The way back to the NHL for wingers Tom Kuhnhackl and Tim Schaller will first require making an AHL team. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (affiliate of the Islanders) announced that they’ve inked Kuhnhackl to a PTO agreement for training camp while the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (affiliate of Pittsburgh) did the same for Schaller.
Kuhnhackl split last season between the Islanders and Sound Tigers with the majority of his playing time coming in New York where he played in 28 regular season games and three postseason contests compared to just four AHL games. However, he was unable to land a contract in free agency and didn’t secure a two-way deal with the Isles in their training camp. He’ll now look to land a one-way AHL deal in the hopes of getting converted to an NHL contract later on.
As for Schaller, the 30-year-old played in 53 NHL games last season, the majority of which came with Vancouver. He had just five goals and one assist to speak for it and cleared waivers at the trade deadline, largely due to his $1.9MM AAV. He could be an option for Pittsburgh if injuries strike midseason but in the meantime, he’ll be forced to try to lock down a guaranteed AHL deal first.