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UticaHockey last won the day on June 2 2015

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  1. Glad I got to see Michael develop into both a better goalie and a fine young man during his time with the Comets. I really appreciate his comments about his stay in our city towards the end of the interview. Treat him well in Abbotsford and Vancouver.
  2. jamie Huscroft was a fan favorite when the Utica Devils came to town back in 1987. He played all or part of five of the six years that the Devils had their AHL team in Utica.
  3. Tonight will be the Comets final home game of the season. After eight seasons it will also be the final time that I go to the Aud and watch the Comets wearing the Blue & Green. There are some Canucks fans that would like to go back to the old colors and the retro skate jersey but I think the current Canucks/Comets colors are the best in hockey. I am excited to move on to the next chapter of AHL hockey in Utica. The stability of a new ten year agreement with New Jersey with a mutually agreed to opt-out after year seven allows Comets fans to relax and not have to worry about the team leaving every other year as the six year agreement with Vancouver was essentially three, two year agreements. I believe the change is in the best interest of each organization. Vancouver will have their AHL prospects closer to home which will be easier for call ups and better exposure to the local fanbase. Comets fans will have an easier time following the prospects as they advance to the NHL with an east coast partner in addition to the stability that comes with the new agreement. The Vancouver Canucks will always be my favorite west coast NHL team and I will continue to follow the team and especially the guys that got their start in Utica. I will forever be grateful that they took a chance on our small city so many miles away and that they stayed long enough for Utica to prove that we have a place in this league. The eight years of support we showed for the Canucks prospects was instrumental in finding another NHL team to trust us with their prospects. I wish the new team in Abbotsford well and hope you guys get a chance to see them play in person. Show your support through both the successful and lean years because ultimately that is what keeps AHL hockey in your city. Good luck and hopefully we get to play each other in the Calder Cup Finals next year
  4. That is a tough one and you would probably get a few different answers. I think you can take Grenier off the list. His nickname was "Floater" around here. A player that had the tools to play at the next level but never worked hard enough to make it happen. Fan favorite would have to be Archibald. Just a larger than life personality that got the crowd going. Greatest Comet for me is Reid Boucher but Jacob Markstrom and Cal O'Reily have to be part of the conversation. The 2014-15 season will be remembered for a long time around here and that season wouldn't have been as successful without Marky in goal and Captain Cal on the ice and in the room. Travis Green said that Cal O'Reilly was the best captain he had been around in all of his years in hockey which is a huge statement. O'Reilly is consistently named the team captain everywhere he goes including currently with the Flyers AHL team in Lehigh Valley. Greatest prospect to come through Utica has to be Markstrom which is subject to change if some of the more recent Canucks players to come through Utica go on to have long and successful careers.
  5. And kudos to the NHL players that contributed to help out their AHL payers down on the farm. https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/spezza-leads-maple-leafs-efforts-pool-money-help-marlies/
  6. The AHL announced yesterday that 4 of the 5 divisions have decided against having any postseason. Only the Pacific Division will have a post season tournament with the format TBD. Yet to be seen what will actually occur. The PHPA which represents AHL and ECHL players came out against it. AHL players took a significant cut in salary this year and typically only get paid in the playoffs as part of a cut in pooled ticket revenue from all games. How much money will be shared with the playoffs if some teams are playing with no fans?
  7. Free stream tonight. Hopefully DiPietro gets the start and Gadjovich keeps putting pucks in the net.
  8. Have to start calling him Michael instead of Mikey. He looks older sporting that beard and stash.
  9. I came here expecting to see reactions to Kole Lind's first NHL game but instead found a discussion of Trump and cow scat. So how did Lindsanity look? I didn't watch the game.
  10. This is a copy and paste from a reply I made on HF. Too lazy to type something similar again. It's about time. I understand the reasoning behind the "but he is working with Ian Clark" argument to an extent but not to the point where a 21 year old goaltending prospect doesn't play in a single game all year. Development is a process. 1. Work with the best coaching available during practice. 2. Apply what you work on in practice in competitive games. 3. Review game video with your coach to define areas to work on. 4. Work on the items that need improvement in practice with the goaltending coach. Rinse and repeat. How is it a good development plan when steps 2 and 3 are removed for an entire season?
  11. The Comets were outplayed most of the night and outshot 41 - 18. The real story was 20 year old Blues goalie prospect Joel Hofer with his first professional shutout. Hofer was Canada's gold winning goalie in the world juniors last year. The highlight for Canucks prospects was Will Lockwood's first professional goal. A shorthanded breakaway with a nice deke to the backhand that he roofed. Lockwood has good wheels but just hasn't been able to put away any of his scoring chances up until last night. The Comets have been a little sluggish looking the past three games with Rathbone and Baertschi out of the lineup.
  12. Lots of news hitting the rumor mill yesterday about the possibility of the NJ Devils replacing Vancouver in Utica. Normally I would take this with a grain of salt but there seems to be enough smoke here to think a fire exists. It was reported that Robert Esche applied for trademarks on the name Utica Devils to include merchandise that a team would normally sell. The domain name for a website was also recently registered although unlike the trademark it is not known who registered it. Also yesterday news reports out of Binghamton revealed ongoing issues between the NHL management in New Jersey and the AHL management in Binghamton. The Devils have a similar AHL structure as the Canucks. NJ owns the AHL franchise but partner with a local ownership group in Binghamton to run the team. But unlike Rob Esche who opted in for the COVID shortened AHL season with almost no revenue so the Canucks (and Blues) would have a place for their prospects to play Binghamton opted out. For this season the Binghamton Devils are playing out of a practice facility in NJ. The Binghamton news reported that the contract with the Devils runs through the 2021-22 season but who knows what opt out clauses may exist. We do know that the Canucks have an opt out option in Utica this year. When they signed a six year extension two years ago it was reported that they could opt out after year two and four. While it is inevitable that the Canucks will eventually move their AHL team out west and the Devils make more sense logistically I have mixed emotions. This would be our second go around as the Utica Devils and the first didn't end well. Their reputation in the other AHL cities since hasn't been much better. Plus they always force their Devils team name on their AHL city which would totally disregard our Comets history dating back to the 1950s that Esche had done a great job of honoring. If it were up to me the Comets and Canucks would remain partners for years to come but that is not likely.
  13. John Stevens who got the GWG in the shootout is technically Vancouver property. But yeah it was an odd selection.
  14. You are right in saying Rathbone is only two games into his pro career and we should wait and see a larger body of work. I wish I could see this kid play in person instead of a stream on TV because he looks like the best skater we've had in Utica. Coach Cull himself said that Rathbone is the best defenseman he has seen at walking the line in this league. Pretty high praise. There is no comparison between Rathbone and Jordan Subban. While Subban did put up AHL points he just simply could not defend. I don't think I ever saw Subby make a play like this. (Credit Cody Severtson and his "Comets Harvest" game summary for the video) https://streamable.com/yhula5
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