Category Archives: Hershey Bears

A Few Bears Players Recieve Well Earned NHL Contracts

(source: Washington Post)

 Today the Caps signed Beagle, A. Gordon, Patrick McNeill, Joudrey, and Miskovic what  appear to be all two-way contracts. 

Patrick McNeill though often over shadowed by the wonder twins of Carlson and Alzner is quite easily a potentially full-time NHL-caliber defense men. The 6 foot, twenty-three year old from Ontario will be a good call up option for this upcoming season.

Beagle and A. Gordon are already well-known to Caps fans. They both had call up last season in which they impressed the the coaches and fans a-like.

Hershey Bears fans know how hard-working Joudrey is and how deserving he is of an NHL contract finally.

You might notice Bourque is not listed, he did not sign his contact and reportedly informed the Caps that his intention is to play in the KHL. The Caps have maintained they still own his NHL rights. I think most Bears and/or Caps fans will be split down the middle on whether they regret his leaving or not.

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Filed under Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog, Washington Capitals

Hershey Acquires Jared DeMichiel

This afternoon the Hershey Bears signed to an AHL contract Jared DeMichiel. If you’re a college hockey fan you’ll recognize the name from the RIT Tigers which he helped during this last season’s cinderella playoff run, which was ended in the semifinals against the Wisconsin Badgers, (hope there are no hard feelings towards the two UW alum on the Bears.)

Jared is a six-foot one inch goalie from Avon, Connecticut. The RIT Athletics website says

Business major … attended Avon Old Farms Prep School … born April 16, 1985 in Torrington, Conn. … son of Gregory and Cheryl DeMichiel … has one sister, Megan … favorite NHL player is Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres … favorite hockey team is the Hartford Whalers … favorite sports moment was Kevin Dineen’s game-winning goal in the Hartford Whalers last ever home game on April 13, 1997 … professional communication for business is his favorite class at RIT … favorite food is fettucine alfredo … would like to be a successful businessman in 10 years … favorite TV show is Sportscenter … historic figure he would most like to meet is John F. Kennedy.

Well he sounds like good kid; I like his favorite sports moment in particular. Here are his career stats so far according to the USCHO.com:

He has a Twitter and a (of course now defunct) blog on the RIT website. 

And, now the goalie situation in Hershey gets interesting. It looks like it will be Holtby, Sabourin, and DeMicheal, a three pair tandem like much of this last season with Holtby, Cash and Neuvirth? Grubauer will be in South Carolina (or can he/is willing to stay in the CHL?) Is Dunn staying in the NCAA? How about the invitees Nauris Enkuzens and Taylor Nelson? Does this make them have even less of a chance of being offered a contract?

I suppose time will tell. Hershey, however looks to be in good shape for the up coming season with these acquisitions.

Update: Apparently DeMichiel will be invited to Rookie Camp and will perhaps even play with the Stingrays.

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Filed under AHL, College hockey, Hershey Bears

Meet the New Guy: Brian Willsie

(Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Brian_Willsie.jpg)

HEY! He’s not new! We know him! He’s a former Cap and Hershey Bear (but when they were not affiliated with the Caps, if you don’t recognize the name.) He spent the past fours years between the Kings and the Avalanche (and the AHL) and now the Caps have brought back the veteran winger for a one year, two-way contract.

He’s had a career high 2005–06 season with the Caps and then he left with the Kings for the 06-07 season and I hadn’t heard much of him after.  He had some tough years, either injured or just with low producing.

I must admit I’m excited to see Willsie back in a Bear jersey and potential in a Caps jersey. And, I hope he kind of finds that 05-06 magic again. 

Willsie is 6’1″, age 32, 202 lbs and from London, Ontario. Official press release from the Caps. Career stats according to Wikipedia:

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Filed under AHL, Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog, Washington Capitals

In Which Prospects Prove They Have Manners (And Where We Size Up the Capitals’ Future)

Unlike last year, where we were only able to attend the end-of-the-week scrimmage, your Chronicles girls were front and center (okay, more like front and to the left) for the first two days of the Washington Capitals’ Development Camp. 

Monday did not get off to a good start, simply because we had a 2+ hours of commute from our hometown to get there, and on very little sleep. Surprisingly, for the first day of camp, KCI was very empty. We had been expecting a fairly large crowd, but it was a bit of a nice surprise. In the section we were sitting in, we were the only ones, save the Capitals’ management who were taking notes on all of the players.

Group A took the ice a little earlier than 9:45. The group consisted mostly of familiar faces, though there were a handful neither Meghan nor I recognized. Kathryn (@takingnames) was kind enough to write down all the of prospects and their numbers in both groups. The list is as follows:

Fowards: Cody Eakin (50), Phil DeSimone (75), Sean Wiles (91), Patrick Cullen (9), Chris Forfar (18), Evgeny Kuznetsov (48), Jake Hauswirth (77), Stefan Della Rovere (84), David deKastrozza (87), Brendan Woods (34), Anton Gustafasson (94), Andrew Cherniwchan

Defensemen: Bond (17), Flemming (29), Bohumil Jank (47), Joe Finley (59), Samuel Carrier (65), Dmitri Orlov (81), Ian Ruel (95), Brennan Yadlowski

Goalies: Braden Holtby (70), Dan Dunn (80)

Around 2:30, Group B hit the ice, and I found myself not recognizing many of the faces. The group consisted mostly of invitees, so Meghan and I found it a much more exciting group to watch, simply because we did not know what to expect. Group B consisted of:

Forwards: Greg Burke (54), Felix Lefrancois (67), Caleb Herbert (72), Andy Miele (79), Anthony Pisano (96), Eric Alexander (96), Wade Macleod (64), Garrett Mitchell (76), Trevor Bruess (88), Stanislav Galiev (49), Cameron Burt (71), Marcus Johansson (90)

Defensemen: Patrick Cullity (24), Zach Miskovic (45), Steve Spinell (51), Kristaps Sotnieks (58), Dustin Stevenson (66), Patrick Wey (78), Ryan Lowery (92), Kurt Davis (98),

Goalies: Philipp Grubauer (31), Nauris Enkuzens, Taylor Nelson

The first day, there was a wide variety of drills, most of which were not particularly difficult or hard, though both groups were on the ice for a fair bit of time. We expect it was to allow the players of find their legs for the coaching staff to get an initial feel.  

On Day Two, there was fewer drills, but they lasted for a longer amount of time and were a bit more difficult. They were also more interesting to watch. The players seemed much more comfortable today and were a little more aggressive on the ice. They weren’t shy on hitting and getting rough along the boards.

Overall, most of the prospects did not catch either of our attention greatly, simply because they were average, which is to be expected as such a young age. By far, Cody Eakin (who, tragically, has a haircut reminiscent of a 1970s porn star) and Marcus Johansson were the most impressive out of the bunch, which didn’t take us by surprise.  Kuznetsov, the Capitals’ first round pick this year, as well as our fellow 1992 baby, looked extremely happy to be there, and generally seemed to be enjoying himself. It was adorable. His attitude reminded us of Laich, just having a good time and taking advantage of the opportunity. We also noticed that Joe Finley was chatting with the coaches and trying very earnestly to prove that he belongs in the organization. He obviously wants to be given a chance and be taken seriously. And, good news! Brett Flemming is not so tragically awful as he used to be! Now, he is simply average, not the worst one on the ice, which is a good thing because now Meghan and I don’t feel as silly for liking him.  No one particularly disappointed us, except perhaps, Gustafasson. To us, it just kind of seemed like he wasn’t into it, wasn’t trying as hard as he could. Maybe it was an off day. Who knows. We also noticed that Grubauer, the German goalie drafted this year, has a lot of vulnerable spots in his goaltending. As Meghan put it, “His five hole was gaping”. But, we’ve got to remember he is only 18.

Overall, it was exciting to see what the future holds for the Caps organization.

Now, as for the silly things that happened, we managed to have two more elevator adventures. On Day One, we found ourselves in the elevator with Stevenson (who we now adore) and another prospect, who we think was Mitchell on the way back from lunch. And, I’m proud to say that at least one of the prospects (Stevenson) knows his manners and full-on held the door for us, which redeemed prospects from the Holtby incident last year. I’m pretty sure we freaked him out with our over-excited “thank-yous!”. The second happened on Day Two, where we road the elevator down to lunch with Miskovic and two others. During the ride, Miskovic decided he would try to hold the “door close” button on the elevator to prevent it from stopping on other floors 0.o

Also, has anyone else noticed that Sean Wiles looks like Ovechkin from far away? Of course, not by skill, I mean looks (thankfully, though, he is not that unfortunate looking). Seriously, look!

It was a fun two days. We may be going on Saturday if we find the time and/or muster up the will to be around so many obnoxious people. If we do attend the scrimmage, expect another recap then. Pictures will be posted sometime tomorrow and linked on here as well as our twitter (@hockeychronicle).

For more official coverage of development camp/other points of view, be sure to check out Japers’ Rink. To view videos taken from camp by the capitals, go here.

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Filed under Anna's Blog, Cody Eakin, Development Camp, Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals, Zach Miskovic

Around the Phone Booth

More Free Agent Frenzy:

Jeff Schultz resigned with the Caps today for 4 years/11 million. A bargain for league leader in +/-. Especially considering the last defenseman to have a 50+ was Chris Pronger during his Hart season. Not making a comparison or anything but let’s just say 11 million for Jeff Schultz isn’t anything to cry over. Upwards of 16 teams will be paying more for their THIRD best defenseman. Then again the Chronicles’ crew is highly biased.

Boyd Gordon also resigned for one year 800,000. Even though he had a rough year this last season that is a good deal in most books. Hopefully the hard-working face off specialists back will be healed and ready to go for this up coming season.

The Capitals also signed Brian Fahey and Kyle Greentree to two-way contracts.

Fahey most recently played for the Lake Erie Monsters. He had 11 goals and 25 points in 71 games. He was drafted 119th overall in 2000 by the Colorado Avalance. He is 29, six-foot one and 215 lbs defenseman from Des Plaines, Illinois. He is also a former UW Badger.

Kyle Greentree is a 26-year-old, six-foot three and 200 lb native of Victoria, British Columbia. He played for the Rockford Ice Hogs last season leading the team with 26 goals in 64 games. He played for the Alaska Fairbank Nanooks. He went undrafted (signing a contract with the Flyers instead of completing his senior year at Alaska Fairbank.)

Both are expected to play in Hershey, though I would not be surprised at all to see Greentree getting a few call ups with the Caps. Considering the Bears have just lost veterans Amadio and Giroux this is a very good signing for the Bears.  

Greg Amadio did in fact sign with the Grand Rapid Griffins (perhaps you remember they were the nice folks who took Nylander off our hands for a little while.) Having played with the Griffins in ’05-’06.  The defenseman had 4 goals, 14 assists, 18 points, and 334 penalty minutes in his 2 years with the Bears.

Good bye to Mr. Amadio, I know some men in Norfolk who will miss screaming your name in the “Super Mario” voice, and who found out how many Coors Lights it takes to fill the Calder Cup.

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Filed under AHL, Around the Phone Booth, Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog, Washington Capitals

BREAKING NEWS: Giroux to the Oilers

image

VIA several reports on Twitter Hershey Bears forward Alexandre Giroux has reportedly signed a one way, NHL contract, with the Edmonton Oilers for 500,000.

Giroux has been on the Bears since 2007. Alexandre was an unrestricted free agent and expected to sign in the KHL if not with the Bears.

He was apparently offered a one way contract with the Islanders also.

More to come later.

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Filed under AHL, Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog

Free Agent Frenzy Day 2: a Few Goodbyes

With the ending of UFA day 2 we have two goodbyes to be saying.

First up is the Chronicles favorite defenseman, Mr. Milan Jurcina. While this is not a total surprise considering he got “Bourque’d” earlier this season we really expected Jurcina to sign with the Caps for at least another season seeing as he seemed particularly attached to the team. However Juice signed with the Islanders this afternoon for a million for one year.

Slightly surprising seeing as Jurcina is one of our only stay at home defenseman besides Tom Poti (and now Karl Alzner) and considering I, and a few other people, think Juice would have happily signed for less than a million here we expected GM to sign him. But, what let’s not cry over spilled milk; anyways maybe he’ll get double Bourque’d, we can always have hope.

In Bears news Kyle Wilson has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has been on the team since 2007 and has become a mainstay and fan favorite for the team. A pretty consistent player putting up about 50+ point seasons and a steady stream of stats that rarely wavered over his four years with the Bears.

Interestingly the new coach in Columbus is Scott Arniel who coached the 2008-09 Manitoba team so he is pretty familiar with the Bears from the Calder Cup finals. I personally think this is a great move for Kyle though we’ll miss him all the same.

And, of course as we already posted earlier Caps did make a signing on day 2 with Dany Sabourin, who is expected to play in Hershey.

That seems to be all the news coming out of Caps and Hershey Bear hockey today. Here is hoping to some signings of a defenseman or goalie for the Caps to come. And, lastly of course good bye and good luck to #18 and #23.

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Filed under AHL, Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog, Milan Jurcina, Washington Capitals