The NHL and AHL seasons get in full swing later this week, and here is a list of players either born, trained or some combination thereof in the top two North American pro leagues.
Atlanta – Left wing Brett Sterling made the club out of camp for the second season in a row.
Detroit – Defenseman Chris Chelios is back at age 46, but he’ll start the season on the injured list with a broken shin bone.
New York Islanders – Right wing Richard Park is in his second decade in the league with no signs of slowing down.
Toronto – Forward Ryan Hollweg has a new address this season after his trade from the New York Rangers.
The AHL ranks have expanded a bit from a year ago, but it would not surprise me in the least to see several of these players getting games in the NHL.
Grand Rapids – Defenseman Garrett Stafford is back even though he’s in Dallas’ organization instead of Detroit’s. The Wings are the primary affiliate of the Griffins. Stafford played his first NHL game last season for Detroit. He could get some more games if the Stars’ blue line experiences another run of injuries.
Grand Rapids – Forward Landon Wilson has several years of NHL experience and while he’ll bring experience to the Griffins, he can step in and help the Stars should injuries strike.
Iowa – Wing Bobby Ryan is in the AHL because of the Anaheim Ducks’ cap crunch, which is too bad after he had an outstanding camp.
Iowa – Defenseman Brian Salcido has a shot at getting his first NHL game this season. The Ducks’ carousel of veteran defenseman has the rapidly improving puck-mover in the minors … for now.
Lake Erie – Defenseman Raymond Macias is a likely fixture on the Monsters’ blue line after a good camp in Colorado.
Lowell – Forward Ryan Murphy is back with the Devils’ top farm team after going to camp in New Jersey.
Manchester – Forward Gabe Gauthier will be one of the Monarchs’ centerpieces this season, and given the parent club LA Kings’ youth movement, it would not be a surprise to see him get another NHL look at some point.
Springfield – Right wing Hans Benson spend has worked his way up to the AHL after stints in the CHL and ECHL. The Menlo Park-native brings plenty of toughness to the Falcons lineup and he played some preseason games for the Edmonton Oilers this year.
Toronto – Forward Robbie Earl was one of the Maple Leafs’ final roster cuts, and it’s a good bet he’ll be back up with the parent club this season, particularly if his defensive game rounds into form. Defense is a prerequisite to playing for new Leafs coach Ron Wilson.
You can find my weekly report on California Alumni in hockey each Tuesday at www.calirubber.com