Better Know An Affiliate: Calgary Flames

AHL: Stockton Heat (31-31-4-2, 6th in Pacific, Did Not Qualify for playoffs)
TEAM LINEAGE: One of the five teams that moved to California, previous to this– the Flames have had quite the history of affiliates in the previous 15 years. Stockton was moved from Adirondack, though that was only a one-year stop for the Flames and the Adirondack Flames. Before that, the only Western team in the AHL was the Abbotsford Heat from 2009 until 2014 and previous to that– Quad City, Omaha, and Lowell after the 10 seasons they spent in Saint John, New Brunswick.
FREQUENT FLYER CANDIDATES: His prolific scoring in the AHL has Dillon Dube on the radar for the Flames, but with the depth they have in front of him; his better than point-per-game average may not be enough for him to crack the opening night roster, but it’ll be hard to ignore if he can keep that pace. With the injury to Juuso Valimaki, defense got a little more wide open. Should he adjust to the North American game, Alexander Yelesin could see some shuttle time by mid-season to help out with more depth in the show.

ECHL: Kansas City Mavericks (36-30-4-2, 4th in Mountain, lost in first round)
TEAM LINEAGE: The Mavericks and Flames marriage happened after the Flames moved on from the Adirondack Thunder– the replacement for the Stockton Thunder. After a long-term secondary affiliation with the Johnstown Chiefs, Las Vegas Wranglers, and Utah Grizzlies; Calgary bounced around the ECHL with Alaska Aces, Colorado Eagles, and Adirondack before hunkering down in Kansas City.
NOTABLE GRADUATES: The only two graduates to the NHL the ECHL Mavericks have turned out have been Tanner Fritz and Maxime Lagace. Fritz has been shuttled from Bridgeport to Long Island the past two seasons, but his first half-season with the Mavericks got him the permanent call-up to Bridgeport. Lagace got his start in Kansas City, as well, and has gone on to be the third goalie for the Vegas Golden Knights; including helping out when all the goalies went down during their inaugural season.

Minor League Monday: Streaking Teams, Odd Scheduling, and Shaky Defense

AHL

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-With three wins in a row and won five of their last six, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers seem to be maturing as the season goes on, especially in net. Christopher Gibson and Kristers Gudlevskis have posted shutouts against Providence this weekend alone. Rookies have also taken a big role with Scott Eansor, Mitchell Vande Sompel, and (the other) Sebastian Aho being in the top-five in team scoring. The addition of Josh Ho-Sang to compliment Tanner Fritz up front will definitely make them offensively stronger moving forward.

-Despite his point-streak ending on Saturday, Andrew Mangiapane is making a name for himself in his sophomore season. With 16 points (6g, 10a) in 11 games, Mangiapane has helped the Stockton Heat lead the way in goals-for in the Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference. As a rookie, Mangiapane, along with Mark Jankowski, were the only 20-goal scorers in the Stockton, which helped Mangiapane build off of two 100-point seasons to end his OHL career. A sixth-round pick, Mangiapane could be a diamond in the rough that Calgary found to help their offensive growth.

ECHL

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-During their current four-game winning streak, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits have scored 23 goals in that span. Allan McPherson and Adam Chapie are both atop the ECHL scoring board, while Caleb Herbert is on an 11-point scoring streak from the start of the season. The only issue could be the team defense. The Swamp Rabbits are tied for the most goals given up this year. While Ty Rimmer has turned his game around a bit, the development of Brandon Halverson seems to have hit a rough patch with his 5.06 GAA in six appearances so far.

-The schedulers of the ECHL only seem to have slotted the Jacksonville IceMen to play in five games in the month of October. The IceMen are winless in those five games, but their inexperienced line-up (13 of 21 rostered players are rookies) give them a little leeway. The inexperience is showing with Jamie Phillips being 0-4-1 and a 4.21 GAA after an impressive rookie season last year in Tulsa. The upside for Jacksonville is that Alexandre Goulet has points in all five games and five goals in four of those games.

SPHL

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-While the Fayetteville Marksmen haven’t gotten much puck luck this season, the play of Jake Hauswirth, John Schiavo, and Kyle McNeil should be something to help ease the blow of being in 7th place. Hauswirth’s 11 points are a league-high, while Shiavo and McNeil are tied with Evansville’s Justin MacDonald for the league-high in goals with five. If Peter Di Salvo can get back on track, the the Marksmen could be a threat as the season goes on.

Minor League Monday: Jankowski Potting Points, Beast Licking Wounds, Mayhem Being Settled

While this blog encompasses the hockey landscape, there needs to one day that is dedicated to the lower levels of hockey on this blog when there isn’t a big story that going around the hockey blogosphere. And if just one day is not enough, you can head over to my friends at TheSinBin.net for your fix on almost every team in minor league hockey.

AHL

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-After being one of the last cuts of the Calgary Flames, Mark Jankowski is making every minute count while with the Stockton Heat. In his first six games, Jankowski has five goals and eight points, putting him tied in goals with another Flames cut, Garnet Hathaway and two points behind Andrew Mangiapane for total points.

-The Vegas Golden Knights goaltending situation is in peril, if you hadn’t heard. It’s in so much disarray that they have taken both of their AHL prospects out of Chicago, Oscar Dansk and Maxime Lagace, which leaves CJ Motte as their only rostered goalie for now. Luckily, the Wolves don’t play until Wednesday morning, so they have time to go ahead and get a back-up for Motte. Just goes to show you can never have enough goaltending depth.

ECHL

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-This is definitely not the start of the season the Brampton Beast wanted after their record-setting season last year. After getting into their first playoffs in the ECHL era of the team, the Beast are out to an 0-4-1 start. While Brandon Marino is putting up the goals (4g, 2a), the secondary scoring is still in need of a boost. There’s also a need to get more of their defense to help out rookie goalies Marcus Hogberg and Michael McNiven, as the team has given up a league high 24 goals.

-With the additions of always dangerous Mitchell Heard and Michael Kirkpatrick, the Florida Everblades are off to a blazing start. The team is a plus-9 in the goal-differential to the young season (only behind the Allen Americans) and a lot can be attributed to Heard and Kirkpatrick making a big impact, as well as rookies Steven Lorentz and Nelson Armstrong jumping in feet first for the ‘Blades.

SPHL

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-It has been a rough start to the season for the defending champion Macon Mayhem. With this past weekend yielding only one goal for the team while giving up nine in two games, it’s been the typical hangover we see from some champions time and again. The roster does have some of the returning players from that championship team, so it’s not like they aren’t used to pressure. While they can have a bit of hiccup, the short season in the SPHL makes it so they have to get back in the win column quickly before it gets too out of hand.

-Sean Bonar is building off his strong season last year with Fayetteville, but this time with the Pensacola Ice Flyers. A shutout in his first game with Pensacola was a great way to make a good first impression with his team, but the fact he’s getting goal support is even better for the SPHL’s reigning MVP and top goaltender going into a new season. It wasn’t easy, as Bonar faced 36 shots against the reigning champs in Macon, but once the defense tightens up, the Ice Flyers will surely be one of the teams to beat this SPHL season.