Patrick Wellar...welcome back!
Mathieu Perreault...welcome back (maybe)!
Graham Mink...welcome back!!
See...lots of roster moves happening over the last couple of days.
Let's start with the 2 biggest names on the list...
Graham Mink signed a one year, AHL only deal earlier today that will bring him back to the Chocolate and White for 2011-12. Last season Minker played for Peoria where he recorded 24 goals and 26 assists in 70 games. This will be Minker's 3rd go around in a Bears jersey. And the other two seasons weren't too bad for the Bears...they won the Calder Cup both times!! (05-06 and 08-09 for those of you who don't remember).
This signing surprises me a great deal due to the already loaded veteran roster Hershey has. With Mink in the fold there are now 7 veterans on the roster and only 6 can skate per night. That means, barring injuries or callups, one of Mink, Bourque, Aucoin, Kane, Richmond, and Potulny will be sitting each night. (Greentree is in the 260-320 game threshold so he will join the other 5 vets each night without problem).
Maybe the Bears/Caps expect Bourque to make the big club out of camp...I don't know. Either way it could create some animosity/locker room issues if one of these guys is sitting every night. Many times this kind of scenario works itself out with injuries and recalls but there is potential for a problem now.
Still love having Minker back though!!!
Next up, Mathieu Pearreault signed a one year, two way contract earlier today as well. Last season he split his time between Hershey and Washington scoring a combined 18 goals and adding 31 assists in 69 combined games. That included 11 goals and 24 assists in Hershey in only 34 games.
While Perry is obviously hoping to make the Capitals out of camp most expectations are that he will come to Hershey for the majority of the season. But he will definitely be one of the last cut and one of the first call ups IF he ends up in Hershey. I don't think there are too many people that doubt his ability but his consistency at the NHL level has been lacking in his recent call-ups. The Caps would love to see him come to camp and show he can be consistent but even then, with all the new talent and organizational depth at center, I think it will be difficult for him to make the big club out of camp.
Patrick Wellar was resigned by the Bears for the upcoming season and is a welcome addition to a lineup that could use a little muscle and intimidation. He has developed into a very reliable AHL defenseman over the past couple of years.
Now to the newcomers...
Julien Brouillette (I already hate typing the name) signed a one year, AHL contract for 2011-12 with Hershey. He comes over from the Lake Erie Monsters, to join his former teammate Matthew Ford, after a successful 2010-11 campaign in which the defenseman recorded 2 goals and 15 assists in 49 games while compiling a +/- rating of +17. He also played 1 game with Charlotte and 25 in the ECHL where he collected 11 goals and 12 assists. He brings some offensive upside to the position. I suspect he will fill a role like Johann Kroll or Dylan Yeo from last season...a split between Hershey and South Carolina depending on injuries and recalls.
Christian Hanson, son of Slap Shot actor Dave Hanson, signed a one year, two way contract with the Capitals/Bears and is expected to compete in Caps camp before finding a role in Hershey for the season. He spent most of last season in Toronto with the Marlies, recording 13 goals and 21 assists in 58 games. He also saw 6 games with the Maple Leafs last season. He is a big kid, standing 6'4" and weighing 228 lbs so hopefully he likes to park himself in front of the net and get the "cheap" goals.
So there you have it...5 roster additions (potentially depending on Perry) with more to surely come.