The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced three transactions, with all three taking effect immediately. Defenseman Matt Grassi has been recalled to Hamilton, forward Ryan Flanigan has been traded to Toledo, and goaltender John McFarland has been added as an emergency backup.
Grassi, 24, is currently playing in his first full season of professional hockey, after a brief three-game stint with Hamilton at the end of the 2012-13 season. Thus far this season, Matt has appeared in 24 games with the Nailers, recording one goal, four assists, five points, 21 penalty minutes, and a +7 rating. The Burnaby, BC native dished out an assist in his second game with Wheeling, on October 19th in Cincinnati, before netting his first pro goal on November 20th in Reading. Grassi also had a plus/minus that was either plus or even in 21 of 24 games.
Flanigan, 25, is currently playing in his second full season of professional hockey, and second season in the ECHL. Following a four-year career at Merrimack College, Ryan joined with Hamilton at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. After splitting the 2012-13 campaign between the Greenville Road Warriors and Wichita Thunder, the Rochester, NY native signed with the Nailers this past summer. In 13 games with Wheeling, he registered one goal, two assists, three points, and 23 penalty minutes, tallying his lone marker during the team’s first road game, on October 19th in Cincinnati.
McFarland, 19, becomes the second Wheeling, WV to dress for the Nailers, following in the footsteps of current Equipment Manager, Billy Higgins. John is currently a freshman at Wheeling Jesuit University, following his high school career at Wheeling Central. As a senior last season, he went 10-10, with a 3.40 goals against average, a .904 save percentage, and four shutouts. McFarland will wear #30 on Friday, backing up for starter Mathieu Corbeil.
The Wheeling Nailers begin the final leg of their nine-game homestand on Friday night, when they play the first of two 7:00 games against the Evansville IceMen.