Tag: Cincinnati Cyclones

Van Guilder Returns, Bouvet-Morrissette Added and Preds Sign Pair

A key to the Milwaukee puzzle, Mark Van Guilder, is back with the Admirals for the 2012-2013 season after a signing an AHL contract today.

This will be the fourth full season for the popular forward, who posted career highs last season in goals (12), assists (15), points (27) and games played (70). The two-way specialist chipped in three game winners in 2011-2012 and posted a +8 rating. A couple of features I wrote over the last two seasons spelled out Van Guilder’s positive impact on Milwaukee. First a story on Van Guilder’s leadership on and off the ice. Second a story on MVG’s 2011 playoff heroics and his Kelly Cup run with Cincinnati.

This will be the first professional season for Andre Bouvet-Morrissette, who went undrafted by NHL teams. The 6-3 winger posted 39 goals and 33 assists for the Drummondville Voltigeurs last season, combined with 75 PIMs in 63 games. The Becancour, Quebec native added two more tallies in four playoff games. The AHL contract comes on the heals of news back in May that Bouvet-Morrissette had signed with Nashville, in what was thought at the time to be a preemptive move by the Predators to keep the prospect away from Montreal.

In addition Nashville recently announced the resigning of forward Mike Fisher (yesterday) and the signing of free agent defenseman Scott Hannan (last Friday). Fisher is back in the fold for two more years at $4.2 million per season. The 33-year-old Hannan will earn a $1 million, one-year/one-way deal to serve as another veteran on the Predators blueline.

So Roundtable . . . How would you like to welcome back Mark Van Guilder and what are your favorite MVG moments?

What do you think of the addition of Bouvet-Morrissette and what role do you see him playing in Milwaukee? Power forward, checker, fighter, scorer, or some sort of combination?

What do you think about Nashville’s addition of Scott Hannan? Does his addition shore up the Predators’ defensive depth chart?

ECHL to the NHL, Could Pickard be Next?

The American Hockey League, which is celebrating its 75th season, is justifiably proud of it role it plays in grooming players for the NHL.  But the league isn’t the only place where top-level caliber talent goes to develop the skills necessary to play on hockey’s biggest stage.

As of last count the ECHL has churned out 459 alumni who have played in the NHL.  Some of the names who have that have made that jump are pretty impressive, including Tim Thomas, Jaroslav Halak, Jonathan Quick, Tomas Vokoun, Ruslan Fedotenko, Joe Corvo, Rich Pevelry, and two Admirals from 2010-2011, Chris Mueller and Mark Dekanich.

Of the five most recent former-ECHLers who got their NHL shot, three spent time with the Cincinnati Cyclones.  Recently I asked Cyclones coach Jarrod Skalde who are the next players from Cincinnati who could make the move up to the NHL:

Skalde: Right off the top, I would have to say our goaltending.  If you look at Chet Pickard, you see a talented, talented kid.  He’s had some struggles up in Milwaukee, and that’s part of the reason why he is here now.  But he works extremely hard.  He understands where he’s at and what he has to do to get out of here and back up to Milwaukee and hopefully in the future with the Nashville Predators.  Chet’s a pleasure to have down here in Cincinnati.

Another guy is Marc Cheverie with the Florida Panthers organization that is in the same boat.  He is a top prospect that is in the ECHL right now trying to figure out his game.  They are two guys that complement each other very well and share the same vision and same focus of wanting to get up to the National Hockey League.

There you have it, Pickard and Cheverie.  With the Florida Panthers looking to unload Vokoun at some point, Cheverie looks like he might have the easier road of moving up.

(For more on Cincinnati’s role in the Nashville Predators/Milwaukee Admirals organization, check out my feature story here)

So Roundtable, Is there a player on Cincinnati who could eventually play in the NHL?  Is there an alumnus of the ECHL on Milwaukee who could make the jump?

Minor League Holiday Trials and Tribulations

One of the toughest aspects of being a minor league hockey player is dealing with all the unknowns of playing on a two-way contract.  With only a short notice, players with these deals can be tossed back and forth within an organization.

Over the past two seasons Milwaukee Admirals forward Mark Van Guilder dealt with plenty of unwanted movement, in his case between Milwaukee and the Cincinnati Cyclones.  Van Guilder spent his holiday season of 2009-2010 putting a lot of miles on his car.

“Last year I was on a two-way contract between Milwaukee and Cincinnati,” Van Guilder said. “I spent the first half of the season up with the Admirals, but I was sent down to Cincinnati the week before Christmas.”

Van Guilder’s well prepared travel plans got washed away in the transaction.

“Instead of that quick five hour drive home that I was planning on doing, it ended up being that I played with the Cyclones in Trenton and then had ride back through the night to Cincinnati,” Van Guilder said. “After the bus ride I got right into my car and drove the 12 hours home.”

Van Guilder points to Milwaukee forward Dylan Hunter this year as a player who is going through the same sorts of holiday hassles.

“Hunter just got called up to the Admirals and now he’s had to change his travel plans,” Van Guilder said.

Despite the minor league travel issues, Van Guilder feels lucky to be able to get home.

“Playing in Milwaukee, we do get a few days to go home,” Van Guilder said.  “It’s kind of mess sometimes, but were fortunate to get home and see our families anyways.”