The Hartford Wolf Pack made a rare foray north of the border this week and came home with a pair of points, though they continued to chase the elusive “W” in the standings.
Both Saturday’s match-up with the Hamilton Bulldogs and Sunday’s tilt against the Toronto Marlies required extra time to decide a winner, and despite being tied for tops in the league in overtime victories, the Wolf Pack came away the loser in both: Saturday in a shootout, and Sunday with just 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime.
A pair of new faces were on hand for the latest round of losses, while some old friends moved on to greener pastures, victims of the NHL Trade Deadline. New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather made two moves at Wednesday’s deadline, both with the goal of shoring up weak spots in the Wolf Pack line-up.
The first deal brought 27-year old center Kris Newbury to Connecticut’s capital. A veteran of 48 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, Newbury was brought in to fill a gap down the middle that’s been an issue for the Pack since Tyler Arneson left for the KHL and Patrick Rissmiller was dispatched to Grand Rapids of the AHL in October. Newbury paid immediate dividends, potting a goal and an assist in his first weekend with the Pack.
Newbury didn’t come cheap, however, and in exchange for the hard-nosed center, the Wolf Pack sent 23-year old heart-and-soul winger Jordan Owens — recipient of last season’s Fan Favorite Award — to the Motor City.
The second addition was Anders Eriksson, a 34-year old veteran defenseman with almost 600 NHL games under his belt. Eriksson helps shore up a defense corps that’s been depleted by injuries all season, and suffered its latest when Michael Sauer went down with season-ending shoulder injury last month. And while the front office didn’t know it when they acquired him in exchange for goaltender Miika Wiikman and a sixth round draft pick, Eriksson’s arrival would prove fortuitous. On Thursday Matheiu Dandenault, who returned to the Pack line-up only a week ago after spending the majority of the season nursing a groin injury, opted to call it quits after learning he would not receive an NHL contract from the Rangers.
Read the rest of my weekly recap over at SNY Rangers Blog…
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