The American Hockey League concluded its 2013-14 season Tuesday night as the Texas Stars defeated the St. John’s IceCaps in overtime for the third straight game of the Calder Cup finals, claiming the championship in five games – the AHL Stars’ first Calder Cup Championship in franchise history.
The Western Conference ran away with most of the AHL team and player honors for the 2013-14 season, with the explosive offense from the Texas Stars overshadowing the league’s annual awards. The defending champion Grand Rapids Griffins also took home some hardware, but can the West keep the most important award – the Calder Cup trophy – in the conference?
The 2014 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs are in mid-swing and there have been plenty of upsets in the Eastern Conference, which saw all three regular season division champions fall in the first round. While the Western Conference might have taken the spotlight winning most of the league’s awards and honors, there are plenty of Eastern Conference players who continue to show they’re ready to take on a larger role with their respective NHL affiliates next season.
At first glance, one might assume that a player who checks in at 6’6” has got to be the tallest player on his team in a league full of teenagers. In fact, at that height, the player is probably always the tallest player in the room, at a restaurant or in a gym.
There is no doubting Ottawa Senators forward prospect and Binghamton Senators' co-leading goal scorer Matt Puempel’s ability to score goals. The three-time 30-goal scorer at the OHL level was Ottawa’s first round pick (24th overall) in 2011 and, as Binghamton head coach Luke Richardson said several times, Puempel is a natural goal scorer.