Tag Archives: Houston Aeros

NHL To Announce New TV Agreement

It will be made official during a news conference at noon central time today that the NHL and NBC/Versus have agreed on a contract extension for TV rights. Reports are saying that the extension will last 10 years. There were also reports that ESPN, Fox and TNT were interested in broadcasting NHL games, but it sounds as if the money involved was very substantial.

In other news, the Houston Aeros have taken a 3-0 series lead on the Peoria Rivermen in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. The Aeros can close out the series in Peoria tonight.

Houston is getting contributions from everybody, especially youngsters who could very well be wearing Wild uniforms next season. Colton Gillies and Chad Rau each have two goals, while Maxim Noreau has three assists, Casey Wellman has a goal and two assists and Matt Hackett is 3-0 with a 1.88 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Of the 18 skaters to have played a playoff game, only two – Drew Bagnall and Matt Kassian – have yet to record a point.

Marco Scandella hasn’t yet seen playoff action, but the hope is that he’ll be able to return from his broken finger during this series. Seeing as how the Aeros may be able to close the series tonight, it’s possible Head Coach Mike Yeo holds the stud defenseman out and gets him fully ready for the next round, or Game 5 if necessary.

Also, there were some comments relating to last week’s post about the World Championships and the lack of a mention for Martin Havlat and Marek Zidlicky on the Czech Republic roster. Both of those players missed the final week of the Wild regular season and their health was in question. It now sounds as if both will be able to play, but as far as I’ve seen, there hasn’t been anything official released (at least in English).

Scandella Recalled

For the first time this season, the Minnesota Wild has recalled a defenseman from the Houston Aeros. Promising first year pro Marco Scandella was called up this morning and will join the team in Florida today.

Head Coach Todd Richards told the media this morning that Scandella will make his NHL debut tonight, though he did not share which Wild defenseman would be scratched in his place. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound native of Montreal, Quebec, provides a big body on the blueline for the Wild.

The 20-year-old has recorded eight points (1-7=8) and 11 penalty minutes (PIM) in 14 games with the Aeros this season. He ranks tied for second on the team in scoring and third in shots with 33. Scandella collected 31 points (9-22=31) in 31 games with the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. He also appeared in seven matches with Houston and notched one assist.

More Target Field Fun

Yesterday, Wild.com provided footage of the “Pride of Prior Lake,” Zach Parise and pals taking hacks at Ron Gardenhire knucklers at Target Field last week.

Now, it’s time to see how some of our own Wild players swing the aluminum. On Saturday, Clayton Stoner and Josh Harding squared off against T.C. Bear and a fella named Joe Ganther in a softball home run derby prior to the Twins taking on the Angels.

It wasn’t Stoner’s day as the big man couldn’t replicate the swing that they apparently taught Justin Morneau up in British Columbia.

Harding was a different story. As Bert “Be Home” Blyleven might say, “He used that uppercut swing, and he DID NOT miss it.” Harding displayed so much power that I am not even going to start teasing him for the white capri pants that he wore during the contest (but at least he wore the white pants before Labor Day).

Harding was forced a playoff, and actually beat T.C., the reigning champion. But he didn’t have enough to topple Ganther, who has been offered a tender to join my co-ed softball team.

As for other news, it became official today that the Houston Aeros are booked to host the Peoria Rivermen at Xcel Energy Center as part of Hockey Day Minnesota on February 12. Just think, if the Wild is forced to make a call up that day, they could let a player get his pregame skate in against Peoria before activating him to finish out the doubleheader. Of course, the St. Louis Blues could do the exact same thing, since Peoria is their AHL affiliate.

And speaking of affiliations, the Wild is has added an ECHL affiliate with the announcement having just been made. The Bakersfield Condors will join the Wild minor league family for the upcoming season.

If you check out their site, they currently have seven players on their roster, but that should change once NHL and AHL training camps start sending players elsewhere. And hey, even if that’s how the roster stands come October, I wouldn’t bet against the seven current Condors. After all, they do have former Bulldog and West St. Paul native, Jay Cascalenda on the squad. That kid can skate like the wind blows.

Tomorrow, from 9 to 3, yours truly will be at the Wild’s Minnesota State Fair booth located in the FAN Central building. Stop by, say hello and say something funny. You just might get your name in the next “View from the Lighthouse” post.

Sydor And Wiseman Named Aeros Assistants

You can see the full story here, but the Wild has hired two-time Stanley Cup winner Darryl Sydor and former Aero Brian Wiseman as the assistant coaches for the Houston Aeros. Both have a history with new Aeros head man, Mike Yeo. Sydor was playing for the Penguins while Yeo was an assistant, and the Penguins reached the Stanley Cup final. Wiseman was a teammate of Yeo’s with the Aeros.

Yeo was very excited about his new staff in Houston, and he spoke to us just prior to heading out on the ice for a power skating instructional at the Wild’s Development Camp at Xcel Energy Center. He said Sydor is expected to come into town later today, and Wiseman will most likely be here on Thursday.

Obviously, the big news here is the naming of Sydor, who was playing for the St. Louis Blues just last year. Over 18 years, Sydor played 1,291 games and posted 507 points (98-409=507) while winning two Stanley Cups – Dallas in 1999 and Tampa Bay in 2004.

Yeo was the one that reached out to Sydor as he tried to fill his staff. He thought Sydor would make a great coach since working with him in Pittsburgh. He acknowledged that it was probably tough for him to give up playing, but thought that going right into coaching was a great way to stay involved. Obviously, Sydor would project to be an outstanding head coach at some point.

Mike Yeo Hired As Houston Aeros Head Coach

A month ago, Minnesota Wild Assistant to the General Manager, Jim Mill was sifting through stacks of resumes from potential coaches of the Houston Aeros. Mill said he hoped to have his man to lead the club’s primary developmental affiliate prior to the NHL Draft.

With more than a week to spare, Mill’s search is over after tabbing Pittsburgh Penguins assistant, Mike Yeo to lead the club.

Yeo joined the Penguins as an assistant in 2005, and he helped lead the club to a Stanley Cup title in 2009. Yeo’s primary responsibilities were coaching the power play and defensemen.

The 36-year-old returns to the team he spent five years playing left wing for from 1994 to 1999. As team captain, Yeo led the Aeros to the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup in 1999.

The following year, however, Yeo suffered a career-ending knee injury, and he turned to coaching the following year as an assistant for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He served in that role for six years before moving on to Pittsburgh under head coaches, Michel Therrien and Dan Bylsma. His promotion came in 2005, when Wilkes-Barre set an AHL record for the best start to a season by boasting a 21-1-2-1 record with 15 straight wins.

All tolled, Yeo remained in the Penguins organization for 10 years.

While coaching at both levels, he worked with players such as Brooks Orpik, Ryan Whitney, Maxime Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Yeo takes over the Houston reins following the departure of Kevin Constantine, another former coach in Pittsburgh.

More information will be available on Wild.com later, including interviews with Yeo and Mill.