Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Matt Zaba is the focus of Lindsay Kramer’s AHL Notebook this week, which will appear on NHL.com on Thursday. Those who are impatient can check out Kramer’s article now at the AHL web site.
Wednesday is “Clear Day” for the AHL, the annual deadline by which clubs must trim their previously un-capped rosters to the 22 players they intend to use for the stretch run and playoffs. Only those players listed on a club’s Clear Day roster are eligible to play in the remaining regular season games and playoffs, unless emergency conditions such as NHL call-ups, injuries or suspensions require the addition of reinforcements.
The Wolf Pack have already made a couple of moves in advance of Wednesday’s 3pm deadline. Earlier today they announced that forward Matthew Ford had been released from his professional try-out contract. Ford had two assists during his most recent, 13-game call-up, with both coming in the first two games after arriving from Charlotte. He was scoreless in his last 11 games, and had been having a hard time cracking the lineup in recent weeks. Ford arrived in Charlotte in time to play in Tuesday night’s game against the Gwinnett Gladiators, and scored two goals in his return as the Checkers won 4-1. The University of Wisconsin graduate has 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points in 22 games in Charlotte this season and was named named MVP of the ECHL All-Star game before his most recent recall brought him to Hartford.
As Ford headed back to Charlotte, Checkers goaltender Maxime Daigneault returned for his fourth visit to Connecticut’s capital. There’s no word on who Daigneault has been recalled to replace, but it would seem likely that he’s back once again to spell Miika Wiikman, who’s battled with illness in recent months. Daigneault has logged just 38:40 of AHL playing time this season, during which he allowed two goals in 21 shots while taking the loss in relief of Zaba. The 25-year old St.-Jacques-le-Minuer, Quebec native has appeared in 23 games for the Charlotte Checkers, putting up an 11-10-1 record with a 3.29 GAA and .898 save percentage.
UPDATE: Howlings reveals that Daigneault is actually in town to fill in for Zaba, who suffered undisclosed injury that will keep him out for approximately a week, not Wiikman. Rut ro! Here’s hoping Wiikman takes advantage of the opportunity and can regain the form he showed in last year’s impressive rookie campaign. If not, the Pack could be in for a very long three-games-in-three-days weekend.
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