monday night, as the Rangers beat the visiting New York Islanders 3-0 for their fifth straight victory, elevating them to first overall in the Eastern Conference standings.

“Obviously it was great to get two goals, and to be a plus-two; it’s always important to be a plus player,” Hagelin told the media after his third game on a top line with Brad Richards and captain and former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan. “There were just some great plays by my linemates and by (defenseman Michael) Del Zotto on the goals. I just had to get to the right spot.

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SPOTLIGHT: TIM ERIXON

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

Tim Erixon has certainly experienced a full gamut of emotions the past two-plus years and especially in the last six weeks.

The Connecticut Whale’s rookie defenseman decided against signing with the Calgary Flames, after being their first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2009. Faced with the prospect of losing Erixon’s rights before this year’s NHL draft, Flames general manager Jay Feaster traded Erixon and a fifth-round pick to the New York Rangers on June 1, 2011, for prospect forward Roman Horak and two second-round picks in June.

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SPOTLIGHT: RYAN McDONAGH

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

A year ago, Ryan McDonagh was trying to find his way on the blue line of the then Hartford Wolf Pack, after leaving a highly successful University of Wisconsin program following his junior year.

While center Derek Stepan made the New York Rangers’ roster, after leaving the Badgers following a sophomore year that ended with a 5-0 loss to Boston College and top Blueshirts prospect Chris Kreider in the NCAA title game, McDonagh was among the final cuts on Broadway.

McDonagh struggled a bit early with the Wolf Pack before extensive work with assistant coach J.J. Daigneault helped him earn a call-up on Jan. 3, when he switched places with Michael Del Zotto, who had was experiencing a sophomore slump with the Rangers after being a member of the NHL All-Rookie team in 2009-10.

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WHALE EXORCIZE LOSING STREAK WITH WIN OVER DEVILS

Connecticut Whale     VERSUS      Albany Devils

BY: Mitch Beck

If Connecticut Whale head coach Ken Gernander had any hair, he’d probably be pulling it out about now. His team did win on the road Saturday night knocking off the Albany Devils 3-2 in a shootout in front of 3,006 at the Times Union Arena, but they came awfully close to repeating the ills that plague them blowing a lead, but in this case finding a way to win.

“It was little frustrating with the penalties in the third period,” Gernander told reporters afterwards. “But we battled through it and got the two points to finish off the week because it will set us up for next weekend with a long week of practice and rematches with St. John’s (in Newfoundland on Saturday and Sunday).”

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – DECISION TIME

BY: Bruce Berlet

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller had plenty decisions to make after their team’s preseason finale Sunday, a 3-2 victory over the Worcester Sharks at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell.

Gernander said his staff’s work was made “a little bit dicey” because the parent New York Rangers were on a plane from Slovakia to Switzerland after winning their third straight game in Europe, 4-1 over HC Slovan. And seven players assigned to the Whale on Saturday – defensemen Tim Erixon and Blake Parlett and forwards Kris Newbury, Dale Weise, John Mitchell and rookies Carl Hagelin and Ryan Bourque – were flying across the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday night.

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HUMPTY-DUMPTY

Connecticut-Whale_thumb4_thumb_thumb VERSUS    

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

The Connecticut Whale had been, to paraphrase Annie Savoy (New York Rangers’ fan, Susan Sarandon) in the film Bull Durham,  “for whatever reason, were playing hockey with joy and verve and poetry.”

9,276 witnesses at the XL Center on Saturday, on a night that the franchise honored Gordie Howe and his family no less, watched the Connecticut Whale come crashing off the wall like Humpty Dumpty and put forth one of their  worst efforts of the season in a fight filled, undisciplined and very sloppy 5-1 loss to the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

Connecticut-Whale_thumb4_thumb_thumb VERSUS Charlotte Checkers

With under five minutes to go in the game Friday night and the Connecticut Whale trailing 0-2, some of the 5,862 fans at the XL Center began filing out of the building…wonder how they feel now after the home team scored two goals in 1:13 to tie it, played perhaps the most exciting overtime period in recent memory and won it in the shootout over the visiting Charlotte Checkers 3-2.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

Connecticut Whale rookie goalie Cam Talbot paid defenseman Pavel Valentenko quite the compliment Sunday.

“He blocks shots so well it’s like having three goalies,” Talbot said after watching Valentenko doing plenty of just such dirty work in a 3-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons.

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