The dog days of summer are officially upon us. Free agency has settled and trade talk is low. For the Wolf Pack and the American Hockey League, teams are preparing for the upcoming season quietly and quickly. From the front office to the coach’s office, planning is well underway up in Hartford.
New Assistant Coach
Announced last week, Joe Mormina will be the new assistant coach for the Wolf Pack. He will join fellow assistant coach Pat Boller behind the bench. This will be his second season as an assistant coach. A respected AHL veteran, Mormina will help the team in various aspects of the game.
Keith McCambridge discussed that he looks forward to having a conversation with new Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff to discuss the defensive plans for both clubs.
Generally speaking, this time of year is when we start to project the potential lines for the upcoming season. And of course, the roster in Hartford depends on the final roster for the Rangers. There are a few questions that will shape the rosters of both clubs. First, will Cristoval Nieves join the big club, and will Gabriel Fontaine, Sean Day, or Sergey Zborovskiy join Hartford? If any three are deemed to be not ready for the Wolf Pack, then they will return to juniors for an overage year. Here are my lines that I assembled.
Paul Carey – Cristoval Nieves – Robin Kovacs
Dan DeSalvo – Adam Tambellini – Cole Schneider
Dan Catenacci – Vinny Lettieri – Steven Fogarty
Eric Selleck – Gabriel Fontaine – Malte Stromwall
Extras: Ryan Gropp, Ty Ronning (New York)
Ryan Graves – Neal Pionk
Alexi Bereglazov – Brendon Kotyk
Sean Day – John Gilmour
The Olympics Effect
Players in Hartford who are on two or one-way contracts will not be able to participate in the Winter Olympics. This includes entry level contracts as well. The players that can participate will be ones that are on American Hockey League Deals. From the Wolf Pack perspective, they could lose Eric Selleck, Dan DeSalvo, and Brendon Kotyk to the international competition.
There will be only two preseason games for the Wolf Pack, and both will be against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. This season’s preseason schedule was a surprise as Hartford generally had at least three games with different opponents. Check out the schedule here:
- Thursday, September 28th vs Bridgeport, 7pm at the Koeppel Community Sports Center (Trinity College).
- Saturday, September 30th @ Bridgeport, 7pm in Worcester, Mass.
What’s Coming Up
- The cement is expected to be fully dry for the arena floor. The XL Center will be installing the new boards system shortly and the ice will be up earlier than normal as well, with a test later this month.
- Wolf Pack training camp will be announced soon and will be in September.
- The annual “paint the ice” event will be happening once again. A date is to be determined for fans to paint the blue lines on the ice.
- Based in the past, the new Wolf Pack’s lease will be finalized and announced between December to February. The last two seasons were announced for extensions in generally January.
- The American Hockey League may not have the All-Star game due to the Winter Olympics. No decision has been made by league officials.