Tag Archives: Jason LaBarbera

RANGERS AND COYOTES: DUEL IN THE DESSERT

New York RNY RANGERS at PHOENIX COYOTES
Saturday, Dec. 17, 8:00 p.m.
Jobing.com Arena – Phoenix, Arizona
Rangers: 17-8-4 (38 pts)
Coyotes: 16-12-3 (35 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Dec. 15

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SPOTLIGHT: ALEXANDRE GIROUX

Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

For the past two summers, former Hartford Wolf Pack high-scoring wing Alexandre Giroux had Europe on his mind.

The personable Giroux had established himself as a premier AHL player without getting a full-time shot at the NHL, so he thought it might be time to head overseas.

But when the start of free agency rolled around on July 1, 2010, Giroux had second thoughts. Sure he had scored more than 300 goals in the AHL, including 60 and 50 in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons as the Hershey Bears won back-to-back Calder Cup titles, but he had played less than two dozen games at the highest level and the itch remained to be there.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – JASON LABARBERA, CLASS ON AND OFF THE ICE

BY: Bruce Berlet

I learned how classy goalie Jason LaBarbera is when he was with the Hartford Wolf Pack for four seasons and then the Manchester Monarchs, where he never complained about the waiver rules that kept him locked in the AHL because the Los Angeles Kings were afraid of losing him on re-entry waivers if they tried to recall him.

Well, LaBarbera, named the AHL’s MVP and top goalie with the Wolf Pack in 2003-04, when he was 34-9-9 with a 1.59 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and 13 shutouts in 59 games, continues to demonstrate those traits as backup to Mike Smith with the Phoenix Coyotes. LaBarbera is wearing a mask this season to honor Pat Tillman, the former Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals standout who enlisted after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and died in Afghanistan from friendly fire.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

Good news and bad news today on the “used to be on the local hockey market scene.”

First, the Phoenix Coyotes, who are NOT moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, signed former Hartford Wolf Pack and New York Rangers goalie Jason LaBarbera to a two-year contract extension.

Terms weren’t disclosed, but the unrestricted free agent earned $1 million this season to be the backup to Ilya Bryzgalov, who made $4.2 million. So it’s safe to assume former Rangers assistant general manager/Wolf Pack GM Don Maloney gave LaBarbera at least some kind of raise after he was 7-6-3 with a 3.26 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in 17 games in his second season with the Coyotes.

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BEST GOALTENDERS IN THE AHL

AHL LogoPENGUINS’ THIESSEN, CURRY WIN HARRY “HAP” HOLMES MEMORIAL AWARD

SPRINGFIELD, MA … The American Hockey League has announced that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltenders Brad Thiessen and John Curry have won the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for the 2010-11 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.

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EX-WOLF PACK A LOCKE OF AN MVP

AHL LogoBINGHAMTON SENATORS FORWARD COREY LOCKE NAMED AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

SPRINGFIELD, MA. – The American Hockey League announced today that center Corey Locke of the Binghamton Senators has been named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2010-11 season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

GOALTENDING

AHL LogoWILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON’S BRAD THIESSEN NAMED
AHL’s OUTSTANDING GOALTENDER FOR 2010-2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Brad Thiessen of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins has been named the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2010-11 season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

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HOPE HE LIKES PLAYING IN THE QUIET

63799685According to TSN.ca, goaltender Al Montoya has signed a one-year extension with the New York Islanders.

Montoya, who was the New York Rangers’ first round pick, sixth overall, in the 2004 draft is also the second winningest goaltender in Hartford Wolf Pack history. He trails only Jason LaBarbera in sheer wins.

Monty has been very strong between the pipes for the AHL NHL team on Long Island. He joins ex-Wolf Pack forward P.A. Parenteau as ex-Wolf Pack who have found a home in the NHL at the Nassau Coliseum.

We wouldn’t be even the least bit surprised if that’s where defenseman Wade Redden winds up next season as well.

Montoya has posted a very solid 8-4-4 record since joining the Fish Sticks on February 9 in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes. The 26 year-old netminder was going nowhere with the Coyotes and Islanders’ GM Garth Snow was able to take him off the Coyotes for just a sixth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Montoya, a Chicago native, has given the Islanders some stability in net with Rick “Mr. Glass” DiPietro almost constantly on the DL. Montoya has a 2.35 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 17 games this season.

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

Bruce HeadshotBy Bruce Berlet

Connecticut Whale right wing Dale Weise likely didn’t need a plane to fly from Hartford to Philadelphia on Friday afternoon.

With former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan sidelined 6-to-8 weeks with a broken left hand sustained when he blocked a shot in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night, the New York Rangers called up Weise, who hoped the second time was a charm for making his NHL debut. Continue reading

RANGERS BATTLE COYOTES AT GARDEN

New York RNEW YORK RANGERS vs. PHOENIX COYOTES
Thursday, Dec. 16, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 19-13-1 (39 pts)
Coyotes: 14-9-6 (34 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Dec. 15 Continue reading