Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hockey links: Cups running over

Even though it's the offseason, a pretty decent link roundup today.
Updated with a couple of new links Wednesday evening.
  • The ECHL offseason began Monday, and teams have begun the process of re-signing their players. Orlando has inked five -- including two new players. Fort Wayne discusses its offseason plans. A look at the teams' end-of-season rosters is here. There are two big dates to look for -- one was Monday, the other is June 30. After that date, all players not signed or extended qualifying offers by their ECHL teams are free agents.
  • The ECHL league meetings are this weekend in Las Vegas. The major item on the agenda is the league alignment and playoff structure now that the Eastern Conference has 14 teams and the Western Conference has seven. Some rules changes could also be proposed/enacted, especially with the NHL making some minor tweaks to the game, especially with regards to faceoff procedure. The ECHL and NHL rulebooks are very similar, with the most notable difference being the ECHL has a five-round shootout as opposed to the NHL's three rounds.
  • In other ECHL news, the Nashville Predators re-upped their affiliation with Cincinnati. The Predators and Florida Panthers shared an affiliation with the Eastern Conference Champion Cyclones this year. 
  • The AHL's Texas Stars (Dallas affiliate) won the Calder Cup on Tuesday with their third straight overtime victory. Patrick Nemeth was the series hero with the OT winner in Game 5 to clinch the best-of-7 4-1. Nine Stars were ECHL alumni.
  • Speaking of championships, Adam Gretz has done an interesting breakdown of recent Stanley Cup champions and the qualities they share. Most important? Possess the puck.
  • Led by coach Darryl Sutter, the Kings won their second Stanley Cup in three years last Friday. The "dynasty" word is being thrown around a lot? ESPN's Pierre LeBrun asks if they're a dynasty in the making. Yahoo's Harrison Mooney says no, they're not a dynasty
  • Looking ahead to next weekend's NHL Draft, the Blackhawks look at their 27th pick. In addition, five former Indiana Ice players -- Josh Jacobs, Ryan Mantha, Blake Siebenaler, Rinat Valiev and Mitch Slattery -- are draft prospects and could hear their name called next weekend. 
  • Speaking of the Blackhawks, TSN takes a look at their off-season gameplan & roster. 
  • Former Indianapolis player news: ex-Checker Bruce Affleck has a new job in the St. Louis Blues' front office. The Hrkac Circus is going to the USHL - former IHL Ice scorer Tony Hrkac is a Madison Capitols assistant coach. THN has a nice piece on Blake Geoffrion, whose brother Sebastien played for the 2009 Clark Cup champion Ice. 
  • And a fun one to cap things off: THN's Rory Boylen takes a look at 9 of his favorite "obscure" players. Two are former IHL Ice players -- Chris Terreri and Sergei Krivokrasov. 

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