Yesterday was a busy day for the Whale, as they made six moves to fill out the roster in time for their Calder Cup run. The Whale called up forwards Jason Wilson, Danny Hobbs, and Jordie Johnston, and goaltender Scott Stajcer from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. In addition, the Whale signed forward Michael Kantor and defenseman Charlie Dodero to ATOs from Sudbury in the OHL.
All six will be with the Whale for their next game on Friday.
The Connecticut Whale have signed undrafted free agent forward Barclay Goodrow to an ATO. Goodrow, who just finished his fourth season with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL, led the team with 38 goals in 62 games this season. The 6’2, 214 lb, 20-year old forward scored at least 20 goals in each of his last three seasons. He also scored five points (2-3-5) in five playoff games this season.
As more teams are eliminated from CHL contention, expect some ATOs to be signed by a few guys. This is essentially a tryout for Goodrow.
According to the AHL website, the Rangers have sent J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider to the CT Whale. Coach John Tortorella expressed concern that the magnitude of the virtual playoff games the Blueshirts are playing right now might be too much for the two, so these transactions aren’t a surprise.
The moves clear over $2 million in cap space and ensure that both Miller and Kreider will be eligible for the AHL playoffs. It is possible that New York is looking to acquire another forward today.
After practicing with the Rangers yesterday, 21-year-old prospect Jesper Fast has been assigned to the CT Whale. The 2010 sixth-round pick is eligible to play in both the AHL and NHL, but Fast is required to return to Sweden for the World Championships on April 15th, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for him to join the Rangers for just two weeks.
Instead, Fast will continue to practice with the Whale and will likely see some AHL game action. Fast’s demotion has nothing to do with the 23-man roster limit, as that was lifted last night.
The speedy winger tallied 18 goals and 17 assists in 47 games with HV71 of the Swedish Elite League this season.
Per Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant, it looks like the Connecticut Whale will remain in Hartford for the time being. A multi-year deal has been reached with MSG and Global Spectrum to keep the Whale playing in Hartford, where they have spent the last 16 seasons.
Also, the Whale will remain the Whale. There had been rumors they were going to return to being the Wolfpack.
In a surprising move, the Rangers recalled F Christian Thomas from the CT Whale on Friday night. With Arron Asham, Darroll Powe and Rick Nash all on the shelf, the Rangers had to play Stu Bickel at forward against Ottawa. The team may be looking to avoid that situation again by giving Thomas a shot at the show.
Thomas has been red hot for the Whale and has posted 13 goals and 11 assists in 52 games this season. He’s obviously an offensive-minded guy and could provide another righty shot on the power play. Lord knows the Blueshirts are desperate for solutions in that department, so why not give Thomas a shot?
The knock on the 20-year-old has always been his size. Drafted as the 40th pick overall in 2010, Thomas tore up the OHL with the Oshawa Generals. He has struggled a bit in the American League until recently and there’s some doubt that Thomas will become an NHL regular largely due to his 5-foot-9, 170 lb. stature.
The Connecticut Whale have announced that they have recalled goalie Scott Stajcer from the Greenville Road Warriors, the Rangers ECHL affiliate. Stajcer was assigned to Greenville in late October, and went 8-4-3 with a 2.72 GAA and a .918 SV%. Stajcer was the Rangers fifth round pick in 2009.
Renaud Lavoie is reporting that the Rangers have signed goalie Cam Talbot to a two-year contract extension tonight. Talbot is 18-19-1 with a 2.56 GAA and a .918 SV% with the CT Whale this season, where he has played since 2009. The signing indicates the Rangers have seen a (very) small glimmer of hope that Talbot could be the heir to the throne, but the organization still needs to acquire a legitimate goalie prospect.
The most interesting thing about the news: in year one Talbot will make $550k on a two-way deal, but in 2014-2015, Talbot will get $575k on a one-way NHL contract. That happens to be the year after Marty Biron’s contract expires. That doesn’t necessarily mean Talbot is earmarked for Biron’s job, it wouldn’t be too difficult to deal a cheap goalie if it came to that (although it’s still a good bet Biron will be gone after his current deal ends).
This also probably doesn’t speak well toward Scott Stajcer’s future with the franchise.
Per Andrew Gross, citing the AHL transaction website, the Rangers have loaned defenseman Steve Eminger to the Connecticut Whale on a two-week conditioning stint. Eminger has played just four games this year for the Rangers, which includes just one game in February. In each of those games, Eminger was used for less than ten minutes per game in each of those contests.
The Whale play six games in the next two weeks, which will give Eminger plenty of game situations. This is not a demotion to the AHL, this is a conditioning stint.
Earlier this week, the Whale added two players to their roster to help fill some depth holes in the lineup. First, they recalled defenseman Jyri Niemi from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. Second, they signed forward Michael Pelech to a PTO.
Niemi was initially sent to Greenville on December 28. In 14 games, Niemi had a line of 1-5-6, 34 PIMs, and a +8 rating. Prior to his ECHL stint, Niemi played five games with the Whale without netting a point.
Pelech is a fourth year pro, playing 249 career ECHL games with a line of 46-119-165 with 432 PIMs. He has played nine career AHL games, notching an assist.