The San Antonio Rampage have a new NHL affiliate this season in the St. Louis Blues, and will be debuting a new coaching staff as well. The team announced today that Daniel Tkaczuk and J.J. Daigneault have been hired as assistant coaches under Drew Bannister, while Ryan Ward has been hired as video assistant coach. Tkaczuk and Daigneault both come from the NHL ranks, spending time with the Blues and Montreal Canadiens respectively in recent years.
The Rampage were the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche previously, but with the Colorado Eagles joining the league it made sense to realign the partnerships. St. Louis operated last season without a primary affiliate, instead lending players to the Rampage, Chicago Wolves and Providence Bruins among others. This time around they’ll have more ownership in their player development, an important step as they look to transition some top prospects to professional hockey.
- Par Lindholm had interest from several NHL clubs before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to Kristen Shilton of TSN. The 26-year old center signed out of the SHL and has the inside track for a fourth-line role with the Maple Leafs this season. He told Shilton that he wanted to sign with a “classic” NHL team, and will get to be part of this group that is attempting to bring success back to a franchise that has struggled for so long. The fourth-line center role might not be a perfect opportunity given the huge minutes likely assigned to Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Nazem Kadri, but Lindholm could still be a valuable piece for the team going forward.
- Tom Gulitti of NHL.com spoke with new Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden about several things including the backup goaltender position for this season. The Capitals currently have minor league goaltender Pheonix Copley penciled into the role behind Braden Holtby, but Reirden is still calling it a competition with KHL standout Ilya Samsonov. The 21-year old Russian is among the best goaltending prospects in the world after dominating at the KHL level for the last few years. Expected to start in the AHL this season, it might not be long before he’s pushing for a full-time NHL role.