Mike Leopardo Accepts Position with Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Wheeling's Mike Leopardo Accepts Position with Lehigh Valley Phantoms  Photo Credit - Wheeling Nailers

Wheeling’s Mike Leopardo Accepts Position with Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Photo Credit – Wheeling Nailers

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that a member of the front office has graduated from the organization, climbing the ladder to the American Hockey League. Mike Leopardo is joining the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as their Creative Producer.

Leopardo, 26, joined the Nailers prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, serving as the team’s Graphic Design Intern. However, Mike showed the ability to perform other tasks, and was given the opportunity to produce content for the video board, as well as the team’s YouTube page. During games, the Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania native served as the Technical Director to the camera operators and crew inside of the control room.

“We as an organization are thankful for the time and effort that Mike put in during his time with the Nailers,” said Nailers Governor Don Rigby. “We wish him all the best, as he furthers his career in professional sports.”

Mike Leopardo becomes the third staff member to advance in the hockey world this summer, joining colleagues Matt Rosen (Nashville Predators) and Christina Monterosso (Carolina Hurricanes).

Individual tickets, season tickets, mini plans, and group tickets are on sale now, with prices starting as low as $10 per seat. The Nailers will begin the 2015-16 regular season on October 16th and 17th in Norfolk, before the home opener takes place on October 24th against Brampton at 7:35. With all of the exciting changes happening with the Nailers and WesBanco Arena, make sure you join the evolution.

Posted in Wheeling Nailer News | 1 Comment

WBS Penguins Announce 2015 Training Camp Roster

The WBS Penguins today announced their 2015 Training Camp Roster. The release said that twenty-two players will begin on-ice sessions with an open practice at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Toyota SportsPlex. The first practice of the new season for the Penguins and all practices at the Toyota SportsPlex during training camp will be free and open to the public.

The Penguins training camp roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders:

Forwards (13) – Derek Army, Shane Bakker, Riley Brace, Jarrett Burton, Sahir Gill, Tom Kostopoulos, Adam Krause, Christophe Lalancette, Ty Loney, John McCarron, Patrick McGrath, Carter Rowney, and Cody Wydo.

Defensemen (7) – Mickaël Beauregard, Paul Cianfrini, Mathew Maione, Ryan Parent, Nick Petrecki, Clark Seymour, and Brett Stern.

Goaltenders (2) – Casey DeSmith and Brian Foster.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their first preseason game when they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:05 p.m. The Penguins will also battle the Albany Devils in exhibition action at home on Friday, October 2 at 7:05 p.m.

Posted in WBS Penguin News | 1 Comment

Phil Bourque On Captain Morgan Bottles?

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) announced that two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Bourque will sign pre-purchased bottles of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum Penguins Edition at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection Store, 5956 Centre Ave., Ste. 201, Pittsburgh, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, Sept. 25.

Bourque was signed by Pittsburgh as a free agent in 1982, and went on to record 75 goals and 89 assist in 344 regular-season games with the Penguins between 1983 and 1992. He helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons. He also played with the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and minor league teams before retiring after the 1999-2000 season. Bourque is the color commentator on the Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network.

A free tasting of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, which sells for $17.99 a bottle, will be available for customers 21 years of age and older.

WHAT: Former Pittsburgh Penguins star/broadcaster Phil Bourque signing bottles of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum Penguins Edition
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 25, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
WHERE: Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection Store, 5956 Centre Ave., Ste. 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

MEDIA CONTACT: Shawn M. Kelly, 717.783.8864

This release courtesy of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board


Posted in Pitt Penguin News, WBS Penguin News | 1 Comment

Wardley Signs With WBS Penguins

It was announced this afternoon by the WBS Penguins that they have signed defenseman Evan Wardley to an American Hockey League contract for the 2015-16 season.

Wardley joins the Penguins after playing four seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. In 208 regular season games with Seattle, the 6-foot-3 defenseman amassed nine goals and 31 assists for 40 points and recorded 443 penalty minutes.

Wardley set personal highs in goals (6), assists (16), points (22), and plus-minus (plus-7) in his final WHL season.

Wardley joined the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, at the conclusion of his junior career, suiting up in three games with the team last season. He also dressed for six of Wheeling’s seven Kelly Cup Playoff contests.

Posted in WBS Penguin News | 1 Comment

Dave Gove To Join Wheeling Nailers

A familiar face to the WBS Penguin fans will be a part of the ECHL affiliate Wheeling Nailers. The Nailers announced today that they will be  welcoming David Gove as their new assistant coach.

Gove, 37, played professional hockey for parts of nine seasons, spending the majority of his time in the American Hockey League. Following a four-year collegiate career at Western Michigan University, David joined the then IHL’s Orlando Solar Bears for the final nine regular season games, as well as one postseason tilt, as the Solar Bears took home the last ever Turner Cup Championship. Gove was a part of a few more memorable playoff runs in his playing career, reaching the Calder Cup Final with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2008, and the Eastern Conference Final with the Providence Bruins in 2005. He was also a member of the Carolina Hurricanes organization in their championship season of 2005-06, and his final pro season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coincided with Pittsburgh’s most recent title in 2008-09.

“David has tremendous leadership qualities, and was a very well-liked player, when he served as the team captain with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He has a good mind for the game, and I believe that he will have a good relationship with the players, having been a player himself recently. David comes to us highly recommended from the hockey world, and I am looking forward to him bringing some good qualities to our team.”

During his nine years as a professional player, David appeared in 522 games in five different leagues, topping out with two contests in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Centerville, Massachusetts native earned the honor of being team captain with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2008-09, but had his season cut short due to injury. He finished that year as a second assistant coach to current Washington Capitals Assistant Coach Todd Reirden, when Dan Bylsma was promoted to Pittsburgh.

“I was excited when I saw the opportunity come up to work with the Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Wheeling organization, because it was an organization I played for, I see how they develop their coaches, and in doing my homework on Clark Donatelli, I have heard that he is a great coach to work for,” Gove said. “When I look at my pro career, I played in quite a few leagues, so I believe I know what it takes for these kids to be chasing their dream, and I can bring my experiences with some of the best coaches in the game to help them achieve their goals. I am looking forward to settling into Wheeling, and getting to know the community.”

David will be coming to Wheeling with his fiancée Katie and son Cullen.

David Gove will make his debut as assistant coach of the Wheeling Nailers on October 16th, when the team opens the season in Norfolk. His first regular season home game will take place on October 24th against Brampton at 7:35.

Posted in Wheeling Nailer News | Leave a comment

Nailers Re-Sign Shane Bakker

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, releaased today that they have signed the tenth player of the 2015 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Shane Bakker to an ECHL contract.

Bakker, 27, enters his third season of professional hockey, after spending the majority of the previous two campaigns with the Nailers. Wheeling first acquired Shane by claiming him off of waivers on December 3, 2013, which led to his professional debut three days later. During his two seasons in the Ohio Valley, the Navan, Ontario native has appeared in 92 games, tallying ten goals, 21 assists, 31 points, and 178 penalty minutes, while also earning the opportunity to suit up in 15 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 2014-15, Bakker received two other accolades, as he was named team captain at the start of the season, and the McDonald’s Community Award winner at season’s end.

“We are very happy to have our captain, Shane Bakker, back for another season,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He is a great character guy, who is a leader on and off of the ice, and was a very deserving winner of our team’s community service award last season. He fits our system well, because he is a tough, two-way player, and is hard to play against.”

Prior to making the jump to the pro game, Shane attended Carleton University for five years, where he recorded 17 goals, 31 assists, 48 points, and 398 penalty minutes in 121 games with the Ravens. Bakker also played junior hockey with the CJHL’s Orleans Blues and Nepean Raiders in parts of three seasons, in addition to one game with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.

“The Wheeling community has become a second home for me, and with the core group of players already signed, I am excited to go back for another season, playing for Clark Donatelli,” Bakker said. “I want to continue to build on my experience of being the team’s captain last season, while also taking care of some unfinished business, by bringing home the Kelly Cup.”

Shane Bakker and his Wheeling teammates will begin the regular season with two games in Norfolk on October 16th and 17th. The Nailers will then play their home opener at WesBanco Arena on October 24th against Brampton at 7:35.

Posted in Wheeling Nailer News | 1 Comment

John McCarron Inks Deal With WBS Penguins

The WBS Penguins have announced today that have signed forward John McCarron to an AHL contract for the 2015-16 season.

McCarron joins the Penguins organization after four seasons at Cornell University.  In his time at Cornell, McCarron scored 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points in 131 games.  McCarron was a two-time captain for the Big Red, becoming the first Cornell player since 2001 to earn the honor before his senior season (Stephen Bâby).

Cornell made its lone NCAA Tournament appearance of McCarron’s tenure during his freshman season, where the Macomb, Michigan native scored his team’s first goal in an eventual 3-2 upset victory over the No. 2 overall seed University of Michigan.

McCarron was originally a sixth-round selection (153rd overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Prior to attending Cornell, McCarron played two full seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League, recording 85 points (33G-52A) in 137 games and also participating in the 2011 USHL All-Star Game.

McCarron is the older brother of Michael McCarron, the Montréal Canadiens’ first-round pick (25th overall) in 2013.

Posted in WBS Penguin News | 1 Comment