For the 2013-2014 season, the AHL team in Hartford Connecticut will once again call themselves the Wolf Pack. Part of the way into the 2010-2011 season, the team became the Connecticut Whale and changed their logo in an effort to connect to NHL history. The team owner wanted to draw back to the days of Hartford having the Whalers in their city as an NHL team. But, after almost 3 seasons, the Wolf Pack will return with their familiar jerseys.
The AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers announced several roster transactions today in preparing for the start of the new season. They are now down to a 24-man roster. Of the 14 players cut today, 11 will report to Greenville of the ECHL. Some were reassigned by the Rangers, some that are on AHL contracts were assigned by Hartford, and the remaining players were on PTOs. Those reporting to Greenville are as follows:
Forwards: Josh Nicholls, Chris St. Croix, Jason Wilson, Andrew Rowe, Sean Ambrosie, Brandon Hynes, and Matt Kirzinger
Defensemen: Samuel Noreau, Charlie Dodero, and Mike Marcou
Goaltender: Jeff Malcolm
The Wolf Pack also released defensemen Sam Klassen and Jason Lepine as well as forward Scott Arnold from their camp tryouts but did not indicate where they will be reporting.
The 24-man roster for Hartford includes 3 goaltenders, 7 defensemen, and 14 forwards. It features some returning faces such as Cam Talbot, Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque, Dylan McIlrath, as well as late addition Brandon Mashinter. It also features the return of Brodie Dupont who played in Hartford from 2007-2011. Dupont racked up 410 penalty minutes, 27 fights, and 152 points during 310 regular and postseason games during those 4 seasons.
The Wolf Pack’s preseason came to a close yesterday. They started with the first of four games on Wednesday against the Worcester Sharks. The 5-2 win was their only win of preseason. They went on to lose 4-3 in a shootout to the Albany Devils on Friday night. Hartford went on to drop back to back games to the Springfield Falcons losing 7-0 and 4-3 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Hartford kicks off their first season returning as the Wolf Pack with back to back games. On Saturday, October 5th, they open the season by hosting the Norfolk Admirals. It will be the first of 4 meetings between the two teams. Then, they follow up with a Sunday matinee where they host division rivals, the Albany Devils who they meet eight times over the course of the season.