Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sopel leaves Wings, signs with Hawks Staff

Brent Sopel left the camp of the Detroit Red Wings and signed a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks Friday.

Sopel signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks, believed to be worth $1.5 million.

Sopel travelled with the Red Wings to Toronto on Friday afternoon, and was scheduled to play against the Maple Leafs in a pre-season game last night, but informed the team shortly before the game that he was in serious contract talks with another club.

He had been in Detroit's training camp on a tryout basis, but was offered a contract by the Red Wings shortly before signing with Chicago.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Generals and Icehawks swap forwards

The Flint Generals announced today that they have completed a trade with the Port Huron Icehawks, sending forward Jeff Zehr to the Icehawks in exchange for veteran forward Greg Bullock.

The 28-year-old Zehr, formerly a second-round pick of the New York Islanders in 1997, collected 30 goals and added 35 assists for 65 points and 93 penalty minutes in 64 games for the Generals last season. Bullock had a strong season in Port Huron with 18 goals and 51 assists for 69 points and 70 penalty minutes in 74 games.

“I think it is a great trade for both teams,” said Generals head coach Kevin Kerr. “Port Huron has something they have been wanting, which is a a scoring forward, and we wanted a solid one or two centerman and it’s great for both teams.

“Greg Bullock will add veteran leadership to our team and has played great throughout his career. He can play in all situations from power play to four on four.”

Bullock, a 34-year-old native of Cambridge, Ontario, has put up some solid numbers whereever he has played. Generals’ fans will remember the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder when he played for the Motor City Mechanics of the UHL. He posted 18 goals and added 40 assists for 58 points and 81 penalty minutes in 59 games during that 2005-2006 season.

Bullock has also spent time in the IHL with the former San Francisco Spiders, Grand Rapids Griffins, Kansas City Blades and the Michigan K-Wings. In 54 career games, Bullock has picked up 30 goals and 59 assists and 89 points and 144 penalty minutes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fury secures radio deal with WWKR-FM 94.1

Today, the Muskegon Fury and Synergy Broadcast Group announced the completion of a three-year contract deal that will make West Michigan’s WWKR-FM 94.1 the new radio flagship home for all of the Fury’s live play-by-play broadcasts.

Moreover, also included in the new contractual agreement, the very popular daily “Fury Daily Update” will be heard on WWKR-FM 94.1 Monday through Friday at 5:20 pm while the ever-popular “Fury Hotline Radio Show” will remain on West Michigan's 94 K-ROCK as the latter program commences for an unprecedented 13th consecutive year and second straight year on WWKR-FM 94.1.

For the next three seasons, all games played by the Fury, pre-season, regular season and playoff games, home and away, in their entirety, will be aired live with all of the play-by-play action. As in past years, all game broadcasts will consist of a one-half hour pre-game show as well as the “Fury Star of the Game Show,” which will follow all home game originations and the Fury post-game show, the latter program after all Fury games.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Muskegon adds four more skaters

The Muskegon Fury now have 27 players under contract for this upcoming season after signing three defensemen and a forward today.

Defensemen Jamie Vanderveeken, Jeff Maronese and Greg Huszarik and forward Bradley Burton signed on the dotted line and have been invited to training camp.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Generals get WFNT radio agreement

The Flint Generals announced Wednesday that they have signed an agreement with Regent Broadcasting Unforgettable 1470 WFNT for the 2007-2008 season.

WFNT will be the broadcast partner for the Generals and for the first time in four years will air all home and away games as well as its weekly Monday radio show. Generals’ Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Denis J. Puska will call all the action in his first year as voice of the hockey team. All broadcasts begin with the Generals Pre-Game Report, 20 minutes before the puck is dropped.

"WFNT is very excited to partner with The Perani Group as the Flint Generals return to the IHL,” said Sales Manager and Program Director for WFNT-WLSP, Dan Foley. “We feel with the new owners, the new league and the new players, there’s a whole new attitude this year.”

This year The Generals Radio Show will be moved back to Monday nights at 6pm and will take place live from The Raincheck Lounge. Fans will be able to drop by and listen to the show and ask questions. The Raincheck Lounge will also be offering fans great food specials on Monday nights during the radio show.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with Regent Broadcasting for our games,” said Puska. “It’s exciting that we are going to be able to air all home and away broadcasts this season.”

Another first for the Generals will see that all home and away broadcasts as well as the radio show will all be aired live on the internet at There will be more interaction for fans on Flint Generals radio broadcasts this season. Fans will be able to email Puska directly at with their questions and comments and have them answered live on the air.

Fans will once again be able to view live streaming video of all Generals games through the partnership with the B2 Networks.

The Flint Generals also announced that they will broadcast the exhibition game in Port Huron against the rival Icehawks on Saturday, October 13, beginning at 7:10 pm with the pre-game show and the puck drop follows at 7:30 pm.

The Generals first regular season broadcast is set for Friday, October 19 when they host Port Huron at 7:30 pm. There will be a special edition of The Generals Pre-Game Report airing at 7 pm as fans get a special look at a new era in hockey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fury roster now up to 23 strong

Left wings Rafal Martynowski and Justin Keller and right wing Andy Wiesner signed with the Muskegon Fury today.

Muskegon head coach Bruce Ramsay commented on all three signings:

On Martynowski: “We think that Rafal has the potential to be a major contributor to our offensive way of thinking this season. He scored 20 goals as a rookie pro following an excellent, high-scoring major Junior A career in the OHL. He was a high draft pick in the UHL (first round by the Flint Generals in 2005) and our homework shows that he possesses the talent and ability to produce some significant numbers for us. He appears to be quite committed to having an outstanding season as he has been skating and working out throughout the summer months and plans on coming to camp in a couple of weeks in top playing condition. We are looking forward to watching him develop for our club.”

On Keller: “Justin is coming off two outstanding years in the SPHL where he developed into one of the most feared, best goal scorers in the league. In fact, last season, he was on pace to score nearly 60 goals when his team (Florida Seals) folded leaving him in a lurch. He has been a premiere goal producer at every level in which he has played. He has good size, speed and can really shoot the puck. We have lots of positive notes next to his name and we are looking forward to his arrival here with us.”

On Wiesner: “Andy had an exceptional four-year college career and comes highly-endorsed by his Wisconsin-Stout coach. He is generally considered one of the best players and best pro prospects to ever play at a school which has produced some good, solid, pro personnel. In addition, Andy brings many other very important attributes to our team. He has not only proven to be a strong scorer, but also, as team captain, he has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. What we also really like about him is that he is very versatile, having played all three forward positions as well as defense in college.”

A total of 23 players are now signed with Muskegon for this fall.

Kalamazoo signs Elich and ex-Wildcat

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signings of forward Matt Elich and defenseman John Miller today.

Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round (61st overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Elich began his professional career with the Lightning's former IHL affiliate, the Detroit Vipers. Impressing his parent club in his rookie year, Elich was called up to Tampa Bay, seeing action in eight games.

In his nine-year career, Elich has made his presence felt, recording 217 points in 398 career games.

“If he (Elich) plays to his ability, we will have one of the dynamic offenses in the IHL,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “Adding Matt to the already established forwards we have signed gives us incredible depth and experience up front.”

A seasoned veteran, the 2007-08 campaign will be the ninth in Elich’s career. Spending last season overseas in Europe, Elich last played in North America during the 2005-06 season, when he split the year in the United Hockey League with both the Flint Generals and Roanoke Valley Vipers, averaging nearly a point a night.

Elich, a native of Grosse Pointe, played four seasons of Junior A hockey in the Ontario Hockey League, including 2 1/2 years with the Windsor Spitfires.

A rookie defenseman, Miller initiated himself to professional hockey by playing six games with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the Central Hockey League and 12 games in the Division 2 League in Sweden with Boro/Vetanda. Miller adapted to life in Sweden racking up 11 points (six goals, five assists) in just 12 games.

“He has the potential to elevate his game and become a solid defenseman in our league,” said Welsh. “With limited opportunity last year, he proved he will make the most of his time on the ice.”

Before turning pro, Miller was a four-year standout at Northern Michigan University, preceded by a season of Junior A hockey in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux City Musketeers.

The addition of Elich and Miller gives the K-Wings 15 players signed for the upcoming 2007-08 season.

Wings get radio deal with WLKM 95.9 FM

The Kalamazoo Wings announced today that WLKM (95.9 FM) will be the exclusive radio home for K-Wings hockey.

Since the Wings re-established their radio network back in 2002, fans have enjoyed listening to K-Wings’ games on WLKM. With their new agreement, the K-Wings and their exclusive radio home, based in Three Rivers, can continue to have games reach a coverage area that spans over 11 Southwest Michigan counties.

Also with the new agreement, WLKM gains the rights to be the on-air home for the Kalamazoo Wings Weekly Coaches Show, “K-Wings Live." This season the show will originate on Monday’s from 7-8 p.m. from the newly-renovated Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill, located inside the Holiday Inn West off of South 11th Street. The season debut of “K-Wings Live” will be Monday, October 8.

The K-Wings have also reached an agreement with the B2 Networks to provide internet audio streaming of all games this season. Fans will be able to listen to the audio streaming for FREE by clicking on the K-Wings website.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with WLKM. Their station has a strong signal that can reach 11 counties, giving us the ability to promote ourselves throughout Southwest Michigan ,” said Wings GM Wade Welsh. “With the unlimited number of audio listeners the B2 Network has, our fans will be able to log on to every K-Wings audio broadcast without the worries of not being able to listen to our games, a problem we had with our previous audio streaming provider.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Backstop Reichmuth signs with Muskegon

Goaltender Isaac Reichmuth has signed with the Muskegon Fury.

Reichmuth played his college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth and last season played in the ECHL with the Alaska Aces, going 13-5-4 with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. His GAA ranked fifth best in the ECHL.

“We are enthused with the acquisition of Isaac," Fury head coach Bruce Ramsay said. "He has been an outstanding four-year starting goaltender at the Division I level for a nationally-recognized, highly-regarded university which also made it to the Frozen Four during his career there. He continued his growth as a solid goaltender in his rookie season last year in the ECHL with Alaska.

"Isaac also brings a good pedigree to us. He is a solid goaltender looking to further his pro career in Muskegon and, perhaps, some day, the AHL. He comes to us highly-recommended and ready to take-on the responsibility of being the number one goalie.”

Reichmuth’s father, Craig, was a standout in the 1970s and early 1980s in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings' organization and later in the old World Hockey Association that competed with the NHL during that particular era. The elder Reichmuth also played in the CHL and the AHL during his pro playing career.

Muskegon now has 20 players under contract for this upcoming season.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fury loads up with toughness and grit

The Muskegon Fury yesterday signed defenseman Ryan Bartle and forwards David Segal, Kyle Sheen, Tyler Summerfield and Paul Yovanic.

Bartle, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound native of Winnipeg, has seen action most recently at the University of Minot following two seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with the Winnipeg South Blues. In the 2005-06 season, he amassed 303 penalty minutes in 61 games while collecting 18 points.

Segal was a teammate of Bartle in 2005-06 prior to going to the SPHL with the Knoxville Ice Bears. Last season in 50 games with Knoxville, he registered 273 PIMs and finished second in the SPHL in fighting majors with 25. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Segal was a member of the MJHL champion Winnipeg South Blues squad of 2005-06 when he compiled 168 PIMs in just 26 games. For two consecutive seasons, in 2003-04 and 2004-05, playing for the Port Coquitlam Buckeroos, he led the PIJHL in PIMs with 285 and 368 respectively, winning the Team’s Fan Favorite Award as well as the Most Inspirational Player Award.

Sheen will be making a pro comeback of sorts after an inactive season of 2006-07 and one collegiate campaign at Mount Royal College of the ACAC in 2005-06. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Strathmore, Alberta native’s lone pro action came in the 2004-05 campaign when he plied his craft in the UHL with the Kalamazoo Wings, Richmond Riverdogs and Port Huron Beacons. In 72 games that season, he recorded 215 PIMs and 20 points. Sheen played juniors in the Western Hockey League with the Kootenay Ice and won a Memorial Cup championship in 2002.

Summerfield played in the Superior International Junior League with the Fort William North Stars. In 2006-07, the rugged 6-foot-2, 205-pound center tallied 330 PIMs in 40 games while averaging 1.38 points per game on 14 goals and 41 assists. The Toronto native's Fort William team captured the league championship with a mark of 41-6-3. Summerfield finished third on team with 14 playoff points and added 42 PIMs. He produced 130 PIMs in 15 games with the MJAHL Amherst Ramblers in 2005-06 and another 239 PIMs in 52 outings with the Portage Terriers of the MJHL in 2004-05.

Yovanic, who will turn 20 on October 2, hails from Highland. In the 2006-07 season, playing in the North American Hockey League with the Texas Tornado, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder rang-up 153 PIMs in 40 games and added two goals and two assists.

“All five of our newest signees fit the mold of what we are looking for as far as our team toughness is concerned," Fury head coach Bruce Ramsay said. "We feel that each one of these players will provide some real positive things for the overall betterment of our hockey club. With each of these players, Bartle, Segal, Sheen, Summerfield and Yovanic in our lineup, it should make the Fury one of the more feared teams around our league.”

Muskegon now has 19 players under contract for the upcoming season.

K-Zoo adds three, two players retire

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the signings of goaltenders Tony Quesada and Jeremy Symington and forward Daniel Calitri this week.

After spending his first-year of professional hockey in Texas , mainly with the Houston Aeros (AHL) and Austin IceBats (CHL), Quesada is ready to call Kalamazoo home for the 2007-08 season.

“We (K-Wings) have had success finding young standout goaltenders and we believe Quesada will follow in that same mold,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “He has proven himself at the colligate level and given some time between the pipes he will have the same success as a pro.”

While Quesada did play a season of pro hockey last year, under IHL rules he still meets the minutes played criteria to be considered a rookie for the upcoming season.

Making the most of his time in the American Hockey League, Quesada earned his lone AHL win with a dazzling 41-save performance to preserve a 1-0 shutout for Houston on April 7 against the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.

Before turning pro, the native of South Freeport, Maine, was a four-year standout at Holy Cross College. During his time with the Crusaders, Quesada went 61-33-8 with a 2.50 goals-against average, including his senior campaign, where the netminder amassed a record of 22-6-2 and earned team co-MVP honors. Quesada holds five of the Crusaders’ six goaltending records – wins (61), save percentage (.915), GAA (2.50), games played (105) and minutes (6,034).

During the 2005-06 season, Quesada helped the Crusaders to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, making 35 saves in a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota . The victory made NCAA history, proclaiming the Crusaders as the first No. 4 seed to ever upset the top seed. The victory was also the first-ever for Holy Cross in its NCAA Tournament history.

Selected by the New York Islanders in the eighth round (196th overall selection) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Symington split last season in the CHL in both Rio Grande Valley and Youngstown.

A two-time CHL All-Star goaltender, Symington has been part of two goaltending tandems that have led their clubs to its league’s finals (Elmira 2002-03, Laredo 2004-05).

“He has had the knack of helping his team in the playoffs and we found it essential to have a goaltender with playoff experience,” said Welsh. “With three goaltenders in camp (Quesada, Symington and Brad Smith) we expect a spirited battle for the two jobs available.”

Symington is 82-73-23 with nine shutouts in his professional career. He played five games in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators during the 2002-03 season going 3-1-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

His college hockey was played at St. Lawrence University, where he posted a career mark of 23-16-0.

Entering his inaugural season of professional hockey, Calitri played the past three years in the OPJHL, including the past two seasons with the Oakville Blades.

“He has a great motor and plays with a lot of heart and energy,” said Welsh. “Calitri also brings the ability to play the role of an agitator.”

In 97 games in the OPJHL, Calitri tallied 93 points (45 goals, 48 assists) and 274 minutes in penalties.

The K-Wings also announced the retirement of defensemen Jeff Brown and Adam Elzinga. While signing contracts earlier this off-season, both players notified the K-Wings that they are leaving the organization to pursue interests outside the sport of hockey.

“Jeff notified us during our coaching search that he had an opportunity outside of hockey that was too good to pass up for both him and his family,” said Welsh. “Adam told us before Labor Day that he was going to hang up the skates. We wish both Jeff and Adam the best in their future endeavors.”

The addition of Quesada, Symington and Calitri gives the K-Wings 13 players signed for the upcoming 2007-08 season.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Red Wings open prospects tourney Friday

The Detroit Red Wings play host to eight National Hockey League teams beginning this Friday at their annual NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City. This year’s field promises to be one of the best for fans to see the future of the NHL as 17 first-round draft picks are scheduled to participate.

Red Wings fans can see Detroit’s 2005 first-round pick defenseman Jakub Kindl and the anticipated debut of forward Igor Grigorenko, who was Detroit’s second-round draft pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Grigorenko’s career was slowed due a serious car accident and the Prosptects Tournament will serve as his first on-ice appearance in North America.

In addition to the Red Wings, teams from the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues will compete in the tournament that runs Sept. 7 through Sept. 11.

Beyond the 17 first-rounders, 19 second-round draft picks and 20 third-round selections are on the eight rosters. All totaled, 119 players participating in this week’s camp were selected in the NHL Entry Draft.

The Prospects Tournament and Detroit’s main training camp will be held at the Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City. The veteran players take the ice on Sept. 14 in the first of five sessions at Centre ICE.

Tickets and schedules for training camp in Traverse City are available at

Flint signs high-scoring forward Dumba

The Flint Generals loaded up more offensive talent to their club today with the signing of former Central Hockey League scorer Jared Dumba.

Dumba has spent the past seven-plus years in the CHL where he has averaged 20 goals or more in six of those seasons. The Dysart, Saskatchewan native began last season with the Oklahoma City Blazers where he had 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points and 81 penalty minutes. At the trade deadline, he was sent to the Tulsa Oilers where he had 21 points and 59 penalty minutes in 27 games.

Dumba, a 6-foot, 205 pound left winger, spent four-plus seasons with the Blazers where he is in the top 12 of team’s all-time scoring and was also a member of their 2000-2001 championship team. He placed second in balloting for the 2000-2001 CHL Rookie of The Year. In 228 career games with the Oilers, Dumba had 107 goals and 116 assists for 223 points and 291 penalty minutes. Dumba spent almost two seasons with the former Indianapolis Ice of the CHL where in 107 games he notched 53 goals and added 60 assists for 113 points and 81 penalty minutes. He led the Ice to the playoffs in both seasons.

In 2004-2005, Dumba played for the Austin Ice Bats in the CHL where he tallied 26 goals and had 40 assists for 66 points and 38 penalty minutes in 49 games.

Dumba played four seasons of junior hockey with Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League and South Surrey of the British Columbia Junior League before turning pro in 2000. He exploded for 44 goals and 76 assists in his final year of juniors with the South Surrey Eagles, then joined the CHL with the Oklahoma City Blazers for the end of the regular season.

The Generals now have 15 players signed for the 2007-2008 season.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Michigan IHL teams add talent, new coach

Forward Jonathan Duchesneau - click here
Goaltender Chad Alban, defenseman Nick Tuzzolino and forward Denis Fecteau - click here and here

Hire head coach Brian Curran - click here

Forwards Chris Mills and Justin Rohr - click here

Forwards Garrett Larson, Patrick Power and Kyle Bozoian - click here