KRISTO SENT TO CAROLINA

Danny Kristo has recorded three consecutive 20-goal seasons

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2017 second-round draft pick and forward Danny Kristo, it was announced today by Penguins executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Kristo was acquired by the Penguins from the St Louis Blues on November 19, 2016 for defenseman Reid McNeill.  He appeared in 32 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 11 points (6+5) and 10 penalty minutes.

Hainsey, 35, was in his fourth season with the Hurricanes. This season, he has suited up for all 56 games played, producing 14 points (4G-10A), including his 200th NHL assist against the Penguins back on Jan. 20.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefthanded-shooting blueliner sat third on the Hurricanes in time on ice (22:20 minutes) and second overall in shorthanded minutes (3:03 minutes). His 79 hits led club defenders, and his 92 blocked shots placed third.

A native of Bolton, Connecticut, Hainsey served as an alternate captain for Carolina during the previous two seasons. The dependable blueliner joins the Penguins having skated in 347 of a possible 350 games since 2012-13.

Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round (13th overall) in 2000, Hainsey has 250 points (49G-201A) in 891 career games played with Carolina, Winnipeg/Atlanta, Columbus and Montreal. Since playing his first full-time NHL season with Columbus in 2006-07, Hainsey has played in 804 of a possible 842 games (95%).

Hainsey, who played two years at the University of Massechusetts-Lowell, becomes the 16th current Penguin with college hockey experience. Only Matt Cullen (1,347 games) and Trevor Daley (892 games) have more NHL regular-season playing experience.

Hainsey, an alumnus of the United States National Team Development Program, represented the United States at the 2009 World Championship, where he was an alternate captain, and named one of the ‘Top Three’ players on the team by the media. He also skated in the 2000 and ’01 World Junior Championship, leading all defenders with five assists in ’01.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Feb. 24, when it travels to upstate New York to take on the Utica Comets. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

AHL SLAP SHOTS – FEBRUARY 1, 2017

There weren’t any American Hockey League games played yesterday, but it was still one of the busiest news days that the AHL has seen this season.  Here’s a rundown of the big ticket items from Tuesday, January 31.

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

CONGRATS CARTER – The piece of news that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fans will be happiest about is the NHL debut of Carter Rowney.  The undrafted fourth-year pro was originally recalled by Pittsburgh last week when Evgeni Malkin was sidelined due to injury, but he didn’t crack the lineup in his first stay with the team.

After being returned to NEPA and helping the Pens to wins over Utica and Binghamton last week, Rowney was recalled again by Pittsburgh on Monday, and suited up for the club in its 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. He logged 9:24 of ice time in the victory while skating alongside Bryan Rust and Carl Hagelin.

Rowney was among the hottest players on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster headed into the AHL All-Star break.  After missing about a month and a half due to injury, Rowney returned to the Pens lineup on January 13 in Rochester.  He recorded eight points (5+3) during the next eight games, and posted a four-game goal streak from January 13-18, a career best for the 27-year old center.


Photo courtesy Rocket de Laval – http://www.rocketlaval.com

ROCKET LAUNCH – The Rocket de Laval, who will hit the ice next year serving as the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate, unveiled their logo and uniforms yesterday afternoon.

The team’s uniforms feature the familiar red, white and blue of the parent club, and the team name pays homage to Maurice ‘the Rocket’ Richard, who played 18 seasons with the Canadiens, won eight Stanley Cups, and became the first player to record 50 goals in a season and 500 in a career.

The Rocket will play their home games at Place Bell, a 10,000 seat facility currently under construction.


ADIEU ALBANY – The New Jersey Devils announced that they will move their AHL club out of Albany and into Binghamton next season, and they signed a deal to keep hockey in New York’s lower tier for the next five seasons.

The Ottawa Senators announced earlier this year that they would be relocating their minor league operations to Belleville, Ontario for the 2017-18 season, leaving the future of hockey in Binghamton in limbo for several months.

“After evaluating multiple scenarios and obtaining the approval of the AHL Board of Governors, we have agreed to partner with a local operating group in Binghamton, NY to relocate the franchise for the 2017-18 season,” said Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils. “The new arrangement will allow the organization to focus its efforts on developing our player prospects, while leaving the business operations to those with expertise in the market.”

Albany has been home to an AHL team since 1993, when the Capital District Islanders moved from nearby Troy, New York and became the Albany River Rats.  The River Rats were affiliated with the Devils (1993-2006) and the Carolina Hurricanes (2006-10) during their tenure, with the Colorado Avalanche splitting the affiliation with Carolina in 2006-07.

When the Hurricanes relocated their AHL club to Charlotte, New Jersey moved it’s minor league operations back to the capital city and dubbed them the Devils.