With the NHL currently locked out, fans will have to turn to the minors to satiate their thirst for hockey. The American Hockey League (AHL) otherwise referred to as the “minors,” will continue to play under its normal schedule.
The Phoenix Coyotes AHL affiliate is the Portland Pirates. The Pirates play at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland Maine. The upcoming season is a month away and marks the 20th anniversary of the Pirates existence.
The Pirates finished 9th in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 36-31-4-5. Forward Brett MacLean led the Pirates with 25 goals last season. Andy Miele had the highest point total scoring 54 points in 69 games. Four different goalies played forPortland last season: Curtis McElhinney, Justin Pogge, Peter Mannino and Marc Cheverie. McElhinney led the team with a 3.04 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.
On Saturday, the Coyotes assigned 29 players to the AHL:
Scott Arnold, Alexandre Bolduc, Chris Brown, Chris Conner, Brett Hextall, Rob Klinkhammer, Phil Lane, Jordan Martinook, Andy Miele, Joel Rechlicz, Brendan Shinnimin, Jordan Szwarz, Ethan Werek; Mathieu Brodeur, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Maxim Goncharov, Brandon Gormley, Mark Louis, David Rundblad, Michael Stone, Chris Summers, Justin Weller; Louis Domingue, Chad Johnson, Mike Lee, Mark Visentin.
The most notable name on the list is defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Six players on the list played for the Coyotes in the NHL last season. Those players were: Ekman-Larsson, Alexandre Bolduc, Andy Miele, David Rundblad, Michael Stone and Chris Summers. Players who could not be sent to the AHL without being placed on waivers were not assigned to Portland.