Tagged: Florida Panthers

steve_pinizzottoEdmonton Oilers‘ 8th year undrafted right wing Steve Pinizzotto(13) got his first NHL goal recently after appearing in 34 games over the last three years.

He added his second tally a month later to go along with a pair of assists he notched in one game earlier in 2014/2015, and now has new career highs for goals and points but will need to add another helper to pass his previous mark set in only 6 games late last season.

The 6’1″ 205 lbs. forward plays a gritty power forward style that has been fairly successful in the minors.

In 9 AHL games to start the current campaign with affiliate Oklahoma City Barons, he has no goals but a pretty nice 6 assists.

His best seasons in the league were 40+ efforts in 2010 & 2011 with Hershey Bears, while under contract with Washington Capitals.

He also won consecutive Calder Cup Championships with them in 2009 & 2010.

If he can continue to contribute there is little reason to believe the 30-year old won’t stick around on a team that could use some swagger.

He has easily worked hard for any inch of ice his been given and was the first player out of Rochester Institute Of Technology to sign a big league deal.

Original story: 12/27-14

He would stay with the big club for another month before being returned to the farm team but managed to play in a career high 18 games (36 total) getting a 2nd goal and 2 assists, both new bests.

The now 31-year old was likely looking at a decent contract in the minors for 2015/2016 but has chosen to take his game elsewhere signing a one-year deal with EHC Red Bull Munchen of DEL.

It may not be out of the question to see him put up some big numbers overseas.


Calgary Flames‘ 2nd year center Corban Knight(10) has already found himself happily involved in the parents’ club early season recalls after his hot start with minor league affiliate Adirondack Flames, where he’s recorded 5 goals and 3 assists in 16 AHL games.

He recently appeared in his first pair of games of 2014/2015, getting 10 shifts in each contest with just over 6 minutes total ice time and was fantastic in the face off dot, although was held without a point.

Originally a Florida Panthers‘ 5th round pick in the 2009 draft (#135 overall), he was obtained by Calgary in an off season trade before he even got out of the gate.

The 6’2″ 195 lbs. forward was a strong skater in four years at University of North Dakota posting at least a point-per-game average in his last three seasons, winning consecutive NCAA/WCHA Championships from 2010-2012 and being named a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a senior.

He managed to continue his strong play upon turning pro on reassignment with then farm club, Abbotsford Heat finishing his rookie campaign in the top five scoring (18-27-45).

The now 24-year old also got the nod for his first NHL action and potted his first big league goal in 7 games.

He was recently sent back to Adirondack but it proved to be more of a paper transaction and he was once again summoned mid-trip and back in the lineup, although marked as healthy scratch, for now.

Even though he’s at the end of his 2-year entry level contract and set to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, if he can start to produce may stay where he is.

Original story: 11/28-14

Dealt in a mid-season transaction that sent him back to draft team Florida Panthers he was reassigned to affiliate San Antonio Rampage, where he stayed for the remainder of the regular season and skated in all three playoff contests scoring one goal.

He concluded 2014/2015 with 16 goals and 20 assists in 58 AHL games with a +2 rating.

Going into restricted free agency, the Panthers signed him up for another season on a two-way deal.

Set to turn 25-years old just before the start of the forthcoming season, he may start with Portland Pirates, the new affiliate of his new team but if turns up the scoring early again could find himself as part of an early recall.


Former Florida Panthers‘ 1st round pick in the 2007 draft (#10 overall) defenseman Keaton Ellerby(4) accepted his first 2-way contract since his three-year entry level deal from Winnipeg Jets to continue with the team after scoring just 2 goals and 4 assists in 51 NHL games last season.

The big 6’4″ 220 lbs. blue liner has never been much to connect with the score sheet producing only 4 goals and 22 assists in 211 contests with a -12 rating.

Through three early career AHL stints he fared slightly better  in 152 games (11-36-47).

Now that he’s beginning a new season in the lower league with affiliate St. John’ IceCaps, he’s off to a quick start two assists in 2 games and looks to be a valuable leader on a somewhat young roster.

With the parent club faltering some out of the gate, the still super-young almost 26-year old could get another look early, especially if he can continue contributing.

Original story: 10/12-14

He did get a one game NHL appearance during his second recall of 2014/2015 notching one assist while skating 22 shifts for 16:58 time on ice with one hit, one breakup and one giveaway.

In the AHL he managed to score 3 goals and 13 assists in 41 games.

The still 26-year old will play his 8th season in the KHL with Barys Astana. It will be interesting to see how he does switching shores.



4th year center Tim Kennedy(22) has been bouncing around from team-to-team for the last couple of seasons, skating NHL and AHL with 5 different teams.

He went from New York Rangers‘ organization to Florida Panthers and has landed in Worcester with his most current deal getting him traded to San Jose.

He played one full season NHL season with Buffalo Sabres (84 regular season and playoffs games, 11 goals and 18 assists) in 2009/2010, then got waived by them after he was awarded a $1 million deal through arbitration for the next year.

Since he has played in 33 more games, all with the Panthers. 26 of the contests were this year, where he scored 1 goal and 1 assist but had a -11 plus/minus.

In 170 AHL games he has 36 goals and 100 assists.

Since arriving in Worcester he’s almost a point per game player with 3 goals, 8 assists in 12 games but is a dismal -9.

He was originally drafted by Washington Capitals in the 6th round of 2005 (#181 overall).

He’s a small-ish presence out there at 5’10” 179 lbs. but is crafty with the puck and could be a point producer in the NHL, but needs to add a bit more muscle into his game.

Original story: 2/27-12

After spending a full season in San Jose Sharks‘ system playing in another 13 games with the parent club, which netted him a pair of goals, he signed a one-year deal with Arizona Coyotes for 2013/2014 and split time in the NHL and AHL with Portland Pirates.

He skated in a career high 37 games in the show getting 2 more goals and adding 6 assists but was not retained for another run.

Coming full circle he signed for 2014/2015 with the team that selected him 9 years earlier Washington Capitals, but was reassigned early and played the entire season with their farm club Hershey Bears, where he had his second best ever point totals at 59 in 75 games.

For his 8th season, the 29-year old leaves North American hockey for a go in the KHL with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.


Portland Pirates‘ 5th year left wing Eric Selleck(25) plays an almost unassuming tough guy style.

He’s had 12 fighting majors in 63 AHL games but also has a career tying 6 goals and best 13 assists with a +3 rating and a likely to increase 164 penalty minutes.

At 6’2″ 220 lbs. he’s definitely big enough to hold his own against just about anyone but will probably not eclipse the 200+ minutes he put up in his first two seasons.

He had a battler 28 bouts as a rookie a personal best/worst 214 minutes in the box.

After a couple of seasons putting up points at SUNY-Oswego, Florida Panthers signed the unrestricted free agent to a 2-year entry level deal and extended it twice before trading him in a farm squad deal to St. Louis Blues.

He managed to get himself a single NHL recall from the Panthers and got tossed in his debut for instigating a fight that caused him to wobble off ice.

He would remain up with the team but waited over another month for his next appearance, in which he put up his first point, an assist.

Without a contract for 2014/2015, he signed a minor league contract and has found himself a not so bad possibly temporary home in Maine.


Florida Panthers‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#33 overall), tiny 5’6″ 160 lbs. rookie center Rocco Grimaldi(9) made hockey history when he skated a late morning tilt with minor league affiliate San Antonio Rampage and then was boarding a plane before the shootout end, so he could join the parent club for their night game in Los Angeles.

He plays an energized game and scored in his last NHL appearance with the big club before being sent back down.

As a skater that knows his size is a factor, he doesn’t let it stand in his way and has no problem answering questions with a sense of humor about being small, as he’s quite the scoring machine with 11 goals, 27 assists and a +11 rating in 55 AHL games.

He played three years as University Of Dakota winning the 2012 NCAA/WCHA Championship after two seasons in the USHL and US Development Program, where he put up some outstanding numbers showing scouts he could compete.

The still young 22-year old signed to an entry level deal through 2017 will always be proving his game but in all likelihood has the will-power to succeed at the highest level.


New Jersey Devils‘ veteran goalie Scott Clemmensen(40) has been in the system for 8 of his 14 pro years serving as their primary back-up and has played games with all three of their affiliates, Albany River Rats, Lowell Devils and current Albany Devils‘ teams.

In the few NHL seasons where he was either called on to be the starter or at least co-starter between the pipes, he performed pretty well, especially through 40 games on his second tour of duty in the Garden State 2008/2009, when Martin Brodeur went down with his first big injury.

The 6’2″ 200 lbs. net minder posted a 25-13-1-2 record with a career best 2.39 GAA and .917 SV%. He also had two shutouts.

Based on his performance the unrestricted free agent decided to search for a #1 spot and landed a three-year deal with Florida Panthers. He would spend the next five seasons down south.

In 120 games he went 40-39-18-3 and kept decent numbers through his first three years but with less playing time his numbers suffered.

Almost ironically his only really good year in the AHL was one campaign with Toronto Maple Leafs on reassignment to Toronto Marlies.

He is likely to finish out his one-year deal in the minors with the occasional call-up due to injury.

No doubt he’ll be looking to get that 5000th save (he’s at 4931) to go along with the more than 1000 minutes played, and a 200 game mark wouldn’t suck either.

It’s been quite a career for the 37-year old, former 8th round pick in the 1997 draft (#215 overall), 2001 NCAA Champ with Boston College Eagles.


Norfolk Admirals‘ absolutely huge 6’5″ 250 lbs. 13th year veteran left wing Steve MacIntyre(74) has seemingly taken his demotion to Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL for the first time since 2006 in stride this late in his pro career.

He actually played the next season 2006/2007 in the old UHL with Quad City Mallards, who maybe ironically are now playing their games in the same league.

His brick wall, tough guy style and persistent attitude helped take his game to the next level when in 2007/2008 he skated a full AHL season with Providence Bruins.

It would be the last time he put up over 200 penalty minutes in a season and although he threw fists 18 times, that was easily the most fights in a campaign he’d ever settled.

Edmonton Oilers took notice and grabbed him off waivers from Florida Panthers, who reclaimed him a year later.

He would play games mostly in Alberta, but he also got some time with Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 34-year old skated last season with Oklahoma City Barons but only appeared in 11 games.

He’s been held pointless for at least the last three years.

It’s pretty likely that if he wants to still play the sport he will take his game to England next and be a hero.


New York Rangers‘ 4th round pick in the 2010 draft (#100 overall), center Andrew Yogan(6) was quickly falling off the depth chart with the parent club and found himself reassigned down the pro hockey ladder to their ECHL affiliate Greenville Road Warriors through his two years in the system.

The big-ish 6’3″ 203 lbs. power forward excelled fairly big in the lower league performing at nearly a point-per-game level through 31 games and recording 7 goals and 11 assists in 17 Kelly Cup Playoff contests.

After a quick start on his first ato with AHL farm club Connecticut Whale, where he notched a quick pair of goals in his debut and added an assist in another, his totals slumped upon signing his 3-year entry level deal.

He played 5 seasons of juniors in the OHL showing he could connect with the score sheet on a regular basis.

The 22-year old was recently involved in a minor trade that sends him back home down south to Florida Panthers.

He’ll start 2014/2015 with San Antonio Rampage to see if he can find that spark in his game that got folks talking about his potential as the first player ever drafted from the Sunshine State.

TJ Brennan

Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5th year defenseman T.J. Brennan(3) is continuing his career year in the minors with affiliate Toronto Marlies.

He played in a season high 75 AHL regular season games scoring a new best 25 goals and 47 assists for 72 points, which basically doubled his previous yearly totals in the three scoring categories. His 2013/2014 totals were also good enough for lead on the team in tallies and overall. He was also 3rd in the league for points.

The 6’1″ 213 lbs. blue liner recently won the Eddie Shore Award for best d-man this year.

He only has 40 NHL games to his credit, despite being a Buffalo Sabres‘ 2nd round high selection pick.

The irony to those numbers is his best numbers with on a short, freshly traded 19-game stint with Florida Panthers, where he put up a pair of goals and 7 assists in 19 games.

He was picked up for a draft pick and then sent in an off-season trade to Nashville Predators, who decided not to qualify the pending restricted free agent.

Picked up by the Leafs, they, as the story goes never recalled him because they didn’t need him long-term and feared potentially losing him on waivers. It is so much easier to just call up an entry level player.

Now marching the Marlies through the Calder Cup Playoffs he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 9 games without a loss going into the Western Conference Finals.

The 25-year old is set to become a free and in the clear unrestricted free agent this summer. He received one-way contract money but will someone step up for 2014/2015 to try his experience for a full campaign? We’d sign him.

See related: 4/7-11, 11/24-11