How Long For Halak in Bridgeport??

NHL: DEC 06 Rangers at Islanders

Will Jaroslav Halak be long for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers??

That’s a question that should be the main focal point for the Islanders goalie after being demoted to the AHL following a 6-8-5 start which saw him get pulled in three of his last 11 starts. With a GAA over three and a .904 save percentage, it’s definitely a time for Halak to get some retooling. However, it seems that the Islanders went for a different approach other than putting him on IR and then getting him some “rehab” starts in Bridgeport– they went full waiver wire-to-AHL with him.

While it was something that was needed, the question is how professional will Halak be about the demotion and furthermore, how will his agent Allan Walsh advise Halak for the future of his client.

Walsh, who is no stranger to rattling the cages of management, has been very outspoken about how Halak has been treated in the three-goalie system the Islanders have had with Halak, Thomas Greiss, and J-F Berube. You would think that it would challenge Halak more and make him better…but apparently, it’s not the case. Walsh wanted a trade for Halak, which he hasn’t gotten, and now we’re at this point.

You may remember what happened last time a client of Walsh was demoted to the AHL when the agent clearly didn’t think he needed to be demoted– that’s right, Jonathan Drouin left his AHL team and then was suspended by the Tampa Bay Lightning for a time while they figured things out. In Drouin’s case– he’s a young talent who the Bolts wanted to keep around, but felt he needed to work on the finer things of his game in the AHL. Walsh wanted a trade. The Bolts won out because Drouin is still with the team and being an impact player.

Right now, the question is whether Halak will report to Bridgeport and whether or not the Sound Tigers want any kind of bad attitude in their locker room when this is a team who has lost eight of their last ten games and need to find some kind of spark to stay within striking distance of the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

Another factor is how long is it before Walsh goes and pulls something like he did with Drouin and have Halak play a little bit and then leave the team in order to not risk having his client hurt, thus hurting any trade value. That, or how long will it be before the Halak camp suggests a loan to Europe for the rest of the season. With Walsh at the helm, it’s anyone’s guess what could come next in this situation.

If Halak wants to get back to the NHL this year and is willing to work with the demotion, it could give the Sound Tigers a nice little boost and allow them to steal some games. It also works two-fold, as it will show other teams that Halak is going in with a good attitude and is willing to be a team-player when times get tough. That said, with one more year remaining on his contract, I’m sure that Halak will be tough to move via trade and make the Islanders hope he’s picked up in the Expansion Draft.


Media Plans for 2017

In the words of Staind….it’s been a while. I’m sorry for getting that earworm stuck in your head.

But for me, there has been quite the stalling for me when it comes to writing due to a lot of things in real life that have gotten in the way. Some of which I can talk of (writer’s block, work being demanding) and some of which I can’t. The point is that I haven’t written anything meaningful in three months and haven’t produced a minor league specific podcast in about six. However, that’s all going to change in the upcoming new year.

First, I’d like to thank Joe Rozycki and Matt Harding of for their help and patience during my downtime, as they were the lead guys of the place I migrated my writing to and I really haven’t been pulling the weight I used to. Their understanding helped a ton in this process.

In any case, I’ve made a plan for the upcoming year in hopes that it’ll happen since it’s out there in the ethos. In no particular order, here’s what’s up:

  • Face Off Hockey Show will have no change on my end and continue rolling. However, we’ll be adding things to our podcast feed, as I’ll go ahead and explain later on.
  • The Farm Report blog will be brought out of its coma and used as rehabbing stint for my stuff over at The Sin Bin. If there’s something I think is worthy enough for The Sin Bin, I’ll broadcast it over there. However, since it’ll be more musings to start, I’ll save the clutter of the actual solid pieces the team over there have been producing to get my stuff together.
  • The Farm Report podcast will start up in mid/late January and be put on the FOHS Network in its usual weekend spot.
  • The biggest news: NEW PODCAST!!!! Starting in that same mid/late January area, The Soderstrom Bubble (@SdrstromBubble on Twitter) will debut on the FOHS Network. Jen Conway (@NHLHistorygirl) will be the co-hosting with me on this delve into retro hockey, current hockey, book reviews, ¬†and whatever randomness we think about. It should be fun for both of us.

And that’s that. Hopefully, you all will come along with me on this journey and whatever comes of it should be fun and somewhat exciting. Here’s to 2017 because….hell, why not??

































First Month in the Sin Bin


So, it’s been a month since I joined and it’s been pretty solid overall. Here’s what you may have been missing if you haven’t checked it out yet.

-The Stockton Heat not only are going through a change on the ice in their league play, but also off the ice in renovations to get the Stockton Arena up to AHL caliber.

-The AHL schedule was announced and boy howdy, it’s as bad as you think it was and it will cause a plenty of confusion with math and stuff to determine the playoffs.

-With the possibility of expansion in the NHL, it means the AHL and ECHL will need expansion as well to have a “One Team, One Affiliation” gimmick going. Hat Trick Consultants are looking at different markets to see what is actually viable.

-And, it’s two weeks– so the podcast is up and going.

It’s been a great time and the people there have been super supportive and we’ve been noticed– with is the main goal. Hope you keep coming along for the journey.

Onward and Upward


On Wednesday, I was happy to accept a spot with The Sin Bin, a blog for minor league hockey. Joe and Matthew over there have been gracious enough to have me as a writer there and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. I’ve interacted with them on Twitter and have admire they and their staff have provide to the minor league hockey landscape that it looks like it’ll be a solid fit over there.

So, what that mean for this place here?? The short answer is I don’t know.

However, the long answer will be a little bit more clear. Basically, I’ll be using this space as landing spot for the work I’m doing over there and I’ll be continue to do a weekly round-up of news that I won’t be doing over there and maybe some other stuff here and there. We’ll see how it all pans out, but basically this will be mostly use for linking to my stuff over there. Podcast stuff and the Weekend That Was will be here, as will maybe my affiliation breakdown. It’s all still fresh, so no clue what will come of it– but we’ll play it all by ear.

Thanks to all the people who have watched this space and hopefully you’ll follow me over to The Sin Bin with all the shameless plugging I’ll be doing. This is a great chance for me to expand and my hope is you will be there to share in the enjoyment.

Until then, take care of yourself and someone else.

Farm Report Podcast– 07.05.15

After some time off, Scotty Wazz is back to give you the news that happened since he was gone– like all the coaching changes in the AHL and ECHL. Speaking of change– Lamar Hunt, Jr. has some thoughts on the changes he’s made since taking over the Missouri Mavericks. More change is happening thanks to winning for the cities of Toledo, Utica, Manchester, and Rockford; while there are a lot of names changing in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s media guide next season. But nothing ever changes in the Federal Hockey League, as it is still a gongshow. All that, a little news and notes, and We Hardly Knew Ye.


Coaching Carousel in the AHL


With the coaching jobs getting less and less in the minor league hockey, the one constant remains– Roy Sommer will be coaching the San Jose Barracuda, putting his tenure with the Sharks’ AHL coach at 18 seasons, which has carried him through Kentucky, Cleveland, and Worcester. Outside of that, the trend with the most recent hirings by AHL teams is that of former NHL coaches who weren’t able to keep afloat in the NHL by their own doing or circumstances beyond their control.

The Grand Rapids Griffins got the top name out there in Todd Nelson, who gets back into the AHL after a subpar first outing in Edmonton; which is something no one could have salvaged. Nelson did the smart thing and decided to bail out of Edmonton with their sweeping changes to head to the Grand Rapids side, who should fit Nelson’s style perfectly. With the Oklahoma City Barons, however, Nelson was stellar with a 176-111-46 over four-plus seasons and if given a better goaltender and defense, maybe have been able to stick with Edmonton. However, with Grand Rapids having stellar prospects in their line-up already, it’s a matter of Nelson not getting too far off course from what the Griffins already have and get back to his winning ways in the AHL.

After surprisingly letting go their entire coaching staff, the Arizona Coyotes will start with a new coach in their new affiliation in Springfield, as Ron Rolston will take the helm there. Rolston, who was last seen behind the bench of the Buffalo Sabres– but only for 20 games, gets back the AHL after three seasons away. From 2011 until 2013, Rolston was behind the bench of the Rochester Americans, where he led them to a 79-55-18 record during that time. However, Rolston hasn’t really got himself into a head coaching style. Even with his short stint as the Sabres coach, Rolston is better regarded as an assistant, as he went through the college ranks as one and only has 206 head coaching games to his resume. It will be interesting to see how much rope the Coyotes give Rolston in developing their young stars.

In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Mike Sullivan will be taking over for John Hynes— who departed for the New Jersey Devils. Sullivan, who was a player development coach with the Chicago Blackhawks this season, will return behind the bench in the head gig for the first time since 2006 when he coached the Boston Bruins. However, Sullivan has been behind the bench as an assistant in New York, Tampa Bay, and Vancouver. The AHL is where Sullivan had a great year with the 2002-03 Providence Bruins (41-17-9-4), which was all Boston needed to promote him to the NHL. Sullivan does have tough shoes to fill, as Hynes was a stalwart for the Baby Pens and led them to five straight playoff appearances and two conference finals. Whether or not Sullivan can revive his magic that he had back in 2002-03 remains to be seen, but odds are he will have to make sure this transition goes off without a hitch, lest he finds himself back looking for another job.

There are a few jobs in the AHL left, with Lehigh Valley having an opening with the exit of Terry Murray to Buffalo, as well as the other shuffling affiliated teams and a couple of the California teams– but I wouldn’t expect much out of those except a change of address for the AHL coaches in the previous markets moving to their new locale. As per usual in minor league hockey, the minute the season ends; the next season inevitably begins. No clue what that means– just needed something to end it out and it failed horribly.

Farm Report Podcast: 06.15.15

In the last weekly podcast for the season, Scotty wraps up the playoffs in all their forms. Former Ontario Reign president Justin Kemp breaks his silence and talks about how he knew Ontario would host AHL hockey some day. Paul Bissonnette played a key role in the mentoring of Adrian Kempe in his first venture into North American hockey. Derek Hulak hasn’t forgotten about his friends, especially Cody Smuk. All that plus, News and News and We Hardly Knew Ye.