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Wolf Pack Notebook

October 13, 2010 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Connecticut Whale News Release

The Hartford Wolf Pack will have a new player at practice Thursday morning.

With Rangers captain/Trumbull native Chris Drury returning from a broken left index finger for the home opener Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL club assigned center Tim Kennedy to the Wolf Pack on Wednesday.

Removing Drury from injured reserve put the Rangers one player over the 23-player roster limit. So Kennedy, signed to a one-year, $550,000 free-agent contract on Aug. 30 after not being re-signed by the Buffalo Sabres, was sent to Hartford after being a healthy scratch in the Rangers' first two games. He had two assists in four preseason games.

Kennedy and veteran Todd White cleared waivers last week, and the Rangers had 30 days to decide whether to send either or both to the Wolf Pack or they would have had to put them through waivers again.

"They want (Kennedy) to play and not get old on the shelf," Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said. "It doesn't do his career any good to be sitting around, and he could be a very important player for us, so it's probably the best situation for everyone. He's not that big (5-foot-10, 176 pounds), but he has good quickness and sees the ice really well. I don't think he'll have any problem getting acclimated. I think he can be a really dynamic player for us."

The 24-year-old Kennedy will get plenty of ice time this weekend, as the Wolf Pack play three games in less than 48 hours on the road. They're at Albany on Friday (7 p.m.), at Bridgeport on Saturday (7:05 p.m.) and at Providence on Sunday (4:05 p.m.).

Last season, Kennedy led Sabres rookies in goals (10), assists (16), points (26), penalty minutes (50) and shots (98). He also had one goal and two assists and was plus-3 in six playoff games against the Bruins. Kennedy, a sixth-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2005 out of Michigan State, started his pro career with the Portland Pirates and had 18 goals and 49 assists in 73 games under coach Kevin Dineen, the former Whalers star.

Drury, who has been sidelined since the first week of training camp, skated in practice Wednesday on the No. 1 line with Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov. Drury replaced Erik Christensen, who injured his right leg in a 5-4 loss to the Islanders on Monday. Christensen is listed as day-to-day and might be able to play Friday night.

After practice, Drury said he was 100 percent, and coach John Tortorella told reporters that he would play against the Maple Leafs.

"No one likes to miss games, and you don't like to start the season in the stands," said Drury, who resumed skating with his teammates Saturday. "Certainly it's been something me to me, but overall I feel pretty good and am excited to get going."

As a precaution, Drury will wear new gloves that have extra padding in and around the hand area, but that should be the only difference Friday night.

"It's healed, though I guess it's always going to be a little sore as we go through here, but that's fine," Drury said. "I can do just about anything, so I am ready to go."

Neither Drury nor Tortorella would say where Drury would play, but the coach doesn't want to break up his second and third lines, which have been very effective and included the No. 2 tandem of former Wolf Pack players Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov. Tortorella said he would wait until after practice Thursday before making his final lineup decisions.

Nightingale Released From Hospital

Defenseman Jared Nightingale was released from the hospital after being confined for four days because of a foot infection. He played in the season-opening, 4-2 victory over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night and then had the foot flare up. Gernander said Nighingdale hopes to start exercising over the weekend and return to the ice next week. ... Right wing Dale Weise returned to practice and skated with regular linemates Byers and Kris Newbury after sitting out one day to rest an injury... Left wing Devin DiDiomete is scheduled to visit a doctor next week to determine if he can resume contact drills. He began skating with the team last week while recovering from more than six hours of hip surgery on May 7. ... With the Wolf Pack playing the three road games this weekend, Gernander said backup goalie Cameron Talbot likely will get his first AHL start but when will depend how well No. 1 goalie Chad Johnson performs. ... A Canadian Broadcasting Company camera crew out of Toronto was at the XL Center on Wednesday filming a feature on veteran defenseman Wade Redden for the pregame show for the Ottawa Senators' game at Montreal on Saturday night. Then they were scheduled to go to New York City to film Redden at home with his wife and 3-week-old son. The 33-year-old Redden played 10 seasons with the Senators before signing a six-year, $39 million contract with the Rangers in 2008. He was put on waivers to clear his $6.5 million from the Rangers' $59.4 million salary cap. When he cleared waivers, he was sent to Hartford because his cap hit was erased. He hopes to move into the area by the end of the month.

Benefit Breakfast

Former NHL player Mark Osborne will be the keynote speaker at the third annual Hockey Ministries International Fundraising Breakfast and silent auction Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wellspring Church, 222 Lincoln Street, Berlin. Osborne was 1980 draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings who also played with the Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets in the NHL and was player-coach of the International Hockey League's Cleveland Lumberjacks before retiring in 1997-98. Sonar, the Wolf Pack's mascot, and Pucky, mascot of the future Connecticut Whale, will be special guests at the event. Proceeds benefit HMI Northeast Division. For tickets ($20 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under), call 860-747-1649 or visit www.hockeyministriesnortheast.org . For sponsorships ($200 and $100), contact Rick Mitera at 860-817-6440 or [email protected] .

AHL Live Is Back

If you're interested in the AHL outside the Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, AHL Live again has online coverage of games. AHL Live gives fans the greatest access to live and archive games, radio, live chat, video-on-demand and highlights. The modernized video console gives hockey fans an opportunity to tune into their favorite team with an Internet connection and watch the action anywhere at any time. New this year, AHL Live will feature an updated look and feel, including a game status indicator, and will offer integrated team level branding and HD support. AHL Live will show more than 1,000 games in the regular season, which begins Friday. The exclusive service is the only way fans can watch live AHL games online, where the viewing experience expands the reach of the American Hockey League, its teams and world-class players to a global audience. Individual games are $6.99 each, and other subscription package options are available. The annual Calder Cup Playoff games will also be offered through AHL Live. For more information, visit www.ahllive.com .

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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