News, I guess?
Edmonton’s offseason has been…checkered at best. They managed to not screw up a top-3 pick falling in their hands, signed Milan Lucic for more than he’s worth, and decided to trade Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson in one of the most baffling offseason moves. Things in the minor ranks have been kind of quiet. Doing so at the AHL level isn’t too unexpected, as they depend on players who are already in the system to make up the team. ECHL squads require more active engagement throughout the summer.
Norfolk has signed no one, with the qualifying offer acceptance deadline of August 1st quickly approaching. One way to stock up your ECHL team is to sign players to AHL deals. Doing so gets around the ECHL salary cap and allows for easy call-ups to the American league squad. Rookie standout Scott Allen received one of these deals from Bakersfield. Another player who might be taking this route is Frankie Simonelli. The defender has been in the Boston Bruins organization for parts of the past three seasons after leaving the University of Wisconsin. Simonelli appeared in 21 games for the P-Bruins last year, scoring 1+2=3 points. He did play 19 games in the 2014-15 season for the South Carolina Stingrays, amassing 10 points. Simonelli spent 36 games in a P-Bruins uniform, however.
Simonelli doesn’t have a lot of PIMs on his record, so he’s not an enforcer. He’s ostensibly being provided as depth for the Condors, but it’s unclear if he has sticking power. I would not be surprised to see Simonelli finding his way down to the Admirals.
Norfolk is going to look different next year, starting with the head coach. New players are going to come in, but it’s disappointing to see some leave. Case-in-point is Alexis Loiseau signing with the Wichita Thunder. Loiseau signed with the Condors last season but spent the majority of his time with the Ads. He had a decent rookie campaign, notching 14 goals and 26 points. I thought the Condors (or Ads) might want to keep him on. Instead, he has signed with another ECHL team. The Ads have to announce someone, right?