This is the first blog of the last month without hockey. There are only eight weekends left without a hockey game in Bakersfield, seven without hockey players in town, and six without ice inside Rabobank Arena. As they say in one of my favorite Seinfeld scenes, “you take away lunch and sleep and it’s practically here.”
You may not like Seinfeld, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
Now for the blog…
– Ryan Hamilton was named a pro scout with the San Jose Sharks this week. He played 12 seasons, nearly 700 AHL games, and served as a captain in three different organizations.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) July 31, 2018
– When I shot him a quick text with congrats on the gig, he called immediately to chat. He’ll be based in Phoenix and don’t be surprised if you see him around Condorstown this season. He’s still on the mend from breaking two bones in his leg this past season. It’s a great opportunity for him as I know he’d like to get into hockey operations/coaching and this is a great first step.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) July 31, 2018
– He made Condorstown his home for three seasons with his wife and two kids (including one born in Bakersfield). To me, he embodied what a captain should be on and off the ice. He was accountable to his teammates, the coaching staff, the community and everyone involved with the organization. Plus, for the early wake up guys on the road like myself, he was a good person to sit with, read the paper, and talk over breakfast.
Our captain. We’re proud to announce that Ryan Hamilton has been named the Condors IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year for his work in the community. >> https://t.co/bhHpFi92Nk pic.twitter.com/JNeC35CgQ0
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) March 29, 2018
– In roster news, the team signed winger John McFarland to an AHL contract for the 2018-19. His past two seasons have been spent in Finland and Switzerland, but the 26-year old has significant AHL experience to the tune of 190 games in the Florida Panthers organization. He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Panthers.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) August 1, 2018
– McFarland has the ability to play both wings, but shoots right. From the video below, you get a sense of the type of player he is. He has size, skill, and just from the video, you can tell he’s not afraid to pay the price around the goal mouth to score goals. His 14 goals in 56 games with the Pirates that year was his career AHL high. He’s been a penalty killer in the past as well too and I think if you can get something like that 2015-16 season where he had 24 points in 56 games out of him, it would be a successful year.
– Just a hunch, but I think that’s it in terms of signings. Edmonton and restricted free agent Darnell Nurse are still in contract negotiations. Plus, they may add one or two more to the fold which would in one way, shape, or form affect the Condors. But I think this player tracker is a good estimate of what you could see come October 5.
– Around the AHL, 12 teams will have a new head coach, including the Condors. Nine (Condors included) will make their AHL head coaching debuts as well. But perhaps the wackiest offseason movement came from now Binghamton Devils Head Coach Mark Dennehy. He was let go at Merrimack College after a long tenure in April and was hired by the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers in May. After never coaching a game, he now replaces Rick Kowalsky two months later in Binghamton after Kowalsky joined the New Jersey Devils coaching staff.
Mark Dennehy has been named head coach of the @BingDevils
— AHL (@TheAHL) August 1, 2018
– One week from today is the Condors Ice Cream Social (Aug. 9 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.) at Rabobank Arena. If you pick up a ticket plan, you can pick your seats right then, and you’ll get a Condors Beach Cooler Bag. I can confirm the bags not only hold towels, but hold enough beverages with ice in them for you to enjoy a hot summer day. We’ll also have ice cream bars and you can tour the renovated Condors locker room and gym area.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) June 25, 2018
– LOCK OF THE WEEK? There’s an NFL Preseason game tonight. No, that’s not the lock of the week. For that we head to Ohio and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. It features a small field of the best golfers in the world. It’s right before the PGA Championship and is usually won by Tiger Woods every time he’s in it. Not so fast my friends. I’m going Rory McIlroy.
Until next time Condorstown…
Ryan Holt is the Voice of the Condors and enters his 8th season in 2018-19. Temperatures dipping to 99 as “breaking the heat wave” is funny to him. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com with questions, comments or blog ideas.