What to Expect in Bridgeport

With a new season comes changes, and change is no different for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Sure, we’ve talked about the major changes with the signings, but what about in the arena and the league?

The AHL

With 30 teams, the AHL needed one more franchise to counter with 31 with the NHL. The Avalanche’s AHL Team was in San Antonio, who midseason announced a partnership with St. Louis, who had lost their’s with Chicago. Colorado wouldn’t have to go far, as they would go to Loveland, CO, for their affiliate. The ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, after winning another Kelly Cup, would move on up to the AHL. Taking over as head coach for the Eagles is Greg Cronin. Yes, the same guy who was the Islanders assistant coach for the last 4 seasons and former Sound Tigers Coach. The AHL realigned its divisions with Colorado to the Pacific, and the Cleveland Monsters coming to the North Division in the east. But they will not play Bridgeport, still leaving them as one of 11 teams Bridgeport has yet to play currently.

Coaching-wise around the league, it looks like this:

TEAM Old New
SA-a Eric Veilleux (4/17) Drew Bannister (6/5)
LAV Sylvain Lefebvre (4/17) Joel Bouchard (5/17)
HER Troy Mann (4/25) Spencer Carbery (6/26)
BAK Gerry Fleming (4/27) Jay Woodcroft (4/27)
BEL Kurt Kleinendorst (5/1) Troy Mann (6/25)
TUC Mike Van Ryn (5/30, STL ass’t) Jay Varady (7/2)
GR Todd Nelson (5/31, DAL ass’t) Ben Simon (6/5)
STK Ryan Huska (5/31, CAL ass’t) Cail MacLean (6/4)
MIL Dean Evason (6/6, MIN ass’t) Karl Taylor (6/29)
COL-a New franchise Greg Cronin (7/12)
IOW Derek Lalonde (7/12 – TBL ass’t) Tim Army (7/19)
BIN Rick Kowalsky (7/23 – NJ ass’t) Mark Dennehy (8/1)

a-St. Louis takes over San Antonio, while the Colorado Eagles join the league.

In Bridgeport’s case; the Sound Tigers will be playing 14 of the 15 other teams, including the entire Atlantic Division. The Sound Tigers will be playing 44 games inside the conference with a maximum of 6 Games against in division opponents.
Outside of division, they play every team two times, with the exception of Rochester, who they see 4 times. Here’s a look at the schedule alignment.

Belleville Senators (Ottawa) – 2

Binghamton Devils (New Jersey) – 2

Charlotte Checkers (Carolina) – 8

Hartford Wolf Pack (NY Rangers) – 10

Hershey Bears (Washington) – 6

Laval Rocket (Montreal) – 2

Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia) – 6

Providence Bruins (Boston) – 12

Rochester Americans (Buffalo) – 4

Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida) – 10

Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay) – 2

Toronto Marlies (Toronto) – 2

Utica Comets (Vancouver) – 2

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh) – 8

Only team that Bridgeport will not play from the east is the aforementioned Cleveland Monsters.

This season looks to be very exciting, and I know most fans cannot wait, and neither can we!

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