|Greenville Road Warriors|
NHL teams these days tend to change their minor league franchises almost annually but not the Rangers and that it is a good thing. Having 2 minor league teams that are already established with what you are trying to do as an NHL team means no matter where you send the prospect, that prospect is going to play for a team that is trying to help him get the most out of his potential.
For Greenville having a strong relationship with the Rangers means rather than just dumping bodies; the Rangers will send prospects who they still have hopes of developing into NHL players (Rangers use the Central Hockey League as a burial ground these days). Greenville also gets the Rangers to pay the salaries of those they send (no more than $525 a week per player no more than 8 players).
The Road Warriors will be entering the 2012-2013 season with new owners after former Ranger GM Neil Smith and his partners sold the team to Chestnut Street Sports (Smith will remain as a "special consultant"). It was ironic that it was Neil Smith who helped the Road Warriors sign on with the Rangers 3 seasons ago.
Anyway here is the press release:
Road Warriors Renew Affiliation Agreement with the New York Rangers
GREENVILLE, SC- The Greenville Road Warriors announced today that they have renewed their affiliation agreement with the NHL’s New York Rangers. The 2012-13 season will be the third straight year the Road Warriors and Rangers have partnered.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Greenville Road Warriors,” said Rangers Assistant General Manager Jim Schoenfeld. “The Road Warriors have been among the elite teams in the ECHL the past two seasons. It is a first class organization and an excellent place for our prospects to develop and grow.”
“The Road Warriors are thrilled to continue our affiliation with the Rangers,” said Road Warriors Owner Fred Festa. “We have made it our goal to field a competitive team year in and year out. The players we receive every year through our affiliates are a huge part of building a Kelly Cup Contender.”
Last season, 10 different players were assigned to the Road Warriors by the Rangers and their AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale. Among the Rangers and Whale prospects that suited up for the Road Warriors was goalie Jason Missiaen, who led the Road Warriors in wins with 22. Also assigned to the Road Warriors last season was Jyri Niemi. The Finnish-born defensemen tallied 21 points (9G, 12A) in 52 games for the Road Warriors.
“The Rangers are one of the iconic franchises in all of professional sports and we are excited to be working with such a prestigious organization,” said Road Warriors General Manager & Executive Vice President Chris Lewis. “The renewal of our affiliation ensures that our players will have a competitive and professional environment to develop their skills and work toward their goal of playing at the NHL level.”
|Peter Ceresnak (OHL Images)|
This is the kind of stuff you really like to see from the prospects as I got word from the Peterborough Petes that Peter Ceresnak (2011 6th) was expected to arrive in Peterborough on Monday evening. Training camp for the Petes doesn't begin until August 29th but showing up over a week early is the kind of response you want to see from a player facing an important season.
Peterborough had a disappointing season last year failing to earn a spot in the OHL playoffs despite being an early season favorite to do so. Ceresnak is going to be counted on to be a big contributor for the Petes in his 2nd season with the team.
Out of Ceresnak, I am hoping to see improvements in his foot work, his decision making times, increased use of his size (6'3 205) and more offensive production. Ceresnak showed a willingness to shoot the puck from the point which is a welcome sight for a younger European especially on the power play.
Reporting early for training camp is a very good way to start the season. This is also one of the areas where you have to give Gordie Clark's staff a pat on the back for finding players who have a good work ethic.