From: Ryan Stanzel
Director of Communications
Friday, July 8, 2005
713.361.7930 (Direct Line)
Opening Night set for October 21
SummerScribes, July 8 edition
With last weeks announcement of the famed AHL schedule matrix, each teams announcement on five home dates wasnt too far behind.
The Aeros will open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:35 p.m. The opponent will be announced with the rest of the AHL schedule, likely in early August.
Houston goes back-to-back at home, also playing Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:35 p.m. The other home dates are Wednesday, Nov 9 (7:05 p.m.), Friday, Nov. 11 (7:35 p.m.) and Monday, Dec. 26 (7:05 p.m.).
Its never too early to book a group of your family and friends for Opening Night. A group of 20 can get tickets for only $9 apiece, so dont delay. With a huge crowd expected Opening Night, please call the Aeros office at 713.974.PUCK.
The Scribe now presents the top three opponents he could think of opening up the home season against. The Scribe has no inside information, hes just playing clairvoyant.
1 Iowa Stars. Dallas and Minnesota each had players in Houston in 2004-05, so it would be a super Opening Night match-up. Josh Harding vs. Mike Smith in goal, supposing neither of them is in the NHL.
2 Chicago Wolves. In 2004, the Aeros also opened up at home against a team that had just knocked them out of the playoffs (Cincinnati). The Scribe is convinced there's not a rivalry more intense in the AHL.
3 Manchester Monarchs. The Scribe doubts the AHL would send the Monarchs south for games in Houston and San Antonio this early in the season, but opening up against a team never before seen in these parts would be a great sell.
Of course, if the NHL season is delayed for any reason, say until November 1, give me the AHL affiliate of whichever team selects Sidney Crosby No. 1 in the Draft. Gernander hangs them up
Hartford Wolf Pack captain Ken Gernander, a member of the Rangers organization for the last 14 seasons, announced his retirement earlier this week. Hell stay with the team in a position which will be announced soon.
In the day of free agency, even at the minor-league level, Gernander amazingly spent the last 10 seasons in the Rangers organization eight in Hartford and two in Binghamton.
The highest-scoring American born player in AHL history, Gernander is well known for his work in the community. He got the opportunity to skate in 12 NHL regular season games and 15 playoff games to go along with 973 games played.
You see a lot of guys retire by the age of 30 if they havent yet got their big shot, but its been a breath of fresh air watching Gernander, who turned 36 last week, influence young players lives.
Gernander will be missed in the pretty intense Aeros/Wolf Pack rivalry. With the Wolf Pack jersey being similar to that of the Rangers, sometimes youd see Gernander skating out for warm-ups without his helmet, and youd think it was Mark Messier. Yawney the man in Chicago
Trent Yawney, a junior teammate of Aeros head coach Todd McLellan, left the Norfolk Admirals yesterday to become head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. Yawney reportedly got a three-year pact to turn around a team that ranked 29th out of the NHLs 30 teams in points last season.
Yawney was named The Hockey News minor league coach of the year in 2003-04. He worked without an assistant in Virginia, but will keep two assistants in Chicago, including Bruce Cassidy.
A report the Trentonian mentioned Trenton Titans (ECHL) coach Mike Haviland as a possible successor in Norfolk. Haviland owns two of the last three Kelly Cup titles, one with Atlantic City and one with Trenton.
A more likely candidate may be John Marks, who was a Blackhawks defenseman for 10 years. Marks is currently in ECHL Greenville, which is a Hawks affiliate. Another coaching opening on the horizon?
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are in the market for a new coach, as former Cincinnati head coach Mike Babcock has turned down a one-year contract extension to possibly become the guy in Detroit.
Brad Shaw, who replaced Babcock in Cincinnati, was interested in the job when asked about it last month. However, Shaw wasnt even sure hed be welcomed in Portland (remember, the Ducks are moving their affiliate to Maine) because of new Anaheim general manager Brian Burke. Among the other names mentioned, though, in a report by TSN in Canada was Randy Carlyle, Manitobas head coach. Carlyle and Burke go way back from their time together in the Vancouver organization. Burke is expected to interview several other NHL assistant coaches as well.
Stay tuned for the coaching carousel. Rampage stick around
The rumors of the San Antonios Rampages demise were at best premature and at worst false, as the team signed an affiliation agreement with the Phoenix Coyotes last week. The Spurs, who owned 50 percent of the Rampage along with the Florida Panthers, bought out the Panthers.
The Utah Grizzlies were of course Phoenix affiliate in 2004-05. The coaching staff, including Pat Conacher, will move to San Antonio this season.
The Coyotes AHL teams have had some rough luck in recent seasons, but young talent is maturing, and goalie David LeNeveu is one of the top youngsters in the league. Next Street Fleet in the Woodlands July 16
Thanks to all who attended the Street Fleet in Sugar Land on July 4.
Up next is The Woodlands, on Saturday, July 16 from 4-7 p.m. at The Woodlands Recreation Center at 5310 Research Dr. A bit later in the day this year should help the amount of ice cream consumed to stay cool, after last year!
For more information visit Aeros.com. Refreshments provided, as always, while supplies last. Special thanks to our Street Fleet sponsors Dreyers and Texas Tailgatin. Scribe goes to the movies
Until theres a new CBA and some player signings, the Scribe brings you his latest movie review.
The Scribe is usually about two-to-three months behind on everything, so this week he gives Cinderella Man a go.
A fine flick, although Hollywood-ized a bit. As the saying goes, dont ever let the truth get in the way of a good story. But, it was accurate enough, poignant and a great flick.
The Scribe gives it 4 ½ out of a possible five No. 2 pencils.
And a great Did You Know out of that movie. Craig Bierko, who played Max Baer, was originally cast as Chandler on Friends, but turned the part down. D'oh! Send us your vacation pictures
Are you headed on vacation this summer? Snap a picture of you and your friends wearing Aeros gear and send it to us at email@example.com
. Well post selected pictures in future editions of SummerScribes.
We want to see Aeros t-shirts atop the Empire State Building, in Mexico City, any other fun places youre set to go on vacation. Show us where you are Being a Fan.
Special thanks to Gordon, who e-mailed the Scribe a picture of himself sporting a trendy Aeros sweatshirt in the Rocky Mountain National Park earlier this summer.
Comets night approaching
A quick reminder that the Aeros Night at the Houston Comets is set for Saturday, Aug. 14, against Seattle. Details are forthcoming. Also, you can contact your Aeros ticket representative for further information. Trivia Contest
Congrats to Susan Reynolds of Houston, who correctly answered Dan Cavanaugh, Matt Foy, Kyle Wanvig and Brent Burns to last weeks trivia questions:
This player's name came up most often as the funniest guy in the locker room.
This Aero would like to be stranded on a deserted island with Pamela Anderson.
This Aero likes to cook.
This Aero had the nickname "earmuffs".
Technically, Junior Reporter Michael McHugh was looking for Erik Reitz for No. 3. But, Wanny is well known for his culinary abilities.
Susan wins four passes to Six Flags Astroworld, compliments of our good friends at the Friendswood/Pearland Reporter News. This weeks question:
There are two Aeros in team history who were born SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon line
, but still in the United States. Who are they? Click here
to answer. The prize? A $10 gift certificate to Amazon Grill.Mail bag time
Will Mikko Koivu be called up to play with the Wild if the season resumes? Will he be wearing the number 21?
Welcome aboard! A good question. Like past years in which the National Hockey League has played, everyone on NHL contracts will go to the Wild camp, along with some free agents and players from lower leagues. The bottom line is that the NHL team will keep the best players. The battle for the last couple of roster spots is always intense.
Do they really want more Cow Bells? Does that help get the Guys going?
--Cheryl from Houston
Evidently you attended some playoff games! The Cow Bells certainly created some atmosphere behind the other teams goal in the third period. The players always appreciate the loud support!
I am Rickard Wallin's biggest fan. Last year there was the game against Grand Rapids that was postponed, rescheduled, and played in the Minnesota Wild's rink. I attended that game, and had such a GREAT TIME!! It was the most fun Ive ever had at an Aeros game, and then the autograph session afterwards, it just topped of the night and made it the best day of my life. I was wondering if the Aeros were thinking about scheduling another game to play in Minnesota this season.
Love and support,
Sam from Houston
Many teams played games at their NHL affiliates last season, and the results across the board were outstanding. Id think that in most cases, there won't be any games moved into NHL rinks in 2005-06. Assuming the NHL plays, of course. Last season, those games were mostly played to give those NHL fans some hockey to watch. This year, theyll have 41 games to come out and see in full force.
Who do you think our team will consist of this year?
David, my suggestion for you is this: Get last years media guide. Get a list of AHL free agents you like. Get a dartboard. And some scissors. Go to work.
All kidding aside, we will see a lot of movement right after a new CBA is signed, if in fact the reports are correct that it is close to getting done. Expect to see some of the Aeros younger players back, unless they play well enough in training camp to make the Wilds roster.
Remember, you too can drop the Scribe a note or a question at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We'll see everyone again on July 22.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---