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Wolf Pack Notebook

October 18, 2010 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Connecticut Whale News Release

An undisclosed injury to Chad Johnson or Cameron Talbot caused the Hartford Wolf Pack to sign goalie Dov Grumet-Morris to a professional tryout agreement Monday.

Johnson was 2-1-0-1 in starting the Wolf Pack's first four games, then Talbot had a 41-save shutout in his pro debut in a 3-0 victory over the Providence Bruins on Sunday. He was nominated for AHL player of the week, which was won by Peoria Rivermen right wing Graham Mink, who had two goals and seven assists and was plus-5 in four victories.

Grumet-Morris, a sixth-year pro out of Harvard, tried out for the Wolf Pack in training camp, stopping all 27 shots he faced in 65 minutes in two preseason games. But he was assigned to the ECHL's Greenville Road Warriors, with whom he had signed a contract. The Road Warriors, the Wolf Pack's new ECHL affiliate after the Charlotte Checkers joined the AHL, open their season Thursday.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Grumet-Morris spent the last two seasons in Austria, appearing in 39 games last season with Jesenice. Before heading to Europe, the 28-year-old Grumet-Morris played 28 games in three AHL seasons with the San Antonio Rampage, Portland Pirates, Hamilton Bulldogs, Manitoba Moose and Milwaukee Admirals. He has an 8-12-5 record with a 2.62 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and four shutouts.

Grumet-Morris also has a 31-11-4 record with a 2.56 GAA and .912 save percentage in 48 ECHL games with the Cincinnati Cyclones. He was the Philadelphia Flyers' fifth-round pick in 2002.

Johnson or Talbot is the latest in a series of injuries that have hit the Wolf Pack and Rangers.

Wolf Pack right wing Dale Weise saw a specialist Monday and will see another Tuesday to determine what surgery he will have to fix a broken bone in his left wrist. He could be out 4-to-6 weeks depending on what procedure he decides to have.

Left wing Devin DiDiomete has been given clearance to resume contact drills with the team after extensive rehabilitation following more than six hours of surgery on his left hip on May 7. Defenseman Jared Nightingale is expected to resume skating Tuesday after missing the last four games because of an infected right foot.

Meanwhile, Rangers center Vinny Prospal will be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks after knee surgery Monday. Leading scorer Marian Gaborik is out 2-to-3 week with a separated left shoulder sustained in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. In the same game, captain/center/Trumbull native Chris Drury re-broke his left index finger and will be sidelined six weeks. That left the Rangers with the minimum 12 forwards.

All-Wolf Pack Team Voting Starts Wednesday

Fans can start voting Wednesday for the All-Time Wolf Pack Team, which will be announced at the Nov. 13 game against the Springfield Falcons, the last at the XL Center for the Wolf Pack before they become the Connecticut Whale two weeks later. Fans can place their votes at CTWhale.com and at various retailers courtesy of Hartford Distributors and Bud Light.

Fans can vote for one goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards. The candidates for the team are goaltenders Jason LaBarbera, J.F. Labbe and Steve Valiquette, defensemen Dan Girardi, Mike Mottau, Thomas Pock, Corey Potter, Dale Purinton and Terry Virtue and forwards Derek Armstrong, Dane Byers, Nigel Dawes, Ken Gernander, Alex Giroux, Todd Hall, Greg Moore, P.A. Parenteau, Richard Scott, Brad Smyth, P.J. Stock and Craig Weller.

The deadline for voting is Nov. 7.

Gernander's Most Diverse and Talented Team

Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said his current team could be the most talented of the four that he has coached since taking over for Jim Schoenfeld.

"I think our talented guys aren't just one-dimensional," Gernander said. "I think they bring other elements to the game, which helps raise things collectively. If a guy can be talented and physical, he can play against the top lines and make it miserable for the other team. If they're responsible defensively, they're not only a threat when they have the puck, but they can shut down opponents. So I think they're a little more multi-dimensional than we've had in the past." ... Johnson on the youthful defense (five rookies, 13-year pro Wade Redden, fifth-year pro Nightingale and third-year pro Nigel Williams): "With such a young defensive corps and sort of a new group, I think you're going to see us improve a lot more the more we play together and more guys are out there in different situations. It's kind of a progress to continue to get better every day, and the teams at the end of the season are usually the ones that improve the most over the course of the year and not just stay kind of constant in their ability. They improve throughout the season and are usually the ones that do well later in the season."

End of a Memorable Era

The Wolf Pack's win over Providence Sunday ended arguably their fiercest rivalry. It was the last time the Wolf Pack plays the P-Bruins before they become the Connecticut Whale on Nov. 23. Their next meeting is Dec. 3 at Providence.

Besides their Calder Cup victory over Rochester in 2000, the Pack's most memorable win was 4-3 in overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals when former Bruins defenseman Terry Virtue banked a shot off former Wolf Pack wing Peter Ferrarro and into the net. The Pack went on to defeat the Americans in six games for the only professional title in Hartford pro hockey history. The Pack-Bruins rivalry ended with the Pack having a record of 65(W)-39(L)-8(T)-8(OTL)-3(SOL) in the series.

Undefeated Norfolk Starts Wolf Pack's Long Homestand

The Wolf Pack begins a five-game homestand, which ties their season high, against the Norfolk Admirals (3-0-0-0) on Wednesday night at 7. The Admirals swept the Worcester Sharks 4-0 and 7-2 at home on Friday and Saturday nights, amassing a 56-36 shot advantage in the second win, including 44-22 in the second and third periods. They're led by centers Marc-Antoine Pouliot (one goal, six assists), James Wright (1, 4) and Paul Szczechura (3, 1) and goalies Cedrick Desjardins (1-0-0-0, 0.00 goals-against average, 1.000 save percentage) and Dustin Tokarski (2-0-0-0, 3.00, .917). The 25-year-old Desjardins had a 29-save shutout Friday in his Admirals debut. He was 29-9-4 with a 2.00 GAA, .919 save percentage and six shutouts for the Hamilton Bulldogs last season on the way to a berth on the AHL's second all-star team.

After the Admirals make their first of two visits of the season (they're in Hartford for the regular-season finale April 10), the Wolf Pack hosts the Binghamton Senators (2-3-0-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Senators are led by center Corey Locke (one goal, five assists), who wasn't re-signed by the Rangers after leading the Wolf Pack in assists (54) and points (85) last season and being named to second all-star team with Desjardins. Former Wolf Pack tough guy Francis Lessard is also on the Senators.

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