Welcome to the Wolf Pack Den

Matt Carey

Hartford Wolf Pack (Flickr)

Greetings readers,

My name is Ricky and I look forward to providing phenomenal coverage for the New York Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. I have been a season ticket holder for the club since 2010. Prior to that, I attended games throughout my childhood. I have seen Ryan Callahan, Mats Zuccarello, Dan Girardi, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Artem Anisimov, and many others develop in Hartford. The list is lengthy on who has made it to the big leagues. I have seen some of the worst and best moments in franchise history, such as the Pack reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2014-15 season to the worst, a defeat of 10-2 against the Springfield Falcons (now Tuscon Road Runners). I am currently a college student at the University of Connecticut and attend Hockey East matches to watch the Huskies.

Looking Back

Last year featured the worst season statistically in franchise history. The Pack ranked last in the league, registering a franchise low of 54 points in 76 games. They finished the season losing five straight, with a record of 24-46-4-2. The standings in the American Hockey League are ranked by point percentage due to the unbalanced schedule as the Pacific division plays 68 games. Hartford finished with a .355 point percentage.

John Gilmour

Hartford Wolf Pack (Flickr)

This group was tough to watch on a daily basis. They had not much going for them, with the majority of the players struggling. The veterans brought in were not effective.  The prospects were lost and could not handle certain situations well. The coaching staff at the time were also partly to blame, along with the general manager. The prospect who struggled the most, to me, was John Gilmour. He came to the team as a rookie from Providence College in Hockey East.  He had a plus-minus of -39, despite registering 25 points (6 goals, 19 assists). His defensive skills were not ready for the league. However, the coaching staff allowed him to play for the experience. Unfortunately, he struggled, nightly. John Gilmour does have potential, but he is not ready yet for Hartford. I felt that he needed some seasoning in Greenville (ECHL). He does have offensive upside to his game. The veterans on defense weren’t able to help him much, which didn’t help his nightly struggles.

Matt Carey

Hartford Wolf Pack (Flickr)

The prospect that I enjoyed watching develop this year was Matt Carey. I was surprised how well he did throughout his fourth season as a pro. He registered 29 points (21 goals, 8 assists), and had a physical presence that came from being “under the wing” of Tanner Glass. The veteran presence of Tanner Glass was helpful for Matt Carey. He produced quality offense while being a gritty player, and can drop the gloves when needed. He has some offensive upside and looks solid defensively. I feel that next season he will become better.

McCambridge (AHL)

Looking Ahead

While there are plenty of moving pieces, I believe Hartford will be a better club next year. The core prospects are returning, hopefully learning from their past mistakes. Any newly acquired veterans should make a greater impact than the ones from the prior season. In addition to the roster changes, there will be a breath of fresh air on the bench. Keith McCambridge is a promising coach who will challenge and develop the group well. He holds everyone accountable with high expectations. He also enjoys doing one on one lessons with prospects who need extra help in the areas they’re struggling with. Chris Drury will also help bring in a winning culture to the Wolf Pack. These changes were due and I am pleased with them. The quality of the roster is expected to be better.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

Mentioned in this article:

More About: