Nailers Re-Sign Chaz Johnson

Wheeling Nailers have announced today that they have re-signed forward Chaz Johnson to an ECHL contract.

Chaz Johnson  Photo Credit - Wheeling Nailers

Chaz Johnson
Photo Credit – Wheeling Nailers

Johnson, 30, returns for his second season with the Nailers, as well as his tenth season of professional hockey, after appearing in his 500th career game during the 2013-14 campaign. In 64 games with Wheeling, Chaz posted 13 goals, 21 assists, 34 points and 152 penalty minutes, with ten of his 13 goals coming against the current North Division. His most productive contest came in his return to Elmira on November 15th, when he netted a hat trick in a 5-1 Nailers win against his club from the prior season. The Montreal, QC native had an especially strong finish to the year, racking up an eight-game point streak during March and April, before tallying a pair of goals in the playoffs.

“Chaz Johnson is a terrific leader on and off of the ice, and is a great player to have to show our young guys how to be a pro,” said Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “On the ice, he is a fierce competitor, who demands a lot of respect, and off of the ice, he does a great job in the community, which creates a great connection with our fans,” he said. “Being able to sign veteran players like Chaz is a great tribute to our ownership, as it allows us to change the culture of hockey in Wheeling.”

Johnson has spent the first nine years of his career in the AHL, ECHL, and UHL, suiting up in 537 games, while totaling 145 goals, 144 assists, 289 points, and 1336 penalty minutes. Chaz has reached the 20-goal plateau in four of those seasons, with the most recent occurring in 2011-12, when he was a member of the Chicago Express. The 6-foot-1 forward has also appeared in 61 career playoff games, taking home the United Hockey League’s Colonial Cup in 2006-07 with the Rockford IceHogs.

“I respect the Wheeling organization, because they are a team that shows so much respect and takes great care of their players, so it was a no-brainer for me to come back,” Johnson said. “Last season was a good season, and I feel like we could have made a lot more noise at the end. We have a great core of guys coming back, so the chemistry will already be set, which will make it a lot easier,” he said. “Wheeling is a great spot to play, I met lots of great people last year, and I can’t wait to get back and see everyone soon.”

Chaz Johnson and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday, October 18th at 7:35, when they clash with the Reading Royals at WesBanco Arena.

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WBS Penguins Release Preseason Schedule Today

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins today announced their 2014 preseason schedule.  The Penguins will take on their East Division rival, the Hershey Bears, twice during exhibition play and also face a Western Conference opponent in the Utica Comets.

WBS Penguins Preseason Schedule
Date Opponent Venue Time
Wed Oct 1 Utica Mohegan Sun 7:05 pm
Sat Oct 4 Hershey Mohegan Sun 7:05 pm
Sun Oct 5 Hershey Giant Center 5:00 pm

Ticket information for the Penguins’ preseason home games will be announced at a later date.

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WBS Penguins Announce Signing Of Goers And Rowney

It was announced this morning that the WBS Penguins have signed defensemen Barry Goers and forward Carter Rowney to one-year American Hockey League contracts.

Goers began last season with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) and spent several stints with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before signing an AHL contract with the Penguins on March 19. The 28-year old skated in 23 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and posted a goal and six assists, while registering 11 points (3G-8A) and 10 penalty minutes over 25 games with Wheeling.

Now entering his fifth season as a pro, Goers has played in 63 AHL games between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Lake Erie Monsters and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, compiling 15 points (1G-14A) and 29 PIM. The Ivyland, PA-native was a four-year letterman at the University Massachusetts-Lowell and began his pro career with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers.

Rowney, 23, also split last season between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Wheeling. As a rookie last year, Rowney was tied for third on the Nailers with 44 points (13G-31A) despite appearing in just 39 contests. He also chipped in two goals and two assists in 24 games for the Penguins. The native of Sexsmith, Alberta made his professional debut with the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) on Apr. 13, 2013, following four seasons at the University of North Dakota.

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Wheeling Nailers Announce Pre-Season Schedule

Sorry fans we have been a bit behind in posting the news, this is because we have moved and had changed our internet provider we should have everything under control now.

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced their 2014 preseason schedule. Wheeling will play two games against the Cincinnati Cyclones, with one contest at WesBanco Arena, followed by a tilt at US Bank Arena the following night.

On Friday, October 10th, WesBanco Arena will open its doors to the first game of the preseason schedule, as the Nailers will play host to the Cyclones at 7:35. Then, on Saturday, October 11th, the two teams will make their way to US Bank Arena, where they will do battle again at 7:35.

In addition to being the Nailers’ closest opponent geographically, Wheeling and Cincinnati have developed a tremendous rivalry in the eleven seasons that the Cyclones have been members of the ECHL. In fact, last season, the two clubs met for their 100th regular season encounter all-time, marking the sixth time in team history that Wheeling has reached that milestone against a single opponent. The Nailers hold a slim 54-53 lead in the historical series, although the Cyclones have a 4-3 edge in playoff meetings. After a thrilling 12-game season series which featured six wins per team last year, Wheeling and Cincinnati will meet only four times during the 2014-15 regular season, with two games taking place at each facility.

The Nailers and Cyclones last met in the preseason during October, 2012, when the two sides exchanged home victories.

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Penguins Sign Defensemen Boak and Seymour

It was released earlier today the WBS Penguins have signed defensemen Alex Boak and Clark Seymour to one-year American Hockey League contracts.

Boak signed an amateur try-out agreement with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year on March 22, following four seasons with Clarkson University. The 24-year old from Norwood, New York totaled seven goals, 24 assists and 357 penalty minutes over 148 games with the Golden Knights. Boak went on to make his pro debut with the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, where he skated in eight games and recorded 24 penalty minutes.

Seymour, 21, set career highs offensively in 2013-14 for the Peterborough Petes (OHL), registering seven goals, 13 assists, 20 points and 85 penalty minutes over 61 games. He also led team defensemen with five points
(2G-3A) in 11 games during the playoffs.

A native of Brockville, Ontario, Seymour was originally a fifth-round pick (143rd overall) of the Penguins in 2012. Seymour played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League between Peterborough and the Kingston Frontenacs, collecting 57 points (14G-43A) and 272 PIM over 288 contests.

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The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2014 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded Thursday, saw the approval of the following rules changes to be implemented beginning in 2014-15:

Rule 85 (“Overtime”)

During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be seven minutes (7:00) in length, preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.

Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.

Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.

If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.

Rule 20.4 (“Major Penalties”)

An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.

Rule 9.6 (“Helmets”)

A player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately (a) exits the playing surface or (b) puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.

“With the full support of the league’s Competition Committee and Player Development Committee, the Board has approved these changes with the betterment of our game and the safety of our players in mind,” said Andrews.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 13th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2013-14

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The AHL Board Of Governors Approve Division Alignments for 2014-15

American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has approved the following division alignment for the 2014-15 AHL season (National Hockey League affiliates in parentheses):

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles)
Portland Pirates (Arizona)
Providence Bruins (Boston)
St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg)
Worcester Sharks (San Jose)

Northeast Division
Albany Devils (New Jersey)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (N.Y. Islanders)
Hartford Wolf Pack (N.Y. Rangers)
Springfield Falcons (Columbus)
Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay)

East Division
Binghamton Senators (Ottawa)
Hershey Bears (Washington)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia)
Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh)

Western Conference
North Division
Adirondack Flames (Calgary)
Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal)
Rochester Americans (Buffalo)
Toronto Marlies (Toronto)
Utica Comets (Vancouver)

Midwest Division
Chicago Wolves (St. Louis)
Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit)
Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado)
Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville)
Rockford IceHogs (Chicago)

West Division
Charlotte Checkers (Carolina)
Iowa Wild (Minnesota)
Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton)
San Antonio Rampage (Florida)
Texas Stars (Dallas)

Changes from last season include:
• Calgary’s affiliate relocating from Abbotsford, B.C., to Glens Falls, N.Y., and playing in the North Division
• Philadelphia’s affiliate relocating from Glens Falls, N.Y. to Allentown, Pa., and playing in the East Division
• Syracuse moving from the East Division to the Northeast Division
• Lake Erie moving from the North Division to the Midwest Division
• Iowa moving from the Midwest Division to the West Division

The format for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs has also been approved by the Board of Governors and remains the same as 2014: Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth. The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.

The playing schedule for the 2014-15 regular season, which begins Oct. 10, will be announced later this summer.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 13th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2013-14.

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