After a mostly quiet offseason, the Ads made a splash this week by announcing the signing of six players to AHL contracts. Let’s look at them in detail.
When the news first hit, I had expected to see Kevin Lind and Steve MacIntyre signed. Lind is a Ducks draft choice who got signed to an end-of-season ATO. MacIntyre is a well-known enforcer (mostly with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) and had his signing reported earlier by P-Bruins beat reporter Mark Divver. I was most surprised and delighted to see the re-signing of center Dave Steckel. Now, some in-depth looks.
Steckel spent most of last year with the Admirals. He started off on a PTO with the Iowa Wild before getting released and then signing in Norfolk. His strong play and leadership earned him an AHL SPC. I’m actually happy with this as he has a defined role and is a reliable veteran for what looks to be a young team. I’d imagine he’ll anchor the third line again and hopefully not way down offensive-edged players. I never quite got why he was paired with Emerson Etem so much. I think we’ll see him again on a line with Antoine Laganiere. Another thing to consider is that there is no returning captain with the departure of Garnet Exelby. Given the fact that he’ll garner considerable icetime and is a known veteran presence, I expect Steckel to take over as captain. Assistants will still be up in the air, but I think it’s from a pool of Mat Clark, John Kurtz, and Chris Wagner.
I’ll be honest here– I can see Lind in Utah. Despite signing an end-of-year ATO after his time with Notre Dame ended, he only played in one game. It was the season finale and he didn’t register anything of consequence. He put up a mere 10 points last year in college. While I haven’t done much D projecting yet, I think he’s fighting for a spot. As he’s on an AHL-only deal he can easily be sent to Utah to gain some experience.
I’m not sure what this signing is for, really. While Winchester has some NHL experience, he’s never produced much. Between Rockford and Iowa in the AHL last year, he netted a total of 38 points. With that total, I’d expect him to be more of a depth signing. He did manage to gain 149 PIM last year, which appears to be a trend with this batch.
Well, this is interesting. MacIntyre is a renowned enforcer in the AHL, spending a good chunk of his time with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. At 34, he’s a bit old for the league. He thought that, at least. Last year, he retired from hockey after playing all of 11 games for the Oklahoma City Barons. Most thought this signaled the end of his career. Not so, as he’s returned to the East division as the marquee enforcer for the Admirals. For those who somehow got mad at the Admirals not re-signing Zack Stortini, fear not! (Ignore the fact that the Ducks signed Stortini ). MacIntyre can put up the PIMs, even though he’s seen a decline in recent years. He hasn’t played a full AHL season since 2007-08 and has never registered more than 5 points in a season. He’s probably signed especially for duels with Stortini and Lehigh Valley.
If McIver’s name sounds familiar, that makes sense. Before playing in Hamilton last season, he spent a season in Bridgeport and a couple in Providence. Now, this is not an offensive, puck-moving d-man. Which I’d like to see. Instead, this is a stay-at-home type and an AHL veteran. I have a feeling he was not signed for his actual defense. McIver routinely puts up 100+ PIM seasons. Between MacIntyre, Winchester, and McIver, this feels like some sort of toughness move. I’m not really sure what type of team Jarrod Skalde wants to put together at the bottom of the roster. The top lines will be filled with Anaheim draft picks, and I guess this for jam.
Marcoux is going to Utah. Right now, the depth for Anaheim looks like this:
Marcoux and Faragher are both on AHL deals and will most likely be competing to see who can be Aaron Dell‘s backup in Utah. I suppose it’s entirely possible that one of Faragher or Marcoux beats out Igor Bobkov but I find that highly unlikely. What to do with Marcoux, I don’t know. Being that he’s a goalie from the Q, he’s gonna need a helluva lot of development.
training camp invites
One of the more unique sides of having Eric Veilleux as an assistant coach is that Francophone media is talking a lot more about the Norfolk Admirals. Sure, they’ve had reason to in the past. This is slightly different, it feels like, because of the success Veilleux had in the Q. With that, I’ve noticed that two players from Quebec have been invited to Admirals training camp. What a weird time that is, as Norfolk training camp is maybe a week. The two players are F Danick Paquette and D Charles-Olivier Roussel.
If Paquette’s name hits on the memory banks, it’s because he was a member of the Utah Grizzlies last year. He was quite impressive with the Grizz, registering 23+26=49 points in 67 games. Along the way, he notched 277 PIM. A guy like that seems to further whatever Skalde is trying to do with the roster. Unlike some of the previous signings, Paquette has proven that he has offensive ability that should keep him on the ice. His tryout guarantees nothing, of course. Currently, he is still signed with the Grizzlies for next year. If need be, he could be an excellent call-up.
Charles-Olivier Roussel most likely got his invite straight from Veilleux. Roussel played in Shawnigan for Veilleux, wearing an A in 2009-10. In his professional foray, Roussel has spent all of his time with the Predators system. Last season, the right-handed defender put up 17 points in 66 games for Milwaukee. Nashville did not think he made a decent enough impression and did not qualify him as a restricted free agent. C-O Roussel could make the defense, given his AHL experience and relationship to Veilleux. Again, he’s on a tryout and guaranteed nothing.
This is all I really have for now, until i try to sort out some depth.