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Sharks’ Sommer to set AHL coaching record tonight


Roy Sommer, the coach of San Jose’s AHL affiliate in Worcester, will set an American League record tonight by coaching his 1,257th career game — surpassing league legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Frank Mathers in the process.

“This record is a testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise that Roy Sommer brings with him to the rink each and every day and we as an organization want to congratulate him on this incredible achievement,”  Sharks GM Doug Wilson said in a statement. “Reaching a milestone of this magnitude shows just how important a role Roy has played in the development of our players and prospects.

“Countless players have learned under his direction and his talent for molding young hockey players has played a key role in our organization’s success.”

Sommer, 56, joined the Sharks organization in 1996 and spent two years as an assistant coach under Darryl Sutter before taking the AHL gig. During his time in the minors, he’s seen 80 players graduate to play for the Sharks and, this season, 18 of the 29 players to appear in a game for San Jose played for Sommer at some point in the club’s developmental system.

In addition to setting the games coached record, Sommer has been moving up the AHL wins list as well. He currently sits fourth, behind the likes of John Paddock, Mathers and the legendary Fred “Bun” Cook.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.

Fabbri primed to make Blues in significant role

Jason Demers, Robby Fabbri
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With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.

During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.

“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.

“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”

The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.

Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.