Pelech, Hill leaving Manchester.

Michael Pelech is coming back to Ontario and Jordan Hill is poised to join him. Pelech was assigned to the Reign by the Kings and Hill, who signed with the Reign this summer, was released from his pro tryout contract Thursday by the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs.

Pelech, 21, spent all of 2009-10 with the Reign but had been in Manchester to start the new season. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound winger had no points and six penalty minutes in five games for the Monarchs. He’ll add some height and energy to the Reign; most of his 10 goals last season came at the net front, where Pelech tended to make a living screening opposing goaltenders and getting to loose pucks. Pelech also had 25 assists and 133 penalty minutes in 72 games last season. He signed a one-year AHL contract with the Monarchs in August.

Hill, 21, was signed by the Reign as a free agent this summer but latched on in Manchester on a pro tryout contract. The defenseman had no points and two penalty minutes in five AHL games. Under the terms of his contract, Hill was able to stay in Manchester for up to 25 games into the season before he has to sign a new deal and could be released at any time.

Neither Pelech nor Hill is in the lineup tonight against the Alaska Aces.

(More) Ron Hextall on Martin Jones.

A little while back Ron Hextall, the Kings’ assistant general manager and GM of the Manchester Monarchs, said he wanted goaltending prospect Martin Jones to come to Ontario to get some regular playing time. He also wanted a more experienced #3 goalie with the Kings’ AHL affiliate club than Jeff Zatkoff; Erik Ersberg fit the bill after he was assigned to Manchester by the Kings.

Since then, Jones has left Ontario for Manchester and Ersberg is gone. So what’s next?
Continue reading “(More) Ron Hextall on Martin Jones.” »

Kings place Ersberg on waivers; implications for Reign.

Today we learned the real reason why Martin Jones was recalled by the Manchester Monarchs: Erik Ersberg wanted out.

Coming off three seasons in the NHL, Ersberg probably didn’t want to spend this season in the American Hockey League, which led to him being placed on unconditional waivers today by the Kings. Rich Hammond reports on that Erbserg is expected to join a KHL team; the 28-year-old Swede has never played in the KHL.

We’ll know more at 9 a.m. tomorrow, once the 24-hour waiver period has ended, but don’t be surprised if this is the last the Kings (or their minor-league affiliates) have seen of Ersberg.

What does this mean for the Reign?
Continue reading “Kings place Ersberg on waivers; implications for Reign.” »

Hill signs with Manchester Monarchs.

Defenseman Jordan Hill officially joined the Manchester Monarchs Thursday on an American Hockey League tryout agreement.

Hill, a rookie out of the OHL who signed with the Reign this summer, can stay in Manchester for up to 25 games into the season before he has to sign a new deal. He can be released at any time.

It’s a strong vote of confidence for the 6-foot-2 rookie, who pegs as a two-way defenseman with strong leadership skills, per Karl Taylor. The last Reign player to sign a pro tryout contract with the Monarchs was Jon Rheault, who wound up playing a total of 44 AHL games last season between Manchester, Providence and Abbotsford.

Without Hill the Reign have six defensemen: David Walker, Chad Starling, Eric Doyle, Luke Beaverson, Reggie Traccitto and Matt Delahey.

Update from the AHL.

Tomorrow is an important day in the American Hockey League, as teams must submit their rosters by midnight (i.e., one minute after 11:59 p.m. Thursday).

Unlike the NHL, where opening-day rosters were submitted today, there is no league-mandated limit on the number of players an AHL team can keep. However, teams are constrained by their internal budgets, ability to provide housing, lockers and travel, just like the ECHL.

Two Reign players signed to ECHL contracts remain on the Manchester Monarchs’ camp roster: forward Jordan Morrison and defenseman Jordan Hill. The Monarchs have 26 players in camp, and a team spokesperson said another round of cuts are likely tomorrow.

Center Dusty Collins, who re-signed with the Reign this summer, is also in an AHL camp with the San Antonio Rampage. So are 29 other players; no idea when their next round of cuts will come, but count on having some idea where he will start the season by Friday.

Meanwhile, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., former Reign forward Geoff Walker is one of six players on the bubble for one of the AHL Penguins’ final “two or three” forward positions. Penguins coach John Hynes told the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader that Walker might also play center — always a good sign when a coach is willing to try a position switch just to keep a player on his roster. Walker didn’t play any center the last two seasons with the Reign.

Keep in mind also that the Reign can still receive compensation from the Wheeling Nailers in exchange for Walker’s ECHL rights. Reign coach Karl Taylor said that the more games Walker plays in Wheeling, the better player(s) he can receive in return.

AHL playoffs: Manchester eliminated.

Boyd Kane’s overtime goal completed a comeback from a 2-0 third-period deficit as the Hershey Bears eliminated the Manchester Monarchs from the Calder Cup playoffs with a 3-2 victory.

Kane beat goaltender Jonathan Bernier at 7:06 of overtime, ensuring the Bears’ second straight trip to the Finals, where they will play either the Hamilton Bulldogs or the Texas Stars.

John Zeiler and Joe Piskula scored for Manchester. Their two former Reign forwards, Bud Holloway and Dwight King, did not factor into the scoring and former Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff did not appear in a playoff game.
Continue reading “AHL playoffs: Manchester eliminated.” »

Hershey wins Game 5, takes 3-2 lead on Manchester.

The Hershey Bears beat the host Manchester Monarchs, 3-2 in overtime Thursday, handing the Monarchs a 3-2 deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals.

Dwight King assisted on a goal by fellow former Reign forward Bud Holloway at the 4:00  mark of the third period for the game’s first goal.

Hershey’s Chris Bourque tied the game at 2 with 51 seconds left in the third period, then assisted on Francois Bouchard’s game-winner at 10:38 of overtime.

Holloway has seven goals in 15 playoff games, while King has points in his last three. The Bears can close out the series at home on Saturday, and Hershey would also host a potential Game 7.

King comes through again.

Dwight King scored the lone goal in the Manchester Monarchs’ 1-0 win over the Hershey Bears in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals. The former Reign forward contributing the game-winning assist in overtime a night earlier. The series is now even at 2-2.

King scored at 9:11 of the second period when, according to the Monarchs’ Web site …

Andrei Loktionov collected a loose puck in the right wing corner. The center circled around the bottom of the face-off circle and found left wing Bud Holloway in the high slot, which set up a one-timer that was blasted toward Hershey netminder Michal Neuvirth. Acting as a screen in front of the net, King got a piece of the floating puck and redirected it into the back of the net to put the Monarchs up 1-0.

Monarchs win, reach conference finals.

The Manchester Monarchs won Game 6 of their AHL Calder Cup semifinal series on Friday, beating the Worcester Sharks 2-1 in overtime thanks to a Viatcheslav Voynov goal 1:55 into the extra frame. Former Reign forward Bud Holloway got the secondary assist on the winning goal, extending his point streak to 10 games.

Manchester will not have home-ice advantage when they begin play against the Hershey Bears, a Washington Capitals affiliate, in the Eastern Conference Finals next Wednesday.

Also, check out this feature about Holloway posted today on the Kings’ Web site.

Holloway scores OT winner; Monarchs win.

Former Reign forward Bud Holloway scored yet another game-winning goal in the Calder Cup playoffs on Wednesday, 4:29 into overtime to lift the Manchester
Monarchs to a 3-2 win over the Worcester Sharks. The series is tied at one game apiece.

Holloway, whose five playoff goals have all gone for game-winners, also picked up an assist in the victory. Former Reign forward Dwight King, playing at left wing with Holloway on the right, finished plus-2.