Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2010-2011 Schedule is here!

Finally the AHL released the 2010-11 schedule. You can find Hershey's entire schedule by clicking on this link. Or head over to the AHL site and find it there.

It is a fairly favorable schedule for the Bears to be honest. There are really only 2 tough road trips (as far as travel is concerned anyways) and multiple home stretches where Hershey is basically at home (save a couple trips to New York) for weeks at a time.

Some thoughts:
  • Hershey starts the season on the road with 3 straight road games beginning in Wilkes Barre on October 9th.
  • There are 15 different 3 in 3 weekends and 5 of those are parts of 4 in 5's. That seems like a lot to me but looking at last years schedule it is actually the same 3 in 3 and one less 4 in 5.
  • Brutal stretch from March 5 to the 13th. In those 9 days Hershey plays 7 games including their longest road stretch of the season, 4 games. That trip in total will be almost 12oo miles on the road and will go from Hershey (2 home games) to Portland, Worcester, Hartford, and Adirondack before returning to Hershey for 2 more home games.
  • Another tough road stretch...February 9 to the 19th. It begins in Manchester on a Wednesday, heads to Providence on Friday, back in Hershey on Saturday, Wilkes Barre on Sunday, to Norfolk on Tuesday, Rochester on Friday before returning to Hershey for Saturday/Sunday home games.
On the good side...
  • 2 nice home stretches: January 25 thru February 6 will see Hershey play 8 home games (including 4 straight) with 3 short road trips to New York thrown in. That stretch also includes the AHL All Star game in Hershey.
  • The other is over Christmas...December 18 to January 2nd where they get 6 at home, including another 4 straight, with only a trip to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins at the new arena on the 30th thrown into the mix.
  • Unlike last year Hershey finishes the season at home with 6 of their last 10 games in Hershey.
  • The 2 games against Rochester (10/10 and 10/16) will feature throw back uniforms from way back. That will be cool.
And in case you have forgotten...Hershey will host the 2010-11 AHL All Star game and Festivities on January 30-31. This years game finally sees a return to the East vs West format instead of the previously used Canada vs World.

Definitely should be an exciting season. Rookie camp opens in the next few weeks in Washington.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Current Roster

As of today (August 2) this is what Hershey's roster COULD look like come October.


Braden Holtby
Dany Sabourin

Todd Ford
Jared DeMichiel

*players in bold should start season in Hershey*

This was an easy position to figure out. Ford will likely be the first recall option with DeMichiel also getting some time in Hershey potentially.


Sean Collins
Brian Fahey
Joe Finley

Josh Godfrey
Patrick McNeill
Zach Miscovic

Dustin Stevenson
Johan Kroll
Dylan Yeo
Patrick Wellar
Lawrence Nycholat

*players in bold are those I expect to start the season in Hershey*

That is 11 defensemen. 4 of them (Kroll, Yeo, Wellar, Nycholat) are on AHL only deals. I would expect at least 8 to be full time in Hershey this season. Obviously though with injuries and call ups all of these players are likely to see some time in Hershey.

The one name that many expected (and maybe still expect) to see on the list is Bryan Helmer. I have not heard anything about him resigning or retiring as of yet. He seemed interested in returning for another season in postseason interviews but who knows. There is still potential for him to come back but he won't play as much as he did the past seasons.


Keith Aucoin
Jay Beagle

Francois Bouchard

Trevor Bruess
Andrew Gordon
Kyle Greentree
Anton Gustafsson

Jake Hauswirth
Andrew Joudrey
Dmitri Kugryshev
Mathieu Perreault
Steve Pinizzotto

Brian Willsie

Boyd Kane
Nikita Kashirsky
Grant McNeill
Joel Rechlicz
Ashton Rome

*players in bold are players I expect to see in Hershey immediately*

That is 18 forwards, 5 of which (last 5 on there) are on AHL only deals. With all the moves being made in Washington I highly doubt any of these players will make the Caps roster out of camp. But if some do it would likely to be Beagle or Willsie as they can both be contributors on multiple lines. Gordon could too but I think they would rather see him score in the AHL for another year.

Of those 18 only 2 are officially listed as left wings, Greentree and Kane. Right wing and center are both stacked with talent while there is lots of other potential on the left side with guys like Hauswirth, Bruess, and Pinner listed simply as 'Forwards'.

Predicting lines is almost impossible at this stage but unless one of them makes the Caps I would be willing to put money on a Greentree, Coiner, Gordon top line.

There will probably be a few more signings before the summer is out. But if not then this is what Hershey will enter the season with. In all honesty I think this roster has just as much potential as last years did. The main difference is last years team was less potential and more actual production. Guys like Giroux, Wilson, Helmer, Alzner, and Carlson were known producers. You didn't have to worry about them.

This year though guys like Gustafsson, Kugryshev, and Hauswirth have tons of potential but haven't proven it as of yet. But there are still the solid production guys too...Greentree and Willsie join the team while Coiner and Gordon are still there.

It is going to be another great season for the Hershey Bears and their fans.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It has been a while...

July was a busy month for me and the Bears with lots of signings and even a minor trade.

So let's get caught up...

~ Hershey signed 2 goalies for the upcoming season. Jared DeMichiel and Todd Ford will likely be suiting up in South Carolina for much of the coming season. Both players add depth in case of injury or call up to Hershey's goaltenders.

Ford spent much of 09-10 in South Carolina racking up an 18-7-2 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.79 gaa in 29 games. He also played 15 games in the AHL for Manitoba and Texas.

DiMichiel just finished up his college career at R.I.T. where he started 38 games last year posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.09 goals against average while going 27-10-1 for the year.

~Elsewhere Hershey officially added Ashton Rome to the 2010-11 roster. This deal was first reported back in May but apparently only became official this past month. Rome played in 26 games for the Bears this past season, recording 5 goals and 3 assists in those games. Mainly seen as a third or fourth line player he showed a willingness to get his nose dirty and play a very physical game.

~ Boyd Kane will return for another season in Hershey as well. Kane recorded a career high in goals last season with 24 while adding a significant veteran presence to the team. He has played 2 seasons in Hershey, winning Calder Cups in both 05-06 and last season.

~ Dylan Yeo resigned with Hershey for 2010-11 as well. Yeo spent much of last season playing for South Carolina where he recorded 14 goals and 16 assists in 49 games there. Not too bad for a defenseman. He did appear in 6 games for the Bears including 2 in the playoffs.

~ Joel Rechlicz will also be joining the Bears this season. The 6'4" 220lb right wing is an enforcer type player. He played last season for Bridgeport and the NY Islanders collecting a combined 155 penalty minutes in 27 games between the two leagues.

~ Not sure if I mentioned this but forward Nikita Kashirsky was also signed by the Bears for the 2010-11 season. He spent most of 09-10 in South Carolina, recording 19 goals and 16 assists in 39 games for the Stingrays. He also played in 25 games in the AHL for Manitoba and Springfield.

~ Also of note was a recent trade. Stefan Della Rovere was traded to the St. Louis Blues by the Capitals in exchange for tough guy D.J. King. Rovere was always going to play the pest role that Pinizzotto plays right now which made him expendable in the eyes of the organization.

I think I got everything. If I forgot anyone in this post or previous posts please let me know in the comments section.