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The 2011-12 Chicago Wolves Thread

Connauton or Granani   198 members have voted

  1. 1. Which defenceman has more upside,or do You think will be a more valuable Defenceman in the future ?

    • 22 yr old Connauton
    • 25 yr old Gragnani

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theshaves

The Wolves reassigned goaltender Mathieu Corbieu to Missouri of the CHL. Matt Climie returning from injury will be available this weekend.

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Nice article about Haydar:

Every now and then, a player comes along who becomes the "face" of a franchise.

The time is now and the place is the Chicago Wolves for team captain Darren Haydar.

"He's absolutely the face of the franchise," said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. "He might be the face of the AHL, actually, when you look at where he is in all-time scoring, the active scoring leaders list. Every week, he seems to be moving up another notch. He's the model of consistency in our league.

"He is what the Wolves are all about. He doesn't like to lose. He wants to win. He's a great person and very caring and giving back to the community. That's what we want. That's what our organization is about. We talked about the face of the franchise. He epitomizes all those."

Haydar, a 33-year-old right wing, is in his second go-round with the American Hockey League's Wolves. He won a Calder Cup championship with the Wolves in 2008 before leaving for what he thought was a real shot at the NHL.

That shot never came, and after seasons in Grand Rapids and Lake Erie, Haydar came "home" to the Wolves in 2010.

Entering this weekend's games at Hamilton and Toronto, Haydar has 12 goals and 18 assists this year. For his Wolves career, he has 120 goals and 221 assists, putting his points total 1 short of tying Jason Krog for third in franchise history.

For a team completing its 19th year of play, it's probably safe to say that only one other player has earned the tag of "face of the franchise," and that was high-scoring winger Steve Maltais, who starred in the early days of the Wolves.

"I left here for an opportunity in the NHL; that's the only reason I left," Haydar said. "I think I was misled in terms of the reasons why I left, in terms of the organizations I signed with. I was told I was going to be given an opportunity, and that didn't happen.

"Even in those years, when I happened to be in the American League, if there was a team I wanted to play for, it was definitely the Chicago Wolves. It starts from the ownership: Don Levin. He's been great to myself and my wife and our families. It's because of people like him, and it's transcended down through the coaching staff, when (head coach) John Anderson was here.

"The Chicago Wolves treat their players, from my perspective, as family. That's something that I knew if I was in the American Hockey League, it was a place I wanted to come back to and play."

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@theshaves

Wolves have won 8 straight games in the Province of Ontario...chance to make 5 in a row in Toronto as they face the Marlies this afternoon.

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Wolves article on Archie!

The Chicago Wolves needed a spark. They needed more power. More scoring. More energy. They needed Darren Archibald.

Darren Archibald is living the dream.

Fresh from morning practice, he can’t wipe the mile-wide grin off his face. Turns out, that smile’s a permanent fixture on “Archie.”

“I’m an easy-going guy,” Archibald said. “I have fun all day. I enjoy everything I’m doing and I’m enjoying this moment. Every little boy’s dream is to play hockey and play in the NHL. I couldn’t be happier. Right now, I’m one step away.”

For the 22-year old left wing from Newmarket, Ontario, getting his big break in the American Hockey League was challenge enough. After a brief stint with the Wolves at the beginning of last season, Archibald was sent to the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings, returning to the Wolves for only 20 games in February and March. He was back in Wolves camp this summer, but was again assigned to the Wings.

But the positive Archibald wasn’t deterred. He knew what was missing.

“I had to get the confidence back in my game,” Archibald said. “That’s what the K-Wings were about. I’m more confident as a player now. Last year was my first as a pro. Whether it was nerves or just not being confident, that’s what landed me back in Kalamazoo.”

As injuries mounted for the Wolves and the power play unit struggled to find its footing, Archibald was excelling in the ECHL, posting six goals and eight assists in 18 games. When a roster spot in Chicago opened, head coach Scott Arniel knew who should fill it.

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K-Wings article on Mallet from a little while back:

When Alexandre Mallet arrived at Wings Stadium Dec. 4, Kalamazoo Wings coach Nick Bootland wasn’t sure that was the player he expected to receive from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

“I didn’t even recognize him, actually,” Bootland said. “At camp, he had pretty long hair, so I assumed that was the kid we were getting. I almost had to double-check my notes to see if he was the right guy.”

Mallet said he cut his hair three weeks ago on a whim.

“I got really long hair,” he said. “I always got long hair since I was young. I don’t know why I cut it short.”

“He speaks fine English,” teammate Aaron Clarke said. “I think maybe he thinks he doesn’t, but he really does. For Mallet, a native of Amqui, Quebec, French is his first language, and although he says he’s not completely comfortable speaking English, he does a commendable job of it.

“It’s tough for him sometimes to speak up and talk, so you try to make him feel comfortable. You’ve gotta try to communicate hockey to him somehow. Chalk talk.”

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And one on Cannata from October:

Goaltender Joe Cannata had a few butterflies when he made his Kalamazoo Wings debut Saturday night, but once he faced a few shots, he settled right in between the pipes.

The rookie turned away 40 shots to lead the K-Wings to a 4-2ECHL win against the Toledo Walleye.

Kalamazoo takes a 3-1-0-0 record into a home-and-home series against the Evansville IceMen (0-2-0-1), starting in Indiana on Friday and returning to Wings Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the annual orange ice Halloween game.

After just two weeks, the K-Wings lead the ECHL’s North Division a point better than the Cincinnati Cyclones (2-0-1-0) and Fort Wayne Komets (2-1-0-1) and two ahead of the Walleye (2-1-0-0). Evansville is last in the North.

Cannata has a 2.00 goals-against average (12th in the ECHL) and, coupled with veteran goalie Joel Martin (1.30 GAA, fifth in the league), the K-Wings have a formidable tandem in net.

To say nothing of a large tandem: Cannata is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and Martin is 6-2, 195.

“We’re not afraid to have either of these guys in net and you can see why (last weekend),” K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said. “(Cannata) got a chance to prove himself. We wanted to put him in a situation where we felt he can have success early as well. He gave us a great opportunity to win (Saturday) because of the way he played.”

A sixth-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009 NHL draft, the Wakefield, Mass., native played four years at Hockey East’s Merrimack College, posting a 2.18 GAA and .926 saves percentage his senior year.

Cannata’s pro debut was actually last season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, where he allowed just two goals in the win.

“It’s been a while since last year,” Cannata said. “Just waiting to get my shot (in Kalamazoo). I’m glad we came away with the win (Saturday).

“I like to have a calm presence back there for the guys, just kind of slow things down. Whenever I can get a whistle, get a whistle. When I’m playing well, I’m keeping it simple. Guys are boxing guys out and I’m just taking care of the first shot. From that point on, I tend to be on my best and hope to continue that this year.”

The K-Wings gave Cannata a 3-0 lead in the opening period Saturday.

“Any game, you want to score first,” Cannata said. “For me, I don’t want to let any in. It was good that we got out to a 4-1 lead (early in the third). Guys play a lot better when you have a lead.”

Being peppered with so many shots, “When I’m not seeing them, that’s good,” he said. “Guys were blocking them out, which made my job a lot easier. Again, good to get the win.”

Cannata has been working with Dan Cloutier, Vancouver’s goalie consultant, who was in the stands Friday and Saturday.

“There are so many things you have to look for, from competitive level to how they read plays and how technically sound they are and how well-liked they are by their teammates; all the little things that eventually make them be a starter in the NHL.” said Cloutier who played 10 seasons in the NHL, half of them with the Canucks.

“What I like about Joe is he’s very calm, he’s very mature for his age and he reads plays extremely well. People that watch him, think he’s been around for a long time. That’s what I like about him. He’s very poised. You can never tell if he’s up 3-0 or down 3-0, he’s very even keel, and that’s a great quality for a goalie.”

Cannata has a good role model in Martin.

“I just do what I’ve done the last 10 years, just show him how to be a professional,” Martin said of the rookie. “From what I’ve seen so far, he already knows how to do that. He’s out on the ice early and stays out there late, working hard. I don’t think there’s too much, but I’ll do what I can.”

Cloutier, who also works with the Wolves netminders as well as some in the Central league, said players should always work on improving.

“You have to work on everything,” he said. “You just have to get better at everything. I think overall, it’s rebound control. Even guys in the NHL are still working on things like that.

“(Goalies need to work on) reading the play better, just getting to your position as quick as you can, handling the puck better to help out your ‘D’. All the small things. You can always get better in evolving yourself as a goaltender.”

While Cannata has continued to be steady between the pipes since his days with the U.S. National Team Development Program under-18 team, he’s made one major change.

Being from Boston area, I rooted for the Bruins growing up,” he said, “Now I’m a Canucks fan.”

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Article on Polasek:

As a Czech Republic native, A dam Polasek never played basketball.

But the defenseman got a taste of the roundball sport on Monday when the Kalamazoo Wings hockey team took to the hardcourt instead of the ice rink for a spirited workout.

With the K-Wings mired in a slump, going 3-6-1-0 in their last 10 games, coach Nick Bootland decided to give the players a fun challenge.

“I felt we needed a change of pace,” Bootland said. “I think right now, we’re tight as a group, and you can’t be. You’ve got to have fun playing this game. If you’re not having fun, you’re not gonna get results.”

Bootland split the team and staff, including himself, into two teams of 12, playing 5-on-5 with a lot of substitutions.

“Hockey players cannot play basketball because we never have a chance to because we’re always playing hockey during that season,” defenseman Sam Ftorek said. “But it was fun, a little different; a team bonding experience, get us away from the rink, take some pressure off. Get guys out of their comfort zone and just have some fun.

“A day like (Monday) is great for us. We’re not all on the same page right now; we’re off just a little bit. Something like today is getting you thinking outside the box. You see guys’ tendencies, see guys’ attitudes, just have fun with it, and I think that’s what’s gonna bring us together.”

Polasek said playing basketball is just one of the new experiences he’s had since traveling to North America four years ago to play junior hockey with the Prince Edward Island Rocket. The 21-year-old is the youngest player on the team, four months younger than his roommate, left wing Steven Anthony.

“Actually, I’m always youngest, so I’m really good with that.,” Polasek said. “When I came here, I didn’t speak English at all. Well, I knew how to say ‘I’m hungry,’ and ‘What’s that?’ and ‘I want food.’ It took me couple months to get used to it.”

Being young doesn’t mean the roommates are fast food junkies.

“I’m actually a really good cook,” Polasek said. “I’m more like a meat guy, like steaks, chicken. I like pasta. and salads. I know maybe 15 different kinds of salads.”

Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2010 NHL draft, Polasek played last season, his first as a pro, with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. But his ultimate goal is to be up with the big club.

“In 1998 when the Czech team won the Olympic games, after that every kid wanted to play hockey,” Polasek said. “In Czech, every kid dreams of NHL, same as me.

“I played World Juniors under-18 and when I see I get some attention from NHL scouts, my agent told me right away, if I want to succeed, I have to go to Canada. There is much more eyes on me. In every game, there’s some NHL scouts, which was probably the biggest thing.”

Bootland said one important thing the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Polasek brings to Kalamazoo is size.

“He’s a big body who wins his one-on-one battles and takes space away, kills penalties, blocks shots and is a team-first guy,” Bootland said. “He’s here to work on mobility and puck movement and doing that quicker. Those are things that will help him get to the next level.”

At age 38, Ftorek looks at Polasek with an experienced eye.

“He’s kind of battling with the language barrier, but he’s doing things the right way,” Ftorek said. “He comes in, he works out, he takes care of his body. He does all the things he’s supposed to do, so he’s got that part down. He’s got that pro mentality as far as doing it the right way.

“Now we’ve just got to get him to make the first pass because it’s the easiest one, not because it’s the best, not because it’s it’s gonna make a difference on the scoresheet, but because it gets it out of our zone up quick. He does a great job of holding the puck and creating space, but if you make that quick pass, it’s gonna be a lot better for us. He’s learning that and doing a good job at it.”

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Yet another one, this time on Sauve. U mad?

Yann Sauve has had a taste of playing in the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks,and his path back there has taken a side trip through Kalamazoo.

The defenseman started this season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, was injured and then sent to the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings Jan. 25 to work his way back up.

“He should play in every situation for us,” K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said. “He was injured in Chicago and was assigned to us to gain confidence. He should be a minute muncher.

“When he has the puck on his stick, with his size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), skating and stature, you can see that he doesn’t belong here.”

The Canucks took Sauve, who is from Montreal, in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2008 NHL draft.

Sauve, his parents and his two brothers were in Ottawa for the draft, and he was surprised when the Canucks called his name.

“I really didn’t know,” he said. “There were so many teams interested. I was happy, proud of what I accomplished. It was like a new beginning. I wasn’t in Junior any more.

“My mom cried and I don’t know if my dad cried, but they were very proud.”

Sauve said he’s always enjoyed playing defense because “I like defending the opposite team and you play a lot of minutes.”

After finishing his junior career with the Saint John Seas Dogs, his first pro season (2010-11) was a good one for him.

He started with the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings and battled back from an early season injury.

“After Christmas, I went up to the (AHL’s) Manitoba Moose, then Vancouver,” he said. “I worked hard for it. It was a dream come true.”

He played five games with the Canucks but spent most of the season with the Moose. He played last year with the Wolves.

In his five games with the K-Wings this year, Sauve has two goals, including the overtime game-winner in the 3-2 win at the Cincinnati Cyclones. His second tally came in Friday’s 5-1 win against the Fort Wayne Komets.

Sauve has a good attitude about being in Kalamazoo.

“I need to be confident with my play every night,” he said. “I need to get better every day. For me, it’s consistency with puck possession. I have the assets, I need the mental aspect.

“I have a big body and can play against the best line. I can be a good two-way defenseman. The offensive part of my game is there. It’s all part of having confidence.”

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@theshaves: Wolves swap out goalies for this weekend Joe Cannata is heading to Kalamazoo ECHL for game action. Mathieu Corbeil is recalled from Missouri

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Off topic, but apparently the Abbotsford Hear are moving to Utica next season! Leaving Abbotsford open for an affiliate! Can't post the link, Im on my phone but look at Canucks hockey blog on twitter.

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Off topic, but apparently the Abbotsford Hear are moving to Utica next season! Leaving Abbotsford open for an affiliate! Can't post the link, Im on my phone but look at Canucks hockey blog on twitter.

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@ChrisKuc: Chicago Wolves right wing Darren Haydar named AHL player of the week. #Canucks

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Chicago_Wolves

BREAKING NEWS: Joe Cannata rejoins the Wolves from Kalamazoo, while Alex Mallet heads to the K-Wings and Mathieu Corbeil goes to Missouri.

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i think mallet only got one game on this stint. better off with the wings for now.

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