Tagged: San Antonio Rampage


4th year defenseman Brandon Gormley(46) would go on to have a relatively good first year scoring 5 goals and 24 assists in 68 AHL games.

In his sophomore campaign he increased in all categories finishing with 7 goals, 29 assists and 38 points in less games at 54 played but did have a pretty bad -22 rating.

He did however receive his first pair of recalls and 5 games in the big league near the end of the 2013/2014 season. Although he didn’t managed to get any points he was a +4 plus/minus.

Heading into the final year of his entry level deal he would split time between leagues almost evenly with a slight edge towards minutes with the parent club.

In 27 games he produced his first 2 NHL goals and 2 assists. He had a -7 rating but that might be tough to blame on such a rebuilding team.

Recalled on three occasions he basically finished off the regular season with the team before being sent back to Portland Pirates to help them with their postseason push, and he did scoring one goal and 4 assists going to a deciding fifth game of the first round before their exit.

A restricted free agent heading into 2015/2016, the now 23-year old accepted his qualifying offer, a 2-way deal to prove he has what it takes to stick.

Later in the season, the fourth year d-man was traded in a swap of relatively high draft picks to Colorado Avalanche and just may find life on their blue line.


12th year undrafted left wing Jeff Hoggan(10) had a nice welcome home campaign after two years abroad in Germany playing in DEL.

He joined Grand Rapid Griffins on a training camp tryout agreement but as of a few days before the start of the regular season had himself a one-year AHL contract and was named team captain from the get-go.

The 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward guided the Griffins to the 2013 Calder Cup Championship, a distinction he previously won as a rookie with Houston Aeros in 2003.

The veteran of 488 regular season AHL games with 5 different teams has scored 131 goals, 125 assists and an overall +19 rating. He lead the league in that category in the 2007-2008 season with a remarkable +39.

He has 107 NHL games to his credit playing two full seasons with St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins and a couple of cups of coffee as a member of Phoenix Coyotes‘ system.

The 35-year unrestricted free agent signed a two-year deal to continue with Detroit Red Wings‘ minor league affiliate through 2015.

Original story: 7/10-13

After winning the whole she-bang and scoring another pair of years under contract the team captain, steady veteran presence posted identical stats in the next two seasons (14-17-31) although he played a full schedule in 2013/2014 and 59 games last campaign but did also post a huge +23 rating.

He even added another 6 goals and 8 assists in 26 postseason contests.

At 37-years old he wasted zero time signing another one-year extension, his fourth with Grand Rapids Griffins to forge ahead with the team and his 14-year career.

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.


For his 14th pro season Brian McGrattan(22) signed a one-year two-way deal with Anaheim Ducks and could find himself playing a decent amount of NHL for the first time in a couple of campaigns to protect all the players in that deep pool of talent in California.

He’ll turn 34-years old before the new season starts.

The huge force, who’s obviously in great shape and last had 11 fights playing for Calgary Flames in 2013/2014, just keeps on ticking.


Original story below 3/15-15:

Calgary Flames‘ 13th year right wing Brian McGrattan(22) was reassigned to the minors for the first time in a couple of seasons, joining affiliate Adirondack Flames .

He last played six games on a conditioning loan with Milwaukee Admirals while under contract to Nashville Predators but returned to Calgary (he spent 2009/2010 with the team) via trade.

The larger than life 6’4″ 240 lbs. rugged forward skated only 8 games (no points) with the parent club and was listed as  a healthy scratch all too often, so the parent club ultimately decided it was best to see if some more ice time could get him back into the lineup on what had become a much speedier squad.

In 2013/2014, he achieved career highs for games played (76), goals (4) and assists (4) while keeping the peace on ice.

The big man was originally a Los Angeles Kings‘ 4th round pick in the 1999 draft (#104 overall) but first signed with Ottawa Senators, who he spent his first six seasons with, scoring his first NHL goal.

After a trade to then Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, he bounced around from team-to-team on one-year deals and even spent the full 2010/2011 with a pair of farm clubs.

A veteran of 278 AHL games he has the record for the most penalty minutes and fighting majors in one season (2004/2005) with Binghamton Senators, when he drop the mitts 39 times and recorded 551 minutes in the sin bin.

The 33-year old enforcer has skated in 317 big league contests but is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He may either decide to take his game overseas for a year as he’s yet to explore the landscape outside of North America or hang up those skates and continue to help players with substance abuse problems, an issue of close importance to him.

See related: 11/1-10, 1/19-11, 2/17-11, 9/18-11,


After 7 seasons of pro hockey in North America, 28-year old center Kyle Wilson(7) opts for a 1-year contract to join 2012 and 2013 KHL champs Dinamo Riga.

He was most recently signed to a two-year deal by Nashville Predators with the second year of the deal on a one-way contract.

The 6’2″ 200 lbs. forward was moved in the off season to Tampa Bay Lightning, playing only 22 games for their minor league affiliate Syracuse Crunch but was once again on the chopping block after scoring only 5 goals.

He was traded to Anaheim Ducks, where he was reassigned to Norfolk Admirals and seemed to regain some of his scoring touch with 3 goals and 9 assists in 16 games.

In 427 AHL games, he has amassed an impressive 319 points (149 goals and 170 assists) with an outstanding +48 rating and won back-to-back Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears.

Originally a Minnesota Wild 9th round pick in the 2004 draft (#272 overall), he has skated in 39 NHL games with 3 different teams recording a modest 4 goals and 9 assists.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent upon deciding to take his game overseas.

Original story: 6/12-13

He had an exceptional first season with Dinamo Riga scoring close to point-per-game numbers (17-27-44) in 49 games but was sidelined late in the campaign with a back injury.

The Oakville, ON native would switch KHL teams in the offseason on a pair of occasions and start 2014/2015 with Traktor Chelyabinsk but returned to Dinamo Riga after 22 contests.

His production suffered greatly, as he was possibly still recovering from surgery, only connecting for 2 goals and 13 assists.

Heading into his 9th season the 30-year old moves on to join MODO of the SHL for 2015/2016 and should be able to get his mojo back.

See related: 3/8-11, 3/12-13


3rd year 6’5″ 237 lbs. left wing tower Justin Vaive(23) earned his first call-up from Hartford Wolf Pack to hopefully help the team turn the corner on a woeful season.

Not exactly a prolific goal scorer, he got his first on the 2013/2014 campaign recently, which has him at or surpassing modest career highs in all point categories with a current +6 rating on a team that’s near the Eastern Conference cellar.

He’s off to a fast start in the ECHL this year with Greenville Road Warriors posting a new goals scored mark at 10 and tied for overall points, done in one-third as many games from his rookie season with Cincinnati Cyclones.

In 4 years of college hockey at Miami University he was never really much of a point production guy but was fairly accountable on ice with a healthy +16 plus/minus and won a NCAA (CCHA) Championship in 2010 before turning pro.

He signed his first deal, an AHL contract with San Antonio Rampage and inked an extension for another year despite the absence of any points.

The still young 24-year old was originally an Anaheim Ducks‘ 4th round pick in the 2007 draft (#94 overall).

His father Rick Vaive played 876 NHL games at almost a point-per-game pace.

Original story: 2/27-14

After finishing the 2013/2014 establishing new AHL career highs for assists (4) and points (5) he was sent back to Greenville Road Warriors to help them with their postseason push.

In 13 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff games he lit up the score sheet with 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points before bowing out in the Eastern Conference Finals.

To start 2014/2015 he was given a contract to continue with Hartford Wolf Pack.

The huge power forward found his scoring touch as he connected for a best 14 goals, 18 assists and 32 points in 62 games and added another helper in 8 playoff contests.

The now 26-year old has been rewarded for his career campaign by scoring an NHL contract, a 1-year, two-way deal with New York Islanders.

He’ll almost assuredly will start with their affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers but could get a recall if he can keep up the scoring pace and use that huge frame to make a difference out there.



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.


12th year veteran defenseman Brendan Bell(14) was acquired by Chicago Wolves from Norfolk Admirals to help boost their back line heading into a potential playoff berth.

In his debut with his new team the 31-year scored a goal and an assist in a tough 4-3 overtime loss against division rival Lake Erie Monsters.

He had only one tally in 47 games with his former team but did compile a sturdy 22 helpers.

The 6’2″ 205 lbs. d-man has almost always consistently put up 20+ assists in each AHL season played through 487 games.

Through his pro career, the former Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 3rd round pick in the in the 2001 draft (#65 overall) has appeared in 102 NHL contests (7 goals, 21 assists) with the last time being 1 game in 2011/2012,  when signed with New York Rangers.

After that season, he left for a couple of spins through Europe, his second foray overseas, landing in Sweden’s SHL with Frolunda and then last year skating again for Biel in the Swiss Elite NLA.

Now that’s he’s returned to North America proving he still has plenty left in the tank, his presence definitely helps the youngsters out on any squad he joins.