I hope all of our American readers had a safe, fun, and restful Independence Day!
With Tampa Bay signing Carle yesterday, Crunch fans were hoping to hear about those two more FA’s that were targeted for us. That news has now broken. Those two are probably Neilson and Nightingale. See their story below!
So far things have been fairly quiet, but we kind of knew to expect that: As Cassie explained to us, there really aren’t too many spots available. We might nab an AHL contract or two before the summer ends, and maybe one more “big” name, but that might be it for us. With the depth in the system, I’m not concerned. And remember, big names can sometimes be a curse. Last year, more than just Crunch fans went ape over ANA signing Andrew Gordon for “us”, but Gordon obviously wasn’t comfortable in the Ducks’ system and was a disappointing fizzleout for both teams. After playing the beginning of the season up and struggling to score, he was sent down only to see his struggles continue. Meanwhile, guys we had been worried about being grabbed prematurely, Palmeiri in the lead, were thankfully left to flourish and develop. Gordon was traded and life moved on.
All signs indicate Tampa might be done signing players for themselves. You can read about that with our buddies over at Raw Charge. Tampa has made it clear they expect one–and possibly even two–of “our” forwards to jump up and prove they’re ready for the NHL, so we can expect to be in a similar Gordon-like situation again. Whether it’ll be with a big name or not isn’t certain, but really it’s not a problem, it’s what we’re here for, and we’ll be fine.
Onto the news! I’m personally still waiting to see where former Crunch players Alexandre Picard and Trevor Frischmon will land, both of them deserve good things. Whatever happens, this will updated as information comes in, as usual.
We had a former Crunchie on the move last night:
- The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Philippe Dupuis to a one-year, two-way contract.
The Crunch has signed two players to AHL deals:
- Right wing Eric Neilson is signed to a one-year contract. From the Crunch: Neilson, 27, played in 47 games with the Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals, recording one goal and 74 penalty minutes. The Fredericton, NB, native has appeared in 186 AHL games with Peoria, Hamilton, San Antonio and Norfolk, totaling 12 points (6g, 6a) and 560 penalty minutes. Neilson was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round, 143rd overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Neilson is a three-time IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the year award winner, (Peoria 2008-09, Hamilton 2009-10 and San Antonio 2010-11).
- Defenseman Jared Nightingale is also signed to a one-year contract. From the Crunch: Nightingale, 29, most recently played for the Connecticut Whale collecting 10 points (1g, 9a) and 110 penalty minutes in 67 regular season games during the 2011-12 season. The blueliner has appeared in 264 AHL contests with Connecticut, Hartford, Chicago, Iowa and Springfield and totaled 38 points (11g, 28a) and 619 penalty minutes.
Our friends over at Bolt Prospects had this to say about our new D-man: Nice addition for the Crunch. Big, physical righty shot defenseman. Will help lead and protect prospects. If you aren’t following Bolt Prospects yet, I highly recommend it. Their Twitter is here and their website is here.
Just minutes after the signings were announced, Chairman How Tweeted the following: Crunch adds tons of toughness with Nightingale and Nielsen signings. “House of Pain” making its return!
House of Pain, eh? Haven’t heard that used in a while. Good news, kids! Good news.