Albany Week in Review #1
Devs’ AHL Club starts 9th season
Coaching changes highlighted the off-season activity of the Albany River Rats, who this week began their ninth American Hockey League season, all as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. Bob Carpenter was promoted to head coach of the Albany River Rats, from associate coach. Hired as assistant coaches were Geordie Kinnear, who retired last year from the Rats due to injury and who holds a number of defense records for Albany, and Chris Terreri, recently retired from NHL goaltending, to serve as goaltender coach for the Rats.
Carpenter’s promotion to top bench boss followed two years under the tutelage of John Cunniff, who resumes scouting duties for the Devils after a five-year tenure as Albany coach. Carpenter began his post-NHL playing days as an assistant coach in Albany on August 12, 1999, with a promotion to associate coach the following season.
The former standout centerman who was the first American player ever drafted in the first round (3rd overall in the 1981 entry draft), Carpenter gained notoriety by making the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school senior. He retired from play in 1999, after 728 points (320G; 408A) in 1,178 NHL games.
For a hockey guy new to the coaching business, Carpenter was in the right place at the right time for some on-the-job training. When the Albany River Rats were eliminated in the first round by Rochester in the 2000-2001 Calder Cup playoffs, Carpenter got called up by recently-hired Devils’ coach, Larry Rob Read more»
Admirals’ rookie net-minder Michael Leighton rebounded from a disappointing exhibition appearance in Philadelphia
a week ago which he allowed the Phantoms to score 3 goals against him. Leighton displayed his natural talent
between the pipes turning aside 25 of 26 Springfield shots, he did not look the least beat nervous or shaken as he was appearing in his first professional game.
Last Sunday’s trade of Marty Wilford to the Toronto Maple Leafs left a vacancy in the assistant captain role.
Matt Henderson (LW),Rumun Ndur (D), and Casey Hanknison (RW) each wore an “A” on their sweaters respectfully.
Their is a vacancy for captian as former team captain Aaron Downey is now wearing a Chicago Blackhawks sweater.
It is speculated that Ajay Baines (Center) will take over that role. Baines had a breakout year last season with the Admirals playing
in 73 regular season contests -netting 18 goals, recording 18 assists for an impresive +14 he also spent 92 minutes in the sin bin.
For his achievements on and off the ice Ajay was rewarded with AON/AHL Man of Year Honors
Casey Hankinson, is still recovering from a puck that deflected off his right hand in training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks, he has the injury wrapped up and protected but isn’t expected to miss any ice time.
Rookie’s take center stage:
Goalie Michael Leighton made his first professional debut and it was a memorable one as he picked up his first win in the AHL.
Allowing only 1 goal on 26 Springfield shots. The twenty year old played last seas Read more»