How has Reid Duke got on after being the Golden Knights first signing in franchise history?

Remember back when Vegas were a new team and only had one guy on their roster, then a couple of months later after the expansion draft they were a bad team hoping to just keep games competitive where they could?

Yeah, how did that go? Oh yeah, Vegas are in the Stanley Cup Finals…this is technically their worst performing season as well…

Continue reading How has Reid Duke got on after being the Golden Knights first signing in franchise history?

Clan lose defenceman Cescon

Braehead Clan have announced the departure today of left d-man Craig Cescon as the roster overhaul at the Glaswegian club continues.

The team have been in rebuild-mode under Pete Russell during the off-season and 31-year-old Cescon becomes the latest player to move onto pastures new.

The Ontario-born import will join Romanian team Corona Brasov Wolves for the 2018/19 after playing 53 games for Braehead last season, logging 103 PIMs.

Cescon departs Braehead for the second time in his career after originally joining from the Polish league in 2012/13 before returning to North America with Tulsa Oilers the following season. Spells with Coventry Blaze, France and the Dundee Stars then followed before he re-joined the Clan again last year, posting 14 (4+10) points.

Clan currently have just four defencemen on their books with new signings Zach Fitzgerald and Matt Stanisz joining Michal Gutwald and Team GB-man Zach Sullivan.

Featured image: Braehead Clan

Sharks: Into The Offseason

A second round elimination at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights was not what anyone had in mind for the San Jose Sharks this time last year. But, after an unbelievable first NHL season on the Knights’ part, that is the reality Sharks fans are faced with. They once again ran headfirst into the team with magic on their side. Pittsburgh, Nashville, and now, Las Vegas.
With some promising prospects making a splash in junior and the minors, such as Jayden Halbgewachs winning top CHL scorer— the future looks bright for the Sharks, even with an ageing core and Joe Thornton’s future on rocky footing.

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Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group

With Thornton expressing his desire to remain with the Sharks, and even stating he’s willing to take a paycut to do so, it’s hard to imagine him in any colour other than teal when October rolls around, if the rehab for a right ACL and MCL injury goes well. Set to turn 39 in July, Thornton put up 36 points in 47 games before getting injured, in a season where he was also returning from injury, a similar ACL and MCL issue, but in his left knee.
So, what should the priorities be this summer?
For San Jose it’s important to lock down key players like Tomas Hertl, coming off a two year bridge contract and finally finding his game with the Sharks. For Jannik Hansen and Joel Ward, their time in San Jose looks to be over, both are unrestricted free agents that the Sharks should look to avoid overpaying for. On top of this, there are big contracts coming up for Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski at the end of next season as both garner UFA status.
With word having been that the Sharks had a comfortable seat at the table for John Tavares, the announcement of the Evander Kane signing might throw a spanner in the works, especially if the Sharks are looking to keep as much of the current team as possible.
As mentioned by Elliotte Friedman in his 31 Thoughts column, if San Jose is looking to make a run for Tavares, it might push core bottom six forwards like Chris Tierney out of the roster, financially, in order to keep other important top six players around.
The defense situation for the Sharks is as solid as ever, and only Dylan Demelo (RFA) requires a new contract. Burns and Vlasic have big, long term contracts and are the only players outside of Kane that are signed past the 2020-21 season.
As long as Doug Wilson doesn’t look to hand out more deals like Evander Kane’s, things aren’t looking too bad for San Jose, especially if Chmelevski and Halbgewachs and Norris continue to develop well in their respective junior, minor and college placements.
Sharks fans shouldn’t feel too bad about the situation, but they should hope that Doug Wilson isn’t looking to flash more long term, high cost contracts this offseason for anyone other than Hertl.
The gorgeous salary cap situation the Sharks had before the Kane signing was Wilson’s to run wild with. This summer could be momentous for the Sharks, but at the same time it could be incredibly dull, and opinions seem to be swaying from one extreme to another.

Feature Image Credit: NHL.com

Stars go after Calder Cup!

After watching the amazing Mike McKenna stop a staggering 38 shots during the game, the clock is now running down.

10 seconds left in overtime and everyone knows that a goal at this stage will change everything.

8.5 seconds on the clock and rookie Roope Hintz buries the puck into the back of the net!

Yes! They’ve done it!

For the third time in franchise history the Texas Stars are the 2017-18 Western Conference Champions and will be going to war with the Toronto Marlies in the race for the Calder Cup!

Better luck next year IceHogs, you’ll be seeing STARS for days.

‘Wait! Hold up, what’s the Calder Cup?’

I hear you, I hear you. Let me enlighten you…

The Calder Cup is considered the Stanley Cup of the American Hockey League, or the AHL to you and I. Named after the NHL’s first President, Frank Calder, it has been the driving force for all 30 affiliate teams in an 81 year-long League. During the roaring ‘20s, Calder was responsible for bringing Hockey into the mainstream of America’s major metropolis’s, including New York, Boston and Chicago. The AHL itself is hailed as the main developmental league for the NHL, which makes the Calder Cup a pretty huge deal, It’s also pretty cool to note that some big names of the Ice Hockey world have been lucky enough to hold not only the Calder Cup, but also the Stanley Cup during their careers, including; Ace Bailey, Ab McDonald, Patrick Sharp and Eric Fehr, to name but a few.

Still with me? okay, so as a team, the Texas Stars are affiliates of… can you guess?

Yep, the Dallas Stars, and they have been part of the AHL since 2008, when the Iowa Stars dissolved their affiliation with Dallas and became the Iowa Chops.

The Texas Stars are now three-time Western Conference Champions and have been lucky enough to succeed in their Calder Cup Campaign only once, back in 2014. We are now four years on from that win, and back on the road to victory once more, with 4-7 games (and a few goals) to go. In the past four years, the Stars have been met with disappointing outcomes, but this year they came back fighting and are now 11-4 as they step up to their first game against the Marlies this Saturday.

Could 2018 be the year the Stars hold Silverware once more? Or will the Marlies beat them to it? Watch this space!

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A Run Down on the NHL Gaming World Championship

With the first ever NHL gaming world championship nearing its end and crowning its first ever champion at the grand final, taking place in the E-sports Arena in Las Vegas, a day before the NHL awards. We take run down on what’s happened so far.

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Craig Moore working to be fit for the 2018/19 EIHL season

Injuries might be cruel, but they’re still part of the game. Unfortunately Craig Moore learnt that this past season playing for the Cardiff Devils.

After spending time with the Dundee Stars, Moore moved to South Wales for the 2017/18 season.

“I was a little unfortunate this year sustaining a season ending injury which was tough especially so early on in the season with this being my first year in Cardiff but I just used it as an opportunity to grow and develop whilst experiencing another side of the game.” Moore said during the off season.

Continue reading Craig Moore working to be fit for the 2018/19 EIHL season