Maple Leafs sign USA WJC star 2009 draft pick Jerry D'Amigo

jerrydamigo1.jpgThe rumors about the Maple Leafs signing their 2009 sixth round draft pick Jerry D’Amigo came true this afternoon as the team announced they’ve reached a three-year entry-level deal with the Team USA World Junior Championships gold medalist. Leafs GM Brian Burke had this to say about D’Amigo:

“We’ve been very pleased with Jerry’s progression over the past 12 months,” said Burke. “Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff at R.P.I. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp.”

At RPI last year, D’Amigo was a revelation for the program, leading all freshmen in points per game while winning the ECAC Rookie of the Year award. In the off-season, D’Amigo has added weight and muscle to his frame turning him from a still green young kid into an NHL-sized and ready prospect, something to which D’Amigo thanks the coaches at RPI for helping him do.

For the Leafs, D’Amigo presents the possibility of having a fresh-faced option to use on their third line as D’Amigo’s offensive and defensive skills are about equal. D’Amigo spent last season with RPI playing time both on the power play and the penalty kill. Having attended the majority of RPI’s games last season, my own untrained eye tells me that a bigger and faster Jerry D’Amigo will be the steal they were hoping he might be when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2009. That year, he was projected to be a late second-early third round pick yet slipped into the early sixth, a mistake many teams may come to look back on with regret.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images)

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    NHL has no plans to change waiver rules

    Manny Malhotra Ryan Stanton
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    Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.

    Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”

    “For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”

    Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.

    Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.

    In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.

    So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?

    Your call, Marc Bergevin.

    Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

    Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

    Joni Ortio
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    Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

    The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

    But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

    In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

    Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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    Two injury updates in one post.

    First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

    According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

    “We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

    Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

    As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

    Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

    Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

    Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

    1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
    2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

    “It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

    Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

    The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.