The Chicago Blackhawks have come to terms with forward Dennis Rasmussen on a one-year contract.
Rasmussen spent the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs scoring 13 goals and 27 points in 73 games.
The Blackhawks signed Rasmussen to a one-year, entry-level contract worth $925,000 last June after his third season with Vaxjo HC of the Swedish Hockey League.
Ciampini, Visentin sign one-year deals with Rockford
Forward Daniel Ciampini and goaltender Mark Visentin have signed one-year American Hockey League deals with Rockford, the club announced.
Ciampini completed his fourth season at Union College leading the Dutchmen with 26 goals and 50 points in 39 games during the 2014-15 season. The 24-year-old signed an amateur tryout contract with the Worcester Sharks in March and scored three goals and six points in 15 AHL games.
Visentin was a first-round pick (27th overall) by the Arizona Coyotes at the 2010 NHL Draft. He missed the entire 2014-15 season due to injury. Visentin turned pro with the Portland Pirates during the 2012-13 season. In 45 games with Portland during the 2013-14 season, Visentin posted a 14-19-6 record to go along with a 3.25 G.A.A. and a .902 save percentage.
The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Waterdown, Ontario native made his NHL debut with the Coyotes in a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on April 12, 2014.
With Ilya Bryzgalov out of the fold, Mike Smith in place as the starter and Jason LaBarbera signed as the backup, the Phoenix Coyotes’ short-term goaltending future is clear. What’s not so clear is how effective that duo will be.
While this signing won’t ease those concerns, the Coyotes added a little depth to their netminding ranks by signing Justin Pogge to a one-year, two-way deal. The team didn’t disclose how much the deal is worth, but Cap Geek’s numbers indicate that it might be worth about $575K if he plays at the NHL level and $80K if he remains in his most likely place in the AHL.
Pogge earned seven games of NHL experience with the Toronto Maple Leafs (going 1-4-1 with an awful .844 save percentage and 4.35 GAA in 2008-09), but it’s likely that he’s pretty low on the Coyotes totem pole. Curtis McElhinney is almost certainly higher on the depth chart and Mark Visentin could be their goalie of the future. Pogge probably just wants to find a stable hockey home after being traded in August 2009 by the Maple Leafs and March 2010 by the Anaheim Ducks. He spent last season playing for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers (the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate).
In five AHL seasons with the Checkers, Toronto Marlies, San Antonio Rampage and Albany River Rats, the 25-year-old native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, played in 217 games, posting a 106-81-20 record with eight shutouts, a 2.69 GAA and a .909 SV%.
Team USA and Team Canada to face off in World Junior Championships semifinals
It’s an odd juxtaposition for these two teams as they’ve virtually swapped roles from last year’s tournament. This year, Canada had to deal with a loss to Sweden in the preliminary round that forced them into the quarterfinals rather than getting a bye into the semifinals the way the United States did.
Canada failing to get the bye ensured that the only way the USA and Canada would face each other would be before the medal round of the tournament and sure enough, that’s where we’re at now. While the two teams have equal amounts of talent at forward and defense, the difference between their goaltending is stark and very much in favor of the United States.
The Americans will run with Dallas’ 2010 first round pick Jack Campbell. Campbell was the goalie for last year’s gold medal winning team and he’s looked much stronger this year. Being another year older and a bit more savvy in goal has turned him into a stud in this tournament. In four games, Campbell has won all four games and has put up stunning numbers with a 1.03 goals against average and a .957 save percentage.
Canada’s tandem of Coyotes prospect Mark Visentin and Oilers prospect Olivier Roy have had their problems but Visentin has, so far, proven himself to be the better of the two but not in a way that has given Canadian fans a lot of confidence. Visentin will get the start against the United States tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. The game might not be head-to-head for the gold medal, but this game features the tournament’s two best teams and with the crowds being decidedly more pro-Canada the audience dynamic should be fascinating.