Archive for June, 2010

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now: Forwards (Part 1)

June 22, 2010

#9 Trevor Kell (44 GP, 16 G, 19 A, 35 PTS, -5, 50 PIM)

In his third year in the Devils organization, Trenton’s captain put together a nice campaign, but injuries and a relatively unproductive AHL call-up limited him  to just 44 games this season, a career low for the usually durable 23-year-old.

An occasionally physical presence who is relatively reliable on both ends of the ice, Kell seemed to be hurt by the departure of Jim Henkel, whom he teamed with on the penalty kill on 2008-09 — both of them were able to generate many offensive shorthanded chances, but Kell only tallied one shorthanded marker this season.

Seems like T-Kell’s been around forever, but he turns 24 tomorrow.  He hasn’t really made an impact at the AHL level since 2007-08, and doesn’t really appear to be in the Devils plans…and he’s never really been able to put together a pro season like the one had with Sarnia in 2006-07.  Kell’s a nice player at the ECHL level, but for the benefit of his career, would be better suited in another organization.

Verdict: Gone

#10 Tony Zancanaro (71 GP, 18 G, 30 A, 48 PTS, +2, 83 PIM)

Now 28 years old, Zancanaro is the most tenured member of the T-Devils, having been a member of the team since 2006-07 — the last year of the Titans era.  The team’s best faceoff man and one of their stronger defensive players, the undersized center turned in his finest professional season last year, posting career highs in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that he’s been in the organization for 3+ seasons and has yet to see an AHL call-up.  It seems unlikely to think that would change in 2010-11 if he returned. 

At just five feet, six inches tall, Zancanaro is a fan favorite.  You can’t really say that any players sells tickets in Trenton, since the games are largely unattended, but Tony does have a bit of a cheering section every time he’s out there.  However, the organization clearly does not care about things like this.  See: Henkel, Jim.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Zancanaro back as a second or third line center and PK specialist, but I don’t think he’ll be brought back.

Verdict: Gone

#11 Jack Combs (60 GP, 24 G, 19 A, 43 PTS, +6, 65 PIM)

Dealt from the Blues organization, The St. Louis born Combs came all the way from Alaska to Trenton and seemed to flourish on the NHL-sized ice surface, compared to the Olympic-sized rink the Aces played in.  At times, the 22-year-old was the best forward on the ice in Trenton.  And, like many players with his experience level, there were times he looked lost.

But there’s no doubting that Combs is a fairly skilled offensive-minded forward — he tied for second on the team in goals (23) despite having only spent the final two-thirds of his season in Trenton.  If he can show some more consistency, improve his skating stride and devote more attention to the defensive side of his game, Combs could eventually develop into a decent prospect for the Devils. 

Already having put three AHL games under his belt with Peoria last season, if Combs does come back, he could contend for a spot on the Opening Night roster in Albany in 2010-11 with a strong training camp.

Verdict: Back

#14 Chris Poli (36 GP, 13 G, 26 A, 39 PTS, +10, 31 PIM)

In 2+ professional seasons after four years at Brown University, the 24-year-old Poli has played in just 55 games.  The fact that he’s scored 22 goals in what essentially amounts to three-quarters of an ECHL season shows that when he’s healthy enough to be out there, there’s no doubting that Poli is one of the most talented players on the ice surface.

But that’s just the problem, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.  Unquestionably a dazzling playmaker who has the talent to at the very least compete at the AHL level, the Devils have given Poli two seasons to put together a full season, and he hasn’t been able to come close.  His 36 games last year were easily a career high.

Poli will be 25 when the 2010-11 season kicks off, and would likely start the year in Trenton if he returned to the organization.  Regardless of where he plays, it’s obviously a make or break season for him.  I don’t think you could blame the Devils front office for more or less giving up on him, but given the fact that he could be a difference maker down the road, he may very well get one more shot.

Verdict: Back

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Well, If You Can’t Win A Three Team Division….

June 22, 2010

(PR) PRINCETON, N.J. – The Annual ECHL Board of Governors Meeting was held in Henderson, Nev. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

The following items were approved by the Board of Governors:

Transfer Of Controlling Interest In Las Vegas Wranglers

The Board of Governors approved the Transfer of Controlling Interest in the Las Vegas Wranglers membership.

The Board approved the transfer from SLVJ, LLC, an entity controlled by Jonathan Fleisig, to Wranglers Hockey, LLC, an entity controlled by Gary Jacobs.

Gwinnett’s Chapman Re-Elected Chairman Of The Board

Steve Chapman, president of the Gwinnett Gladiators, was re-elected to serve a fifth term as Chairman of the Board of Governors. Chapman was voted ECHL Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2006 becoming the first person in league history to win the award twice.

Changes To Conference And Division Names

The Board of Governors approved changes to the names of the conferences and divisions.

Eastern Conference (formerly American Conference)

Atlantic Division (formerly East Division)
Elmira Jackals, Reading Royals and Trenton Devils

North Division
Cincinnati Cyclones, Kalamazoo Wings, Toledo Walleye and Wheeling Nailers

South Division
Florida Everblades, Greenville, Gwinnett Gladiators and South Carolina Stingrays

Western Conference (formerly National Conference)

Mountain Division (formerly West Division)
Alaska Aces, Idaho Steelheads, Utah Grizzlies and Victoria Salmon Kings

Pacific Division
Bakersfield Condors, Las Vegas Wranglers, Ontario Reign and Stockton Thunder

2010-11 Schedule Released

June 9, 2010

(PR) Trenton, NJ, June 8, 2010 — The ECHL’s Trenton Devils today announced their schedule for the 2010-11 regular season.

The 12th season of hockey in New Jersey’s capital city begins Saturday, October 16 at Trenton’s Sun National Bank Center with a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Reading Royals. The season-opening weekend continues against Reading with a 4:00 p.m. game on Sunday.

The Devils will host 36 contests at Sun National Bank Center, with the puck dropping at 7:00 p.m. for games Monday through Saturday, and 4:00 p.m. for Sunday matchups. Three exceptions include Sunday, December 26 vs. Florida at 5:00 p.m., Sunday, February 6 vs. Reading at 1:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 26 vs. Gwinnett at 7:30 p.m.

Of the 36 home dates, 25 are weekend games, including seven Fridays, ten Saturdays, and eight Sundays. The nine midweek matchups take place on seven Wednesdays and two Thursdays.

The Devils begin a holiday season filled with home games the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 27 and 28. Sun National Bank Center also hosts a game the Sundayafter Christmas, as well as games on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The first ever regular-season meeting with Alaska highlights Trenton’s only home matchup with a National Conference team. Trenton last faced the Aces in the 2005 postseason, clinching a trip to the Kelly Cup Finals with a 2-0 Game 7 victory in Anchorage. Trenton will host nine ofthe ten other American Conference teams.

The Devils will visit nine of ten American Conference teams, including two venues for the Wheeling Nailers. Of the seven road games against the Nailers, four will take place at the Cambria Country War Memorial, the former home of the Johnstown Chiefs. The Johnstown franchise has relocated to Greenville, SC for 2010-11, marking the ECHL’s return to the city after a five year absence. The Devils visit Greenville Friday, March 4.

The most familiar opponents for Trenton will be Reading and Elmira, meeting each division rival 16 times, 8 at home and 8 away. The Devils won the season series with Elmira, the East Division champs, and managed nine points against Reading, the American Conference runner-up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010 — 7:00 PM Reading
Sunday, October 17, 2010 — 4:00 PM Reading
Saturday, October 23, 2010 — 7:35 PM at Wheeling (In Johnstown)
Sunday, October 24, 2010 — 5:05 PM at Wheeling
Thursday, October 28, 2010 — 7:00 PM Gwinnett
Friday, October 29, 2010 — 7:00 PM Gwinnett
Friday, November 5, 2010 — 7:00 PM Cincinnati
Friday, November 12, 2010 — 7:00 PM at Wheeling (In Johnstown)
Saturday, November 13, 2010 — 7:35 PM at Elmira
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 — 7:00 PM Reading
Friday, November 19, 2010 — 7:05 PM at Reading
Saturday, November 20, 2010 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 — 7:30 PM at Florida
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 — 7:30 PM at Florida
Saturday, November 27, 2010 — 7:00 PM Alaska
Sunday, November 28, 2010 — 4:00 PM Cincinnati
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 — 7:00 PM at Toledo
Thursday, December 2, 2010 — 7:05 PM at Wheeling
Saturday, December 4, 2010 — 7:00 PM Reading
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Friday, December 10, 2010 — 7:35 PM at Elmira
Saturday, December 11, 2010 — 7:35 PM at Elmira
Sunday, December 12, 2010 — 7:00 PM South Carolina
Friday, December 17, 2010 — 7:35 PM at Elmira
Sunday, December 19, 2010 — 4:00 PM Toledo
Sunday, December 26, 2010 — 5:00 PM Reading
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Friday, December 31, 2010 — 5:00 PM Florida
Saturday, January 1, 2011 — 7:00 PM Florida
Friday, January 7, 2011 — 7:05 PM at South Carolina
Saturday, January 8, 2011 — 7:05 PM at South Carolina
Sunday, January 9, 2011 — 4:00 PM at South Carolina
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 — 7:00 PM Wheeling
Friday, January 14, 2011 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Saturday, January 15, 2011 — 7:00 PM Toledo
Monday, January 17, 2011 — 1:05 PM at Reading
Friday, January 21, 2011 — 7:35 PM at Wheeling (In Johnstown)
Saturday, January 22, 2011 — 7:00 PM Wheeling
Sunday, January 23, 2011 — 7:00 PM Wheeling
Friday, January 28, 2011 — 7:00 PM at Toledo
Saturday, January 29, 2011 — 7:35 PM at Wheeling
Sunday, January 30, 2011 — 5:05 PM at Wheeling (In Johnstown)
Friday, February 4, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Reading
Saturday, February 5, 2011 — 7:00 PM Reading
Sunday, February 6, 2011 — 1:00 PM Reading
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 — 7:00 PM Kalamazoo
Thursday, February 10, 2011 — 7:00 PM Kalamazoo
Saturday, February 12, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Reading
Sunday, February 13, 2011 — 5:05 AM at Reading
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Elmira
Friday, February 18, 2011 — 7:35 PM at Elmira
Saturday, February 19, 2011 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Sunday, February 20, 2011 — 7:00 PM Wheeling
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Reading
Friday, February 25, 2011 — 7:00 PM Gwinnett
Saturday, February 26, 2011 — 7:30 PM Gwinnett
Sunday, February 27, 2011 — 4:05 PM at Elmira
Friday, March 4, 2011 — 7:00 PM at Greenville
Saturday, March 5, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Gwinnett
Sunday, March 6, 2011 — 4:05 PM at Gwinnett
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Reading
Friday, March 11, 2011 — 7:00 PM Toledo
Sunday, March 13, 2011 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Friday, March 18, 2011 — 7:30 PM at Kalamazoo
Saturday, March 19, 2011 — 7:00 PM at Toledo
Sunday, March 20, 2011 — 4:00 PM at Toledo
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Elmira
Friday, March 25, 2011 — 7:00 PM Kalamazoo
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 — 7:00 PM Elmira
Friday, April 1, 2011 — 7:00 PM Reading
Saturday, April 2, 2011 — 7:05 PM at Reading