Holty’s Blog is back to liven up your Thursdays. I had a great vacation back home in Massachusetts and as we like to say in the first staff meeting back from an absence, “just trying to get caught back up.”
Many things happened while I was three time zones away and that is what this blog will cover. You may want a recap of all the things I did, all the food I ate, and all of the SPF 50 I put on, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
Now for the blog…
- THE AHL ELIMINATED FIGHTING! Well according to social media they did. Actually, they implemented a rule to eliminate “staged” fights, which were going the way of the dinosaur anyways. The other part of the rule is 10 fighting majors = 1 game suspension. Again, they’re not reinventing the wheel here. The Condors had ZERO players reach 10 fights last year with the team leader in fights being Jujhar Khaira at nine. Both new rules are just a reflection of the way the game has been played for the better part of the last five years.
- The NHL in Las Vegas will be great. According to AHL President Dave Andrews, the AHL will expand to 31 teams as well in 2017-18. Smart money is on that AHL affiliate of Las Vegas being out West somewhere. I’ll throw my vote towards West Valley City.
- Tucson is officially in the Pacific Division and will play 68 games just like the Cali-5. This should decrease the amount of games against California teams across the board.
- In Condors news, Matt Ford departed for Grand Rapids where he’ll play for former head coach Todd Nelson. It also brings him closer to his current home in Chicago. He was a big part of the Condors inaugural AHL season on and off the ice, and I thank him for that.
- So who picks up the slack? Well as I mentioned before, I think Anton Slepyshev takes on a bigger role on the wing this year. Plus, should Taylor Beck with his wealth of AHL experience and success at 25 years old make his way to Condorstown, I think the blue and orange will be just fine offensively. It’ll be a younger leaning forward group and much like any AHL season, you just have to hope that guys have breakout second and third seasons. For an updated look at players under contract and the like, click here.
- Speaking of the guys, check out what they’ve been up to this summer. Unofficial list of places visited this summer of 2015-16 Condors (other than home towns) include Hawaii, Cyprus, Montenegro, Ibiza, and the Bahamas. Definitely cottages too. Everyone in Canada goes to the cottage in the summer. Or jumping off cliffs. They do that too.
- Should note as well that the Condors coaching staff was in Jasper at the Oilers Development Camp. You can head to our Facebook page to see pics of where the team was courtesy of noted photographer J-F Houle. While you’re there, make sure to hit “see first” under the “liked” button so you can be sure to get Condors news on your feed when you sign on.
- I won a bet with friend of the blog @KevinBartl while I was gone and he’s treating me to Victor’s Mexican Grill tomorrow for lunch. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
- Hats off to Condorstown for raising $2,500 for the Erskine Fire relief efforts. You can still help out with this Iiro Pakarinen jersey auction. It ends Monday.
- Finally, friend of the blog @BarracudaVoice is leaving the Barracuda for parts unknown. When he was in Worcester in 2009 and a 21-year old kid walked into his office looking for an internship, he put him to work. I learned a lot that year and I thank him for giving me a chance.
Until next time Condorstown…
Ryan Holt a.k.a. Holty wrapped year five in Condorstown in 2016-17. The Condors office will be under construction soon and he’ll be moving to his third office, but for the first time, won’t have to sit directly next to @KevinBartl. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty or shoot him an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, concerns, or anything really.