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.


Farm Report Podcast 04.12.15

The SPHL season is winding down, as the Finals are set. The road between Wheeling and Hamilton has been a well traveled path, while Scooter Vaughan is taking an alternative route to success in his first AHL season. Columbus Cottonmouths’ coach Jerome Bechard talks about his team’s season as a whole, while more yearly awards were given out. All that, the ECHL playoff bracket, news and notes, plus We Hardly Knew Ye.


Farm Report Podcast– 03.08.15

A crazy end to the week has Scotty talking about the possible AHL moves between Hamilton, St. John’s, and Winnipeg (not to mention Bridgeport) that will shake up the already shook AHL alignment. Happier news from Hamilton, as Shane Bakker is a great feel-good story for the Bulldogs and psych students everywhere. Jason Shaya is a name that you may only know from the broadcast booth, but he has quite the on-ice resume as well. Monthly awards happened, plus weekly awards, new leases, new owners, and of course We Hardly Knew Ye


The Weekend That Was: February 20th-22nd



-With three big wins, the Worcester Sharks moved themselves into a playoff position in their last season at the DCU Center. Willie Coetzee had a goal a game this weekend, with Travis Oleksuk and Bryan Lerg adding three assists on the weekend. Aside from Coetzee, Trevor Parkes added two goals on the weekend with eight other Sharks adding a goal, showing the scoring was being spread around. Aaron Dell had two wins and a shutout, with Troy Grosenick getting the third win. The Sharks are two points up on 8th place Providence and five points up on 9th place Portland and only two points back of Springfield for 6th.

-Despite their quick start, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers dropped two more games this weekend– extending their losing streak to six and putting them in last place of the Eastern Conference. Granted, they’ve dropped their last three games by a goal apiece, it still doesn’t calm a team who was on top of the East in the early going. Granted their game Saturday was a spirited affair with the Hershey Bears, seeing goalie Kevin Poulin getting thrown out and leaving David Leggio to get the loss in that game. While they have shown some fight on the ice and put up some goal support; the Sound Tigers defense is the issue and it could be on the blueline and goaltending for the downfall when all is said and done.




-The Toledo Walleye are good….and they showed it this weekend allowing only one goal in three games while putting up 20 including a 12-0 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators Sunday. Jeff Lerg had two wins and let up the lone goal, while Neil Conway was able to be perfect in his game Saturday. Scoring was plentiful with Shane Berschbach and Anthony Luciani each having two goals and six assists, Alden Hirschfeld had two goals and five assists, and Justin Mercier put up four goals and two assists. With a goal-differential of +79, the Walleye have gotten it done on both ends of the ice as they are second to the Allen Americans in goals for and 1st in the ECHL for fewest goals given up.

-One of the better races to look at will be for that 4th and final spot in the Central Division, as the Rapid City Rush and Wichita Thunder are tied for that final spot, and with Rapid City’s two wins and Wichita’s two losses this weekend– it seems both teams are going to need every point they can muster going into the final weeks. There will be a lot of scoreboard watch, however, as these two teams only play once more in the season.




-Thanks to two goals and an assist from Linden Bahm, the Mississippi RiverKings won both their games this weekend, helping them up to 5th spot and only three points out of 2nd place in the SPHL. Paul Ciarelli and Andrew Randazzo added a goal and assist each with Peter Di Salvo putting up his first career shutout on Saturday night against Huntsville. Getting the 2nd spot would give that team a buy into the league semi-finals, which would be a nice jumpstart for the team.

-A team ahead of the RiverKings is the Columbus Cottonmouths, who kept themselves ahead with two wins of their own to keep them in 3rd place. Along with the shootout winner Saturday, Nick Curry added two goals and one assist. Craig Simchuk had a goal and two assists on Saturday, while Andy Willgar and Louis Belisle had a goal and assist on opposite days of the weekend. Both Shannon Szabados and Andrew Loewen got wins, putting Szabados at 10 wins on the seasons and making them the third tandem in the SPHL to have double-digit wins.

Farm Report Podcast 01.04.15

The first Farm Report of the new year will provide the story of how Sebastian Collberg used his time in the ECHL to hone his game and to shake off the rust for injury. Also, what Reverend Michael Bowyer is provide to the Hamilton Bulldogs, how Matt Dumba is dealing with getting passed over for NHL call-ups, how Prescott Valley can get hockey back, and the shuffle in net for the FireAntz. Also, monthly awards, weekly awards, coaching changes, Max Strang’s adventurous week, Dany Heatley’s full-time AHL debut, and how could we forget We Hardly Knew Ye??

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The Weekend That Was: December 26th-28th


GZXQUCZFRZDMKVE.20141202220446Photo by Bill Tenca

-It was a clean sheet weekend for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, as Kevin Poulin and David Leggio had shutouts on Friday and Saturday respectively. Poulin stopped 34 against Providence in a 2-0 win, while Leggio had an easier job on Saturday with 19 saves in a 5-0 romp of the depleted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Poulin didn’t have a chance to celebrate his second shutout of the season, as he was recalled (and started) on Saturday by the New York Islanders. Colin McDonald helped with the offense with two goals and two assists on the weekend, with Sebastian Collberg putting up two goals and an assist of his own.

-On the flip side, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were shutout all this weekend, as were the Hamilton Bulldogs. Of course, as mentioned, the Penguins are dealing with a lot of their regular players being called up to Pittsburgh thanks to the mumps epidemic going on there. Jeff Zatkoff was in net for three goals against and 37 saves in Friday’s loss against Binghamton before he got called up, while Matt Murray made 27 saves in Saturday’s loss against Bridgeport. For the Bulldogs, the mojo was gone from the previous week where they scored seven goals in two games– as Mike Condon let up four goals in the Boxing Day rivalry game against the Toronto Marlies, while Joey MacDonald let up five goals in Saturday’s loss against the Adirondack Flames. Not against the goalies, as the Bulldogs defense let up 67 shots in the two games, coupled with the lack of goal support– which caused a bad weekend after the holiday break.




-With losing their two top goalies in the past few weeks, the Reading Royals were still able to get two wins out of the weekend in a home-and-home with the Elmira Jackals. They did have the services of Connor Knapp for Friday’s 5-2 win on the road, but since he was recalled to Lehigh Valley; Joe Howe was in net for the 4-3 win back in Reading. Matt Hatch was one of the top scorers for the Royals on the weekend with a goal and three assists, while defenseman Jordan Heywood came into the line-up (with Adam Comrie being called up on Saturday) and potted his first two goals of the season in only his eighth game.

-For the first time all season, the Allen Americans lost back-to-back games. After a win on Friday at home against the Tulsa Oilers; the Americans lost Saturday to the Wichita Thunder in a shootout, then lost by a goal against Tulsa in Tulsa. However, the offense was still going a bit as Jack Combs added to his league lead in points with six assists over the weekend, while Chad Costello closed the gap with a goal and four assists over the three games.




-Should the Pensacola Ice Flyers want to three-peat as champions in the SPHL, their record has to be better on the road. Pensacola came out with only a split against the SPHL’s last place team in the Huntsville Havoc, losing 6-1 on Friday, but winning 3-2 on Saturday. That drops the Ice Flyers to 5-2-3 on the road compared to their 10-2-1 record at the Pensacola Civic Center. Max Strang was in net for both games and while he is the best choice, the Ice Flyers may have to use Matt Zenzola a little more to give Strang a rest for the playoffs and to prevent injury along the way. Nick McParland was the stand-out offensively this weekend with two goals and an assist in the weekend set.

-Conversely, the Knoxville Ice Bears may want to petition the league to play outside of the Knoxville Civic Coliseum for the rest of their season as they split a home-and-home with the Fayetteville FireAntz, winning the road game and putting their road record to 10-3-1 on the year. The Ice Bears home record is at 4-4-1, but being able to win on the road could help them come playoff time. Berkley Scott was all over the scoresheet with a hat trick on Friday and the lone goal on Saturday for the Ice Bears, as well as an unsuccessful penalty shot. Both games went to OT, with Fayetteville’s Kevin Murdoch playing big in net for the FireAntz stopping 62 of 66 shots he faced during the weekend.

FOHS Farm Report Podcast: 12.07.14

This week in the Farm Report, we’ll talk about Scooter Vaughan’s versatility earning him a deeper role for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Connor Hellebuyck’s learning curve earning him more starts in St. John’s, and Alex Aleardi’s demotion that he’s using as a learning tool to get back into the AHL. Getting back into hockey is only part of Tristan Lysko’s story, as he looks to move up the ladder of minor pro hockey, while the month of November ended with tons of awards, a ceremonial games, and a coach firing. All that, plus We Hardly Knew Ye.

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