WBS Releases Preseason Dates

Well Penguin fans here we go as we approach the 2015-16 season we all await the release of the WBS schedule. Today the WBS Penguins released the preseason schedule. 

The Penguins will skate against their in-state rivals, the Hershey Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, as well as the Albany Devils. 

The full preseason schedule is as follows

WBS Penguins Pre-Season
Date Opponent Venue Time
Sept. 30 LV Mohegan Sun 7:05pm
Oct. 2 Alb Mohegan Sun 7:05pm
Oct. 3 Hershey GIANT Center 7:00pm
Oct. 4 LV PPL Center 5:00pm

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

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Foster Joins WBS Between The Pipes For 2015-16

It was announced today that the WBS Penguins have signed goaltender Brian Foster to an American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

Foster, 28, is entering his sixth year of professional hockey after playing the 2014-15 season with Lillehammer IK of the GET-ligaen in Norway.

A four-year letterman at the University of New Hampshire (2006-10), Foster went 40-29-13 over 86 games with the Wildcats.  The native of Pembroke, New Hampshire was originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (161st overall) of the 2005 Draft and made his NHL debut on Feb. 4, 2012 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Foster has appeared in 19 career AHL games, spending part of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons with the San Antonio Rampage.  He has also skated in 125 ECHL contests with Cincinnati and Stockton, registering a record of 69-40-12 with a 2.76 goals against average, .905 save percentage and six shutouts.

On Feb. 15, 2013 while playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones, Foster became the 11th goaltender in ECHL history to be credited with a goal against the visiting Trenton Titans.

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Chuck’s Main Street Diner…… Awesome ! !

During this past week my husband and I finally got to try Chuck’s diner in Luzerne…and we are so happy that we did!!

The atmosphere in this diner is so friendly that you feel very welcome and like you’re a “regular” the very first time you are there. Sara was our waitress and she was awesome (she was another reason we felt so at home).

The diner is super clean and bright and even larger than I thought it was. We both ordered our favorite sandwich…a turkey club but the menu had a nice selection with much more than sandwiches with reasonable pricing.

It was so fresh, and it had DELICIOUS home-made cole-slaw on the side. It was so good that we both finished every bit on our plates!!!   It was only $6.95, we thought it was well worth it and you really got a nice sized club sandwich!!

The owner visited every table to see how everyone was doing and this kind of personal touch along with so many others we saw, is why we will definitely return again soon.

Fantastic food, service and atmosphere is why we truly recommend stopping in to see for yourself!!!

P/S Make sure you check out the Diners Facebook page and give them a like you can find it here

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Nailers Sign Casey DeSmith

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their fifth player signing of the 2015 offseason. Wheeling has signed goaltender Casey DeSmith to an ECHL contract.

DeSmith, 23, will be making his professional debut this season, following three seasons of college hockey at the University of New Hampshire. While with the Wildcats, Casey appeared in 97 games, compiling a 48-36-8 record, while posting a goals against average under 2.50 and a save percentage of at least .920 in each of the three campaigns. As a sophomore in 2012-13, DeSmith and his school played in the NCAA National Tournament, defeating the University of Denver in the Regional Semifinal, before falling to UMass Lowell. One year later, the Wildcats reached the Hockey East Final, backed by DeSmith’s 20 victories.

“Casey is a big, solid goaltender, who had really good numbers in college, and comes to us with good recommendations,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He has a calm presence in net, and he moves well, with good fundamentals. We are happy to have him in Wheeling, and I look forward to helping him develop and get to the next level.”

This will be the second straight season that the Nailers will have a goaltender from the University of New Hampshire, following DeSmith’s former teammate Jeff Wyer, who appeared in two games with Wheeling in 2014-15. DeSmith is also expected to join Wyer as the second ECHL contracted goaltender to start a season with the Nailers since Scott Darling in 2012-13.

“I have heard nothing but good things about Clark Donatelli as a coach and as a person, and I can’t wait to get out to Wheeling and be a part of the Nailers,” DeSmith said. “Wheeling’s affiliation with Pittsburgh is a massive plus, as the Penguins are a top tier organization. Coach [Mike] Buckley (Pittsburgh Penguins Goaltending Development Coach) has been a huge influence for me, and was a big reason why I wanted to come to Wheeling. I hope that the success I had at the college level will translate to the pro level.”

Casey DeSmith and the Nailers will open the 2015-16 regular season in Norfolk on October 16th and 17th, before playing their home opener at WesBanco Arena on October 24th against Brampton at 7:35.

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Pitt Penguins Will Play In 12 Nationally Exclusive Games on NBC and NBCSN in 2015-16

According to the release, The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of seven NHL teams that will play the maximum of 12 nationally exclusive games on either NBC or NBC Sports Network during the 2015-16 season, beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 28 when the Penguins visit the division-rival Washington Capitals at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

Pittsburgh will make four of its nationally-televised appearances on NBC, beginning with a matinee in Washington on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 12:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

The Penguins and Buffalo Sabres will square off on Sunday, February 21 at 12:30 p.m. on NBC in the first of three NHL games to be played that day across NBC and NBC Sports Network’s platforms as part of the annual ‘Hockey Day in America’ tripleheader.

The Penguins’ other appearances on NBC are Sunday, March 13 at 12:30 p.m. against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and the season finale on Saturday, April 9 at 3 p.m. against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Including Pittsburgh’s visit to Washington on Oct. 28, the Penguins will play in the ‘Wednesday Night Rivalry’ game six times. Pittsburgh will play twice in the ‘Sunday Night Hockey’ matchup on NBC Sports Network.

Below is the full listing of nationally exclusive Penguins games that will be broadcast on NBC or NBC Sports Network this season. All other games will be televised locally on ROOT SPORTS. A complete local TV schedule will be released in the future.

Day Away Home Time Network
10/28 Pitt Wash 8pm NBCSN
11/11 Mont Pitt 7:30pm NBCSN
12/09 Pitt Col 10pm NBCSN
12/16 Pitt Bos 8pm NBCSN
01/06 Pitt Chi 8pm NBCSN
01/24 Pitt Wash 12:30pm NBC
02/10 NYR Pitt 8pm NBCSN
02/21 Pitt Buf 12:30pm NBC
02/24 Pitt Bos 7:30pm NBCSN
03/13 Pitt NYR 12:30pm NBC
03/20 Wash Pitt 6pm NBCSN
03/27 NYR Pitt 7:30pm NBCSN
04/09 Pitt Phi 3pm NBC
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Nailers Sign Connor Leen

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their fourth player signing of the 2015 offseason. Wheeling has signed forward Connor Leen to an ECHL contract.

Leen, 23, got his first taste of professional hockey at the end of the 2014-15 season, when he joined the Bakersfield Condors, after completing four years of college hockey at the University of Maine. Connor made his pro debut with the Condors on March 13th, and went on to appear in 11 games, tallying three goals, three assists, and six points. Two of those goals came on April 10th against Stockton, which gave him a three-game point streak, as well as points in four of five contests.

“Connor is a fierce competitor, which I believe will translate well to the pro game,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He has a lot of skill, but brings grit to his games as well, as he is hard on pucks. At the end of last year, he got a taste of this level with Bakersfield, which should help him going into this season.”

While attending the University of Maine, Leen majored in Business Management, in addition to playing four years of college hockey for the Black Bears. In 120 games at Maine, Connor accumulated 24 goals, 29 assists, 53 points, and 79 penalty minutes. The Chester, New Jersey native had his most productive season as a junior in 2013-14, when he picked up 17 assists and 23 points, while also receiving the Richard Britt Perseverance Award, before netting a career high in goals (10) as a senior.

“I see myself as a small, skilled forward, who can skate fast and makes things happen in the offensive zone by creating plays,” Leen said. “Going out to Bakersfield last year definitely helped me, and when I spoke with Clark Donatelli this summer, his pedigree said it all, making me feel comfortable about coming to play in Wheeling.”

Connor Leen and his new Nailers teammates will begin the 2015-16 regular season on October 16th and 17th at Norfolk, before the home opener against Brampton on October 24th at 7:35.

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Nailers, Penguins Extend Affiliation Agreement

The Wheeling Nailers, proud members of the ECHL, are excited to announce that they have extended their affiliation agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

Wheeling enters its 17th consecutive season as the ECHL affiliate for the Pittsburgh Penguins, which is the longest active affiliation between an NHL and ECHL team. 2015-16 will also mark the 16th straight season that the Nailers will be affiliated with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, dating back to their inception into the AHL in 1999. Over the course of those years, 15 former Nailers have made their NHL debuts with the Penguins, including forwards Bobby Farnham and Dominik Uher, who both accomplished that feat during the 2014-15 campaign. In total, 17 former Nailers/Thunderbirds have donned a Pittsburgh uniform during their NHL careers.

“We are very happy to extend our relationship with such an outstanding organization in the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins,” said Nailers Governor Don Rigby. “We take a lot of pride in having the longest active affiliation agreement in the ECHL, and we look forward to having another exciting season on the ice with their prospects.”

Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Wheeling have strong histories of both advancing players in their organization, while being able to build winning teams on the ice. Five different organizations saw teams from all three levels reach the postseason in 2014-15, but of those, Pittsburgh was the only organization to see all three make the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Last year, the pipeline between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Wheeling saw 13 different players appear in games for both teams, including Patrick McGrath and Clark Seymour, who both recently signed American Hockey League contracts. Additionally, 12 players suited up for the Penguins at both the NHL and AHL levels.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Wheeling Nailers,” said Penguins Associate General Manager Jason Botterill. “The Penguins and Nailers have the longest active NHL-ECHL affiliation, and we are looking forward to maintaining that successful partnership.”

2015-16 will mark the first season since 2009-10 that the Nailers will have the Penguins as their sole NHL affiliate, after sharing an affiliation with Pittsburgh and the Montreal Canadiens from 2010-15.

“We are very proud to continue the longest active NHL-ECHL affiliation,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “We have the opportunity to work with some first class athletes, and develop those players into successful professionals both on and off of the ice.”

The future members of the Pittsburgh Penguins will lace up their skates as 2015-16 Wheeling Nailers on Opening Night at Norfolk on October 16th, with the home opener scheduled for October 24th against Brampton at 7:35.

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