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Stay-at-home defenceman? IceCaps fans are glad Jason DeSantis didn’t stay home


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Program Staff President Danny Williams Chief Operating Officer Glenn Stanford Editor Don Power Director of Communications Contributing writers Chris Doyle Communications Coordinator Brian Rogers Broadcaster Advertising Rob Mullowney Vice-President of Operations 709.576.6329 Media Operations 709.576.2648 (office) 709.576.6546 (fax) Mailing address St. John’s IceCaps 100 New Gower Street Suite 801 Cabot Place St. John’s, NL A1C 6K3 Publisher Faces Sports A division of Nichent Networks Director, Production Kyle Turk Creative/Art Director Josh Turk

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

DAVID A. ANDREWS

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

American Hockey League

One Monarch Place – Springfield, MA 01144 Phone: (413) 781-2030 Fax: (413) 733-4767

Dear Fans, It is my great pleasure to welcome you to another exciting season of American Hockey League action. We are proud to be entering our 76th season of continuous play, bringing a tradition of excellence and an entertaining, physical and highly skilled level of play to more than 6 million hockey fans across North America annually. Once again in 2011-12, there are 30 teams competing for the historic Calder Cup championship and all 30 National Hockey League clubs are developing their top prospects and draft picks in the AHL. Last season more than 200 first- and second-round NHL draft picks competed in the American Hockey League, and 338 players took the ice in both the AHL and the NHL. This season brings a new look to the AHL landscape as we welcome the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, back to the league, with the St. John’s IceCaps set to take the ice at Mile One Centre for their inaugural campaign as the top affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. We continue to be proud of our tradition of developing the best hockey talent in the world, with over 87 percent of today’s NHL players, coaches and officials having honed their skills in the American Hockey League, including reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas and 2011 NHL MVP Corey Perry. Our loyal and passionate fans through the years have enjoyed cheering for more than 100 future Hockey Hall of Famers, and have rooted for more than 100 Calder Cup champions who would go on to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup as well. The Binghamton Senators enter this season as the defending Calder Cup champions after capturing the city’s first-ever AHL title last June. This year’s Senators are looking to hold off 29 other teams whose ultimate goal will also be the 2012 Calder Cup championship. We invite fans from across the league to join us at the world-famous Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on January 29 and 30 for our annual celebration of AHL excellence, the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic -- featuring the Skills Competition, All-Star Game and AHL Hall of Fame inductions. On behalf of all of our teams, thank you again for your continuing support and I wish you the utmost enjoyment in following your club through what is sure to be another terrific season. Sincerely,

David A. Andrews President & Chief Executive Officer American Hockey League


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IceCaps Action Shots

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

A family affair By Don Power Director of Communications

Jeff Parsons Photography

.............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Jason DeSantis performs superbly as he deals with a new team, new franchise and an ailing mother n July 2011, Jason DeSantis

I

didn’t think he’d play hockey this season. Without a contract after finishing last year with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, DeSantis received terrible news at home: His mother, Carol, had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Suddenly the 24-year-old Michigan native was at a crossroads. He could sign somewhere as a free agent and continue his pro career, or he could stay home with his ailing mother and give up on hockey – at least for one season. ”It was definitely a big decision once I found that out,” DeSantis said of his mother’s diagnosis. ”Obviously I love hockey, but family is more important to me. At that time when all that was going on in July, I was talking to some teams but I really didn’t have any interest in signing anything because I didn’t know what it was going to be like. I thought

maybe I’d stay at home. I gave it some thought, but my mom would never want me to not do what I love.” It was an agonizing time, but eventually, with the support of his parents, he signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets, and was assigned to their new farm team, the St. John’s IceCaps. The young defenceman was excited again. Staying in touch daily with his mother, who was going through rounds of chemotherapy, the Ohio State University graduate could focus on the game he loved. He felt fit, enjoyed his new surroundings and was looking forward to a productive season with the brand new franchise. But then October rolled around, and DeSantis found himself in the press box to start the season. For the IceCaps’ first five games, DeSantis watched, practised hard and bided his time. Any hockey player will tell you sitting out is not enjoyable and tests your patience at the best of times. Sitting out when your mother is home battling cancer is exponentially more difficult. At a time when DeSantis felt he should be supporting his mother through her difficulties, the tables were actually turned, and it was Carol DeSantis doing the comforting. ”Sitting in the stands is not fun at all,” DeSantis agreed. ”I just had to be patient. It’s the only thing that got me through. I had a lot of support, with my family and a lot of people back home. That helps a lot because no one has fun from sitting up top watching. ”It’s definitely tough sitting, and it’s frustrating not playing, but thinking I could be back home with my family and spending more time with my mom, that made it difficult. I’d much rather be sitting home with my family, spending time there, than watching the games from the stands. ”That’s the great thing about having my parents and their support. If it wasn’t for them saying stuff like that – ‘go play hockey’ – then I might not be playing right now.” Patience and perseverance paid off for the young defenceman though. After sitting five games, DeSantis played


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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his first IceCaps game Oct. 22 against Bridgeport, picking up a pair of assists. The next four games, however, he found himself back upstairs watching with the other scratches. Finally, on Nov. 1, DeSantis got back in the lineup, and he’s been one of the team’s top players ever since, recording 19 points in the 21 games he’s played. DeSantis loves St. John’s, the arena, the fans and the atmosphere during the games. ”You’re frustrated – and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t get frustrated by that,” he said, ”but you have to realize it. Being a fourth year in the AHL, it’s something you take in and do whatever you can to get in the lineup. I could have had a bad attitude and didn’t care but I just kept working hard every day and I think that’s what matters the most. ”You could be sitting out and if you get thrown in the lineup that might be one of the only chances you’ll get, so you have to take advantage of it. There’s a lot of pressure in that too. You’ve got to be prepared. It is pro hockey, so you have to hold yourself accountable.” His second family – teammates and .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

I tried to put a picture in my head for what it was going to be like (playing for IceCaps), but I didn’t expect it to be this crazy. I think we have the best fans in the league....I just love it.


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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ management – have supported him fully as he deals with the struggle at home, and given DeSantis a new appreciation for the game and a brand new appreciation for a city 3,000 kilometres from home. ”I know, but I’m glad I’m here though,” he said. ”I tried to put a picture in my head for what it was going to be like, but I didn’t expect it to be this crazy. I think we have the best fans in the league. They support us, selling out every night – you don’t get that in the AHL. I just love it. That’s why I was dying to get in the lineup. I was watching the guys play at home, it’s awesome. ”I heard a lot of things this summer about the new team and the excitement surrounding it. The whole experi-

ence has been great.” Meanwhile, back in Oxford, MI, Carol and Doug DeSantis continue their battle, and listen to their son’s games online. It’s an outlet that provides both mother and son a break from the daily grind of her illness. ”I think about her every day,” DeSantis said, lowering his head and voice as his thoughts turn to his mother once again. ”It’s always in my head. ”But that’s the thing ever since I played hockey, and especially since I turned pro – it’s just nice to get out there. Even in practice with the guys, you feel like you’re in your own little bubble. You don’t really think about too much, but just play the game. ”I was thinking about not playing this

year, (but) now I think this is a great thing because even though I’m not with my mom, I can still keep in touch with her, see her on the computer, but at the same time I have something else to focus on. ”It’s always in your head and you always think about it. Yeah, I might go through some rough days, but that’s what family is for. ”If we were on the opposite end of the spectrum, losing and things not going well, I think you’d start thinking about that situation and wishing you were at home. I love being home when I’m there, but right now I can’t say enough about St. John’s, the arena and the atmosphere. ”I’m having a lot of fun.”


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

Return of the King Corner Brook native gets royal reception in St. John’s

A

By Don Power Director of Communications

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. s a kid playing minor hockey, Jason King never experienced the kind of reception he now receives in St. John’s. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the jersey he wears now as much as the jersey he wore then. When King played minor hockey in St. John’s, it was as a member of the Corner Brook Royals Minor Hockey Association. And as any Newfoundlander can tell you, the rivalry between St. John’s and Corner Brook is fierce. So the welcome mat wasn’t necessarily out for Royals teams of any age. However, as a Newfoundland native on the St. John’s IceCaps, King has been treated like hockey royalty since signing with the American Hockey League club this past summer. When the IceCaps held their inaugural on-ice session this fall, King was the first player to step on the ice. Since then, he’s been named one of the team’s assistant captains, received the loudest of ovations during introductions, and has probably generated more mer-

chandise sales than any other player. That’s evident by the number of KING 5 jerseys dotting the stands at Mile One Centre every time the IceCaps play. ”The response for me around town has been amazing, even though I am from Corner Brook,” King said following a practice recently. ”Newfoundland is home, and St. John’s is home. We’re here permanently now. To be able to get around the community and see the response from fans is great.” King is not a mere token Newfoundlander, though. His hockey resume is solid. As a junior with the Halifax Mooseheads, King scored 111 goals in two seasons, good enough to get him drafted by the Vancouver Canucks. In his first year as a pro, King played eight games for the Canucks. The following season, he burst out of the gate, winning National Hockey League rookie of the month honours for November. In total, King scored 12 goals for the Canucks. However, it was in the American Hockey League where King had his

most success, specifically a three-year stretch with the Manitoba Moose in which he scored 57 goals. After three years and 48 goals in Germany, King finds himself back in the AHL, where the veteran winger was tied for the IceCaps team lead in goals scored with 10 at the Christmas break. Coming home was one thing. Doing it with the same organization with familiar faces like general manager Craig Heisinger was another determining factor. ”Knowing the guys who are running this place is huge. Danny and Glenn are two guys I’ve had a lot of respect for. I really spoke to Zinger about playing here, and playing for him and (owner) Mark Chipman for five seasons in Manitoba, I knew they’d carry that to this franchise. ”My main goal was to play here, do well here, but there’s no question in the back of my mind that I want to get up to the top (NHL) at some point. I’d love to be able to lace them up in front of the Winnipeg fans. That’d be


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM an ideal situation. But I’ve got to worry about being accountable here, making sure my game is where I want it to be here in St. John’s. If I can get up there, that’d be awesome. ”I enjoyed the game in Europe” King continued, ”but I think my best hockey was played in North America, particularly in the AHL. For some reason, this league kind of clicks with the style that I play. Coming back, I kind of knew that, which made the decision to return easier, on top of obviously being at home.” Ah, yes – home. Despite his Corner Brook roots, St. John’s is now home for King and his family. Once the decision was made to return to Newfoundland, King set down new roots, in St. John’s. He’s been welcomed with open arms – and wallets, according to the number of jerseys bearing his name, a gesture that does not go unnoticed. ”It sure is sweet,” the 30-year-old said of kids wearing his number. ”It’s something that you swell with pride when you see that. It really does mean a lot that fans are happy with what you’re doing. There’s no question it’s a really good feeling and you want to go

out and reward them with what you do best on the ice. ”At first, it was a bit of a whirlwind – almost going back to Europe and then the excitement of being able to play at home. I think every player dreams of doing it during his career. Newfoundland players don’t get to experience it too much, especially after losing the Leafs years back. We were always wondering if pro hockey would come back to the island. ”Once I heard a team was coming here, it really sparked my interest and we were able to get something done. For me it’s been an amazing ride.” And a public one, to boot. Almost immediately after signing, King became the face of the franchise. The team used him when it launched the jerseys in September, posing him with team president Danny Williams at Fort Waldegrave in The Battery, as distinctive a St. John’s setting as there is. Media requests almost always include the local boy. Player appearances aren’t the same without him. (One instance before Christmas at the Janeway, a young child from Corner Brook was in for treatment, and after meeting

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Once I heard a team was coming here, it really sparked my interest .................................................................................................... several IceCaps players had one question: ”Is Jason King here?” When he heard that, King made a special trip to meet his fellow west coast neighbour, brightening up the boy’s day with his mere presence.) It’s made for a drastic change in lifestyle for King. A goal scorer his entire career – he scored 63 one year in junior – it may sound funny to say he goes unnoticed, but that’s exactly what he’s done. Quietly going about his business, King has built a fine career as a pro, but it’s always been in the background. Not this season. ”It has been a bit of an adjustment,” he admitted. ”I’ve always been one of those players who flew under the radar, not really talkative, just did my thing – in and out. But that kind of comes with the territory. When you can be at home and you can see the smiles on the kids’ faces, and kind of be that guy they look up to, it means a lot. It puts an extra


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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

jump in my step. It’s just been a ton of fun. ”Everybody’s proud of what Newfoundlanders accomplish, and nobody’s more proud to be a Newfoundlander than I am. The response for me has been amazing.” The other aspect of playing in St. John’s that King notices now is his veteran status. Outside the room, it’s stature. Inside that dressing room, it just means old, and other younger players take every opportunity to dig at the old guy. But the jabs are something takes with pride, remembering when he was the young gun, shooting down old guys like former teammate Mike Keane. ”It’s something else that’s been a bit of an adjustment,” he said. ”When I was in Europe, I kind of got lost in the weeds there, because there were quite a few old guys there. Coming back over, it seems like I’m the butt of every joke, guys giving me digs on how old I am, whether I wore a helmet when I

played junior. You’ve got to take it all in fun, because I was a young guy once making fun of the old guys. I played with Mike Keane, who was a dinosaur when I played with him.” The jabs are playful, and come from every direction, King says, which means a lot. Having played with hundreds of players, King says the IceCaps are truly a team – all the personalities click, a rare thing in pro sports. But King says the camaraderie amongst the players has helped in their early success. ”I think it’s everything. When guys really respect each other in the dressing room, that carries over to on the ice, and to everything you do off the ice. Guys know that everybody’s accountable, everybody’s there for each other. That speaks volumes. We don’t have a lot of tough guys, but guys pick up for each other. Guys do what they have to do to win, like sacrificing their bodies. To see that stuff early in the season

definitely is a good sign that we’re going in the right direction. ”I love coming to the rink every day. On top of that, they’ve done a great job of putting together this group of guys that we have here. I think we’ve had a great start and that’s a combination of the personalities we have in the room. It’s just been a whole lot of fun.” Fun, he says, that could continue well into the spring. As of Christmas, the IceCaps had the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference, an amazing road record, and the respect of teams around the league. King attributes part of their success to the fans, and the amazing support afforded the club. The IceCaps have sold out 16 consecutive home games, and the energy in Mile One is felt by all the players. ”For me personally to play in front of fans like this, I just hope we continue to reward them with good play, because they deserve it 100 per cent.”


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

IceCaps Action Shots

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St.John’s IceCaps Player Pos. DOB Birthplace Forwards 5 Jason King RW Sep. 14, 1981 Corner Brook, NL 9 Kevin Clark RW Dec. 29, 1987 Winnipeg, MB 10 Spencer Machacek RW Oct. 14, 1988 Lethbridge, AB 14 Eric O’Dell C Jun. 21, 1990 Ottawa, ON 15 Jason Jaffray LW Jun 30, 1981 Rimbey, AB 16 John Albert C Jan. 19, 1988 Cleveland, OH 17 Garth Murray C Sep. 17, 1982 Regina, SK 19 Marco Rosa C Jan. 15, 1982 Scarborough, ON 21 Riley Holzapfel C Aug. 18, 1988 Regina, SK 22 Kenndal McArdle LW Jan. 4, 1987 Toronto, ON 23 Shawn Weller LW Jul. 8, 1986 Glens Falls, NY 25 Aaron Gagnon C Apr. 24, 1986 Quesnel, BC 28 Patrice Cormier C Jun. 14, 1990 Moncton, NB 48 Carl Klingberg LW Jan 28, 1991 Gothenburg, Sweden 49 Ben Maxwell C Mar. 30, 1988 North Vancouver, BC 50 Jason Gregoire LW Feb. 24, 1989 Winnipeg, MB Defencemen 2 Travis Ramsey D May 16, 1983 Lakewood, CA 3 Brett Festerling D Mar. 3, 1986 Prince George, BC 4 Paul Postma D Feb. 22, 1989 Red Deer, AB 6 Jason DeSantis D Mar. 9, 1986 Oxford, MI 18 Ben Chiarot D May 9, 1991 Hamilton, ON 24 Zach Redmond D Jul. 26, 1988 Traverse City, MI 44 Arturs Kulda D Jul 25, 1988 Riga, Latvia Goalies 1 David Aebischer G Feb. 7, 1978 Fribourg, Switzerland 40 Edward Pasquale G Nov. 20, 1990 Toronto, ON Coaches Craig Heisinger, General Manager Keith McCambridge, Head Coach Mark Morrison, Assistant Coach Ian Andersen, Video Coach

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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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Manchester Monarchs Player Pos. Forwards 9 Linden Vey RW 10 J.D. Watt RW 11 Cam Paddock C 13 Richard Clune LW 15 Justin Azevedo C 16 Stefan Legein RW 17 Ethan Moreau LW 21 Dwight King LW 22 Marc-Andre Cliche C 24 Ray Kaunisto LW 26 Brandon Kozun RW 27 Robert Czarnik C 29 Rob Mignardi RW 39 Chris Cloud LW 44 Jordan Nolan RW 49 Justin Johnson RW 55 David Meckler LW Defencemen 2 Andrew Campbell D 3 Jake Muzzin D 4 Nick Deslauriers D 5 Jordan Hill D 6 David Kolomatis D 14 Patrick Mullen D 37 Thomas Hickey D 51 Joe Charlebois D Goalies 31 Martin Jones G 36 Jeff Zatkoff G Coaches Ron Hextall, General Manager Mark Morris, Head Coach

DOB

Birthplace

Jul. 17, 1991 May 25, 1987 Mar. 22, 1983 Apr. 25, 1987 Apr. 1, 1988 Nov. 24, 1988 Sep. 25, 1975 Jul. 5, 1989 Mar. 23, 1987 Feb. 7, 1987 Mar. 8, 1990 Jan. 25, 1990 Jun. 28, 1990 Oct. 12, 1988 Jun. 23, 1989 May 5, 1981 Jul. 9, 1987

Wakaw, SK Cremona, AB Vancouver, BC Toronto, ON West Lorne, ON Oakville, ON Toronto, ON Meadowlake, SK Rouyn-Noranda, QC Sault Ste. Marie, MI Los Angeles, CA Detroit, MI Richmond Hill, ON Waywayseecappo, MB Grand River, ON Anchorage, AK Highland Park, IL

Feb. 4, 1988 Feb. 21, 1989 Feb. 22, 1991 Mar. 8, 1989 Feb. 25, 1989 May 6, 1986 Feb. 8, 1989 Feb. 18, 1986

Caledonia, ON Woodstock, ON Ville Lasalle, QC Sarnia, ON Livingston, NJ Boston, MA Calgary, AB Potsdam, NY

Jan. 10, 1990 Jun. 9, 1987

North Vancouver, BC Detroit, MI

Scott Pellerin, Assistant Coach

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Team Standings

As of Thursday, January 5th

Eastern Conference Western Conference Atlantic GP W L OTL SL PTS North Division GP W L OTL SL PTS Manchester 36 21 13 0 2 44 Toronto 35 18 12 3 2 41 St. John’s 32 19 8 4 1 43 Rochester 33 15 13 4 1 35 Worcester 32 16 10 3 3 38 Lake Erie 34 16 16 1 1 34 Portland 33 16 12 2 3 37 Grand Rapids 32 13 13 4 2 32 Providence 35 10 18 1 2 31 Hamilton 32 13 14 1 4 31 Northeast GP W L OTL SL PTS Midwest Division GP W L OTL SL PTS Connecticut 34 19 10 2 3 43 Charlotte 35 20 12 2 1 43 Adirondack 33 17 14 1 1 36 Milwaukee 30 19 10 0 1 39 Albany 34 14 13 5 2 35 Peoria 35 17 15 2 1 37 Bridgeport 35 14 17 3 1 32 Chicago 32 16 12 1 3 36 Springfield 32 14 16 1 1 30 Rockford 33 11 18 1 3 26 East GP W L OTL SL PTS West Division GP W L OTL SL PTS Hershey 33 19 8 3 3 44 Oklahoma 35 23 8 1 3 50 Norfolk 34 21 11 0 2 44 Abbotsford 33 22 9 2 0 46 W-B Scranton 34 18 11 1 4 41 Houston 34 18 7 2 7 45 Syracuse 32 14 14 3 1 32 San Antonio 34 16 16 2 0 34 Binghamton 37 15 20 1 1 32 Texas 31 14 16 0 1 29


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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM


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ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

St. John’s IceCaps Player Stats Name

Pos

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

As of Thursday, January 5th

PPG

SHG

Pt/G PIMPG SOG

19 Marco Rosa C 29 6 21 27 +6 12 3 0 0.93 0.41 81 4 Paul Postma D 26 6 20 26 -5 14 2 0 1.00 0.54 69 10 Spencer Machacek RW 32 8 17 25 +2 14 1 0 0.78 0.44 72 * 48 Carl Klingberg LW 24 11 10 21 +8 10 1 2 0.88 0.42 52 5 Jason King RW 30 10 10 20 -2 22 3 0 0.67 0.73 54 6 Jason DeSantis D 23 5 14 19 0 20 3 0 0.83 0.87 49 15 Jason Jaffray LW 18 8 8 16 +6 9 2 1 0.89 0.50 48 25 Aaron Gagnon C 23 7 8 15 -2 6 5 0 0.65 0.26 39 9 Kevin Clark RW 29 6 9 15 +4 16 0 0 0.52 0.55 43 * 24 Zach Redmond D 32 4 11 15 +9 16 3 0 0.47 0.50 68 28 Patrice Cormier C 29 9 4 13 -4 40 2 0 0.45 1.38 39 23 Shawn Weller LW 21 3 10 13 -4 22 3 0 0.62 1.05 54 * 16 John Albert C 28 3 8 11 +6 8 0 0 0.39 0.29 61 21 Riley Holzapfel C 18 7 3 10 +6 2 3 0 0.56 0.11 26 * 14 Eric O’Dell C 18 4 4 8 +4 19 0 0 0.44 1.06 27 17 Garth Murray C 28 1 7 8 +4 46 0 0 0.29 1.64 17 44 Arturs Kulda D 19 3 4 7 +11 16 0 0 0.37 0.84 26 2 Travis Ramsey D 32 2 4 6 -2 30 0 0 0.19 0.94 46 22 Kenndal McArdle LW 15 3 2 5 -4 34 2 0 0.33 2.27 31 3 Brett Festerling D 20 2 3 5 +2 16 0 0 0.25 0.80 34 49 Ben Maxwell C 8 1 4 5 -1 4 0 0 0.62 0.50 20 * 50 Jason Gregoire LW 14 1 3 4 +5 9 0 0 0.29 0.64 19 * 18 Ben Chiarot D 10 1 1 2 -3 13 0 0 0.20 1.30 9

Name

Pos GP

Min GA

SO

GAA W

L

SOL SA

SVS SAV%

1 David Aebischer G 13 756:31 33 1 2.62 8 3 1 353 320 0.907 40 *Edward Pasquale G 11 633:29 32 0 3.03 7 4 0 296 264 0.892

AHL Top Scorers Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Team

Keith Aucoin Hershey Chris Bourque Hershey Trevor Smith Norfolk *Cory Conacher Norfolk T.J. Hensick Peoria Jacob Mcflikier Hershey Patrick Maroon Syracuse Krys Kolanos Abbotsford Brandon Pitti Rockford Kris Newbury Connecticut Brett Sterling Peoria *J. Audy-Marchess. Connecticut *Gustav Nyquist Grand Rapids Darren Haydar Chicago Martin St. Pierre Springfield

* indicates Rookie

G

A

PTS

8 18 15 21 11 12 14 16 14 13 14 12 9 9 6

45 30 27 20 29 25 22 18 18 19 16 18 21 21 24

53 48 42 41 40 37 36 34 32 32 30 30 30 30 30

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

AHL Top Goalies Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Cedrick Desjardins *Tyson Sexsmith Jeff Zatkoff Yann Danis David LeNeveu Matt Hackett Ben Bishop Leland Irving Jeremy Smith Danny Taylor Dustin Tokarski Manny Legace Ben Scrivens Chad Johnson Scott Munroe

Team Lake Erie Worcester Manchester Oklahoma Oklahoma Houston Peoria Abbotsford Milwaukee Abbotsford Norfolk Springfield Toronto Connecticut W-B/Scrant.

GAA

SV%

W

1.85 1.98 2.04 2.19 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.30 2.30 2.33 2.33 2.34 2.37 2.43 2.44

0.941 8 0.927 8 0.935 10 0.923 15 0.920 8 0.923 12 0.930 15 0.914 15 0.915 16 0.927 12 0.904 14 0.919 7 0.911 7 0.914 10 0.909 7


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

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Rog’s Roost Hopefully Zinger’s Christmas wish will be granted

Brian Rogers

............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

T

he Christmas Rush is over and the New Year has been ushered in, so here we are in January of 2012 and on behalf of my family, I hope all our fans had Happy Holidays and will enjoy a healthy, safe and prosperous next 12 months. Even though Santa has come and gone, one of St. Nick’s favourite hockey people has a wish that hasn’t been granted yet. Sometime this month, according to the master plan, Craig Heisinger, the amicable, hard-working and totally-dedicated general manager of the St. John’s IceCaps, will check his list – and believe me, he will be checking it twice – to make sure his lineup resembles that of Mr. Claus’s formidable reindeer, led by Captain Rudolph. They always deliver. You see the former equipment manager of the now defunct International Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose franchise is on a mission at the helm of the American Hockey League’s newest franchise, your St. John’s IceCaps. He wants to win the Calder Cup Championship more than anything else in

hockey, according to my gut instinct. (And I have a gut as you know.)

sure this team has a fighting chance to potentially reach the Promised Land.

He told me so during an interview for one of our broadcasts, one day in early November in Worcester, Massachusetts. In my heart, I believe he wants to win the AHL title even more than the Stanley Cup. (He’s also the AssistantGeneral Manager of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets – so that’s saying something IceCap fans.)

Before the Christmas break – which was, incidentally, a great break for everybody involved – the IceCaps led the Atlantic division with a tidy 17-74-1 slate and had slipped out of first place just once during the opening 29 games. That was astonishing when you consider the team had – at one point or another – missed nine players through injury and recall to the parent club since the opening night roster was unveiled. The depth of the hockey club has been amazing.. Players have stepped in during the leaner times, which have been few and far between, and done an admirable job in every department. This team is a special one and without question is being closely monitored around the league.

That’s a huge statement if you cheer for Newfoundland and Labrador’s team. It’s an elusive goal for the guy they lovingly call Zinger. The AHL Manitoba Moose made the final a few years back only to lose and that was a crushing blow to the GM. That Saturday morning in central Massachusetts shot a tingle up my backbone, hearing the passion in Zinger’s voice when speaking about the club and how badly he wants our province to celebrate with our Canadian counterparts in Manitoba this spring. It may or may not happen, as all hockey fans well know. However, Zinger will do everything in his power to make

The St. John’s IceCaps appear to be for real. The moment it appears there may be cracks in the ice, you can bet in True North strong and free fashion, the hardest working guy in hockey will fill in the cracks.


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

25


26

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

Don Power Director of Communications

....................................................................................

Rob Mullowney Vice-President of Operations

....................................................................................

Glenn Stanford Chief Operating Officer; AHL Governor

....................................................................................

Danny Williams President and CEO

....................................................................................

IceCaps Staff Brad Andrews Director of Hockey Operations

VISIT PHPA.COM Your source for PHPA news, officially licensed collectors items, and PHPA merchandise. PROUD TO REPRESENT PLAYERS IN THE AHL, CHL, AND ECHL


Trevor Murphy Director, Community Partnerships

Colin Fardy Digital Media Coordinator

...................................................................................................................................................................................... Heather McKay Director of Finance

Melissa Stanford Marketing Coordinator

...................................................................................................................................................................................... Jenelle Herbert Game Ops Producer

Chris Doyle Communications Coordinator

......................................................................................................................................................................................

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

Official Sponsor

RE/MAX is proud to be the official sponsor of the St. John's Ice Caps!

remax.nf.ca

Each office is independently owned and operated.

27

Brian Rogers Team Broadcaster

Jacki Northcott Administrative Assistant

Welcome Home!


SPEC1917924

28

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM www.thetelegram.com

GUIDE

Home Buyers’

360˚ U

TI ON S

We speak Newfoundland and Labrador...

SOL

nlnewsnow.com

www.thewesternstar.com


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

2011-2012 St. John’s IceCaps:

Keith McCambridgege Head Coach

Alain Chabbert Athletic Therapist

Mark Morrison Assistant Coach

Ian Cox Equipment Manager

Ian Andersen Video Coach

Shannon Coady Assistant Equipment Manager

29


30

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

2

3

4

D

D

D

Travis Ramsey

Paul Postma

Brett Festerling

Born 2/22/1989 Born 5/16/1983 Born 3/3/1986 Red Deer, AB Lakewood,CA Prince George, BC Height 6-3 Weight 194lbs Height 6-4 Weight 216lbs Height 6-1 Weight 209lbs ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

5

6

9

RW

D

RW

Jason King

Jason DeSantis

Kevin Clark

Born 9/14/1981 Corner Brook, NL Height 6-0 Weight 185lbs

Born 3/9/1986 Oxford, MI Height 5-11 Weight 187lbs

Born 12/29/1987 Winnipeg, MB Height 5-8 Weight 167lbs


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

10

14

15

RW

C

LW

Spencer Machacek

Eric O’Dell

31

Jason Jaffray

Born 10/14/1988 Born 6/21/1990 Born 6/30/1981 Lethbridge, AB Ottawa, ON Rimbey, AB Height 6-1 Weight 196lbs Height 6-0 Weight 198lbs Height 6-1 Weight 189lbs ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

16

17

18

C

C

D

John Albert

Garth Murray

Ben Chiarot

Born 1/19/1989 Concord, OH Height 5-11 Weight 182lbs

Born 9/17/1982 Regina, SK Height 6-1 Weight 217lbs

Born 5/9/1991 Hamilton, ON Height 6-3 Weight 209lbs


32

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

19

21

22

C

C

LW

Marco Rosa

Riley Holzapfel

Born 1/15/1982 Scarborough, ON Height 5-11 Weight 174lbs

Born 8/18/1988 Regina, SK Height 6-0 Weight 198lbs

Kenndal McArdle

Born 1/4/1987 Toronto, ON Height 5-11 Weight 190lbs ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

23

24

25

LW

D

C

Shawn Weller

Zach Redmond

Aaron Gagnon

Born 7/8/1986 Glens Falls, NY Height 6-2 Weight 203lbs

Born 7/26/1988 Traverse City, MI Height 6-2 Weight 200lbs

Born 4/24/1986 Quesnel, BC Height 5-10 Weight 185lbs

Doing the right thing

James

Sidne

Jolina

Joshua

Morgan

Haleigh

Jorja

Cassidy

Ryan

Staying safe in a place they love to call home Feeling alive and playing hard Being happy and healthy Living and doing well for and with family and friends These are children of Technip employees, learning their life lessons in the best place in the world. By combining a good attitude with the right equipment, they can enjoy playing hard and being safe at the same time. Just like their parents who also know how to work hard and be safe. In this way they all get to go home to the people they love every day.

Technip’s mission is to deliver safe and successful energy projects right here in Newfoundland & Labrador and worldwide for the benefit of all our stakeholders. Embodying everything we do is a spirit of safety and a passion for success. We apply this to the biggest challenges and the smallest details. Because doing the right thing is who we are.

technip.com | 709.724.1851


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

28

48

49

C

LW

C

Carl Klingberg

Patrice Cormier

33

Ben Maxwell

Born 1/28/1991 Born 3/30/1988 Born 6/14/1990 Gothenburg, Sweden Vancouver, BC Moncton, NB Height 6-3 Weight 209lbs Height 6-1 Weight 195lbs Height 6-2 Weight 215lbs ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

50

1

40

LW

G

G

Jason Gregoire

David Aebischer

Edward Pasquale

Born 2/24/1989 Winnipeg, MB Height 5-10 Weight 194lbs

Born 2/7/1978 Fribourg, Switzerland Height 6-1 Weight 188lbs

Born 11/20/1990 Toronto, ON Height 6-3 Weight 218lbs


34

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM


ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

Schedule

2011-2012 St.John’s IceCaps

e

OppOnent Date [m/D/y]

Datetime [m/D/y]

time OppOnent

OppOnent

Date [m/D/y]

M

Fri 7:05 1/20/12 PM Sat 1/21/12

7:00 PM @ Providence

@ Connecticut

Fri

M

@ Providence Fri 10/7/11 @ Manchester

7:00 PM

@ Portland

M

Hamilton

Sun

3:00 PM

@ Worcester

M

Hamilton

7:00 PM

@ Bridgeport

Sat

10/8/11

Fri

10/14/11

7:00 PM

@ Manchester

7:30 PM

Hamilton

1/22/12

Wed

1/25/12

35

time

OppOnent

1/20/12

7:00 PM

@ Connecticut

Sat

1/21/12

7:00 PM

@ Portland

Sun

1/22/12

3:00 PM

@ Worcester

M

Sat Bridgeport

10/15/11

PM Fri 7:30 1/27/12

Hamilton 7:00 PM

@ Manchester

Wed

1/25/12

7:00 PM

@ Bridgeport

M

Fri Bridgeport

10/21/11

PM Sat 7:30 1/28/12

Bridgeport 7:00 PM

@ Portland

Fri

1/27/12

7:00 PM

@ Manchester

M

Portland Sat

10/22/11

Fri 7:30 2/3/12 PM

7:30 PM Bridgeport

Worcester

Sat

1/28/12

7:00 PM

@ Portland

M

Portland Tue

10/25/11

Sat7:30 2/4/12 PM

7:30 PM Portland

Worcester

Fri

2/3/12

7:30 PM

Worcester

M

@ Springfield

Tue

@ Providence

Wed 2/8/12

7:30 PM Portland

Providence

M

2/7/12 7:30 PM

Sat

2/4/12

7:30 PM

Worcester

M

@ Worcester

7:00 PM

@ Springfield

Tue

Wed 10/26/11 Sat

10/29/11

Sat

2/11/12

7:30 PM

Providence

7:30 PM

Binghamton

7:30 PM

Providence

Binghamton

7:30 PM

Providence

M

Tue @ Worcester

11/1/11

PM Fri 7:00 2/17/12

@ Worcester 7:30 PM

@ Hamilton

Sat

2/11/12

7:30 PM

Binghamton

M

Fri @ Bridgeport

11/4/11

PM Sat 7:00 2/18/12

@ Connecticut 3:00 PM

@ Toronto

Sun

2/12/12

4:00 PM

Binghamton

M

Connecticut Sat

11/5/11

7:00 PM @ Worcester

@ Hamilton

Fri

2/17/12

7:30 PM

@ Hamilton

M

Connecticut Sun

11/6/11

Fri 7:00 2/24/12 PM Tue 3:00 2/28/12 PM

7:05 PM @ Bridgeport

@ Binghamton

Sat

2/18/12

3:00 PM

@ Toronto

Fri

2/24/12

7:00 PM

@ Hamilton

Tue

2/28/12

7:05 PM

@ Binghamton

Norfolk

Sat

11/12/11

Sun Toronto

11/13/11

M

TorontoFri

11/18/11

M

Sat @ Hamilton

M

M

M

M

M

Norfolk

@ Providence 4:00 PM

2/7/12

M

M

4:05 PM Sun 2/12/12

Wed 2/8/12

Sun 10/30/11 @ Connecticut

Sat

3/3/12

7:30 PM

Sun

3/4/12

7:30 PM

@ Syracuse

5:05 PM

@ Binghamton

Connecticut

4:00 PM Tue 3/6/12

Connecticut 7:05 PM

Hershey

Sat

3/3/12

7:30 PM

@ Syracuse

11/19/11

PM Sat7:30 3/10/12

Norfolk7:30 PM

Hershey

Sun

3/4/12

5:05 PM

@ Binghamton

@ Toronto Fri

11/25/11

Tue7:30 3/13/12 PM

7:30 PM Toronto

Hamilton

Tue

3/6/12

7:05 PM

@ W-B/Scranton

Syracuse Sat

11/26/11

Wed7:30 3/14/12 PM

7:30 PM Toronto

Hamilton

Fri

3/9/12

7:30 PM

Hershey

Sat

3/10/12

7:30 PM

Hershey

Tue

Syracuse

Fri

12/2/11

Sun

12/4/11

M

Worcester

M

Worcester

PM Fri 7:30 3/9/12

Sat

3/17/12

Sun

Norfolk7:30 PM

7:30 PM

Manchester

4:00 PM

Manchester

7:00 PM

@ Hershey

7:30 PM

@ Hamilton

1:00 PM

@ Toronto

3/18/12

Wed

3/21/12

@ W-B/Scranton

3/13/12

7:30 PM

Hamilton

@ Syracuse

7:30 PM

Hamilton

M

M

Wed @ Portland

12/7/11

PM Fri 7:30 3/23/12 PM Sat 7:30 3/24/12

Syracuse 7:05 PM

@ W-B/Scranton

Sat

3/17/12

7:30 PM

Manchester

M

@ Portland Fri

12/9/11

Wed7:30 3/28/12 PM

7:15 PM Worcester

@ Norfolk

Sun

3/18/12

4:00 PM

Manchester

M

@ Hamilton Sun

12/11/11

7:30 PM Worcester

@ Norfolk

Wed

3/21/12

7:00 PM

@ Hershey

M

@ Toronto

@ Hershey

@ Toronto

12/16/11

7:00 PM

M

Fri

Fri 2:00 3/30/12 PM Sat 3/31/12

7:30 PM

@ Syracuse

M

Manchester

12/17/11

Portland

3/23/12

Sat

7:30 PM

Fri

7:30 PM

Portland

Sat

3/24/12

7:05 PM

@ W-B/Scranton

Springfield

Wed

3/28/12

7:15 PM

@ Norfolk

M

Sun Manchester

12/18/11

M

TorontoWed

M

TorontoSat

M

W-B/Scranton Sun 1/1/12 W-B/Scranton

M

Tue

Syracuse 7:30 PM

Wed 3/14/12

Tue 12/6/11 @ Manchester

7:00 PM

@ Manchester

7:00 PM

@ Portland

4/3/12

Wed 4/4/12

PM Sat 4:00 4/7/12

@ Portland 7:30 PM

12/28/11

PM Sun 7:30 4/8/12

@ Hamilton 4:00 PM

Springfield

Fri

3/30/12

7:30 PM

@ Norfolk

12/31/11

Fri 3:00 4/13/12 PM

7:30 PM @ Toronto

@ Worcester

Sat

3/31/12

7:00 PM

@ Hershey

Sat 3:00 4/14/12 PM Sun 4/15/12

7:00 PM @ Toronto

@ Springfield

Tue

4/3/12

7:30 PM

Portland

7:30 PM

3:00 PM Manchester

@ Manchester

Wed 4/4/12

7:30 PM

Portland

Fri

1/6/12

Sat

1/7/12

7:30 PM

Manchester

Sat

4/7/12

7:30 PM

Springfield

Tue

1/10/12

7:30 PM

Toronto

Sun

4/8/12

4:00 PM

Springfield

Wed 1/11/12

7:30 PM

Toronto

Fri

4/13/12

7:30 PM

@ Worcester

Sat

1/14/12

7:30 PM

W-B/Scranton

Sat

4/14/12

7:00 PM

@ Springfield

Sun

1/15/12

4:00 PM

W-B/Scranton

Sun

4/15/12

3:00 PM

@ Manchester


T

HISTORY

he American Hockey League is enjoying its 76th season of play in 2011-12, continuing a tradition of excellence that began in 1936 when the Canadian-American Hockey League merged with the International Hockey League to form what is today known as the AHL. Eight teams hit the ice that first season, playing in Buffalo, Cleveland, New Haven, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Springfield and Syracuse. Frank Calder, the National Hockey League’s president at the time, was instrumental in the forming of the new league, and his name would be given to its championship trophy. The first Calder Cup was won by the Syracuse Stars; the 75th championship was captured by the Binghamton Senators last spring.

O

LEGENDS

Photo: AHL Archives

ver the past three-quarters of a century, the American Hockey League has been home to some of the greatest players in the history of our sport. In fact, more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame have been affiliated with the AHL during their careers. All-time greats like George Armstrong, Toe Blake, Gump Worsley, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, Brad Park, Ken Dryden and Brett Hull came through the AHL ranks and now find themselves enshrined in Toronto, and the coveted Calder Cup trophy is inscribed with the names of legendary AHL alumni like Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson, Gerry Cheevers, Andy Bathgate, Tim Horton, Al Arbour, Emile Francis, Doug Harvey and Billy Smith.

Terry Sawchuk Honored Member, Hockey Hall of Fame 1949 AHL Rookie of the Year 1950 Calder Cup Champion

T

he American Hockey League has created its own legends as well, and in 2006 began honoring them with the formation of the AHL Hall of Fame. The sixth class of inductees, recognized in 2011, included Mitch Lamoureux, Harry Pidhirny, Maurice Podoloff and Larry Wilson. They join the likes of Johnny Bower, Fred Glover, Jody Gage, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers, Eddie Shore, Bruce Boudreau, Tim Tookey and others as distinguished members of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.

I

n today’s National Hockey League, more than 87 percent of the players are AHL alumni, including 2011 Hart Trophy recipient Corey Perry and two-time Lady Byng Award winner Martin St. Louis. Three members of the 2010 AHL All-Rookie Team -- John Carlson, P.K. Subban and Logan Couture -- duplicated the feat in the NHL in 2010-11, and former Calder Cup finalists Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne were among the members of the NHL’s postseason First and Second All-Star Teams. Photo: Nashville Predators

The 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins were stocked with AHL graduates as well, among them Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas. Pekka Rinne 2011 Second Team NHL All-Star 2006, 2008 AHL All-Star


D

PLAYERS

COACHES

A

Photo: Boston Bruins

uring the 2010-11 season, more than 850 AHL alumni played in the National Hockey League, including 320 who skated in both leagues last year alone. Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux were among the 16 AHL graduates who led their NHL teams in scoring, and former AHL All-Stars Jimmy Howard, Jaroslav Halak and Miikka Kiprusoff were among the 27 AHL goaltending alumni who paced their NHL clubs in victories. More than 200 former first- and second-round draft picks developed their skills in the AHL last season, including breakout rookies like Luke Adam, Zac Dalpe, Kyle Palmieri, Nazem Kadri and 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Robin Lehner. Former AHL goaltender Tim Thomas won the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies with the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in 2010-11.

t the start of the 2011-12 season, the NHL featured 23 head coaches who were former AHL bench bosses, including the last seven Stanley Cup champions in Claude Julien (Boston, 2011), Joel Quenneville (Chicago, 2010), Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh, 2009), Mike Babcock (Detroit, 2008), Randy Carlyle (Anaheim, 2007), Peter Laviolette (Carolina, 2006) and John Tortorella (Tampa Bay, 2004). New head coaches in the NHL this season include Florida’s Kevin Dineen, Dallas’s Glen Gulutzan, Minnesota’s Mike Yeo and Winnipeg’s Claude Noel, all promoted from the AHL during the offseason. “The American Hockey League has been essential in developing my potential both as a player and as a coach. Being able to hone my skills and improve at a high level of competition was key to reaching my goals of playing in the NHL, becoming a head coach and winning the Stanley Cup.” -- Dan Bylsma, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Penguins 2011 Jack Adams Award Winner, 2010 Stanley Cup Champion

FANS

T

Photo: JustSports Photography

he 2010-11 season saw more than 6 million fans attend AHL games for the 10th year in a row; since 2001, AHL games have been played before more than 65 million fans in arenas across North America. The Hershey Bears paced the league by averaging 9,800 fans per game last year, and on Feb. 19 the Connecticut Whale drew 21,673 fans to a celebration of hockey at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., that included the second outdoor game in AHL history. The Hershey Bears increased their attendance at Giant Center for the seventh year in a row while leading the AHL for the fifth consecutive season.

STARS

T

Of the 562 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Brad Boyes, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.

JustSports Photography/AHL

he AHL All-Star Classic showcases the league’s top talent each year in an All-Star Skills Competition and All-Star Game. The 2012 AHL All-Star Classic will be held at historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on January 29-30, featuring the Eastern Conference All-Stars battling the Western Conference All-Stars in an event to be televised live across the U.S. and Canada.

Bobby Butler 2011 AHL All-Star Game MVP


38

ST.JOHN’S ICECAPS HOCKEY PROGRAM

Kudos to Keith

IceCaps head coach to lead Eastern Conference all-star team

................................................ Don Power, Editor

O

f all the accomplishments the St. John’s IceCaps have achieved in their inaugural season – and there have been quite a few – one of the most astonishing and surprising has been the selection of Keith McCambridge as the head coach for the AHL All-Star Classic Jan. 30 in Atlantic City. Not because McCambridge isn’t a deserving candidate or isn’t a consummate professional as a bench boss. It’s not because he’s a first-year head coach at the AHL level. And it’s not because, as a rookie coach, he was unproven. It’s perhaps because of exactly what McCambridge – along with general manager Craig Heisinger and all the hockey operations department – has accomplished: taken an expansion franchise and turned it into not only a league leader on the ice, but off the ice as well. McCambridge will coach the Eastern all-stars because his IceCaps finished with the best winning percentage in the conference as of the Jan. 1 leagueimposed deadline. With a New Year’s Eve victory in Toronto against the Marlies, the IceCaps guaranteed themselves the best winning percentage at the deadline. Even a Jan. 1 loss to Toronto – which snapped the IceCaps 15-

game streak in which the team picked up at least a point in every road game, one off the league record set by the Milwaukee Admirals – didn’t hamper the effort. The IceCaps finished the first part of the season with a .672 winning percentage, tied for fourth overall. This was done with no IceCaps player in the top 20 in scoring, with nobody listed amongst the top goaltenders, and nobody you could point to and say ”He’s an all-star.” The team is disciplined, with just 430 penalty minutes as of Jan. 1. Only the Texas Stars, with 424, have fewer (although they have played one fewer game, too). That’s a direct correlation from the coach, a disciplined, nononsense guy who gets his players to work, believe in the system and act as one unit. People forget that this is an expansion team, an amalgamation of the Chicago Wolves (the Atlanta Thrashers AHL club last year) and the Manitoba Moose (the organization that became the IceCaps). At the start of the season, players were getting to know each other, coaches were getting to know players, and nobody knew what to expect. But the players talk of the family atmosphere created, of how the management in Winnipeg (and by definition then, St. John’s, cares about the players, their lives and their happiness. It’s a key component. Fans are excited – and rightly so, given the product on the ice – and are talking about a potentially long playoff run. In the first half, St. John’s sold out all 16 of its home games, and is looking to continue that trend in the New Year. It’s a fact that’s not lost on the players,

or the coaches. The team wants to win, for the fans and each other. And it’s that mentality – pulling for each other – that enabled McCambridge to earn that prestigious honour of coaching in the league all-star game. What a feather in his cap, although he’ll be the first to tell you it was entirely a team effort. ”An all-star game is a credit to your assistant coaches, to your team, not just simply the head coach,” he told Robin Short at The Telegram on Dec. 31. ”For me, it’s not something that’s been thought about very much.” Probably not. As is typical of any coach, there’s always the next game, the next opponent, and the challenge of improving on what you’ve done, not dwelling on it. McCambridge will no doubt focus on the second half of the season, securing a strong playoff position, and the home record, which has been a very pedestrian 7-7-2-0 at Mile One. ”Our season consists of 19 back-toback series,” McCambridge noted after the club’s last home game in December. ”We’ve got to find a way to get back-to-back wins. The biggest thing for us is realizing this is what we do. Being in St. John’s, teams come in for two-game sets. We have to find a way to win these back-to-back games.” That may be McCambridge’s focus. The rest of us can look forward to the all-star game in Atlantic City, when ”Keith McCambridge, St. John’s IceCaps” is introduced. It’s something to be cherished and savoured. It’s a proud accomplishment for the head coach, yes, but also for the entire organization. Kudos, Keith.



St. John's IceCaps Hockey Program - The Growler