All-American: Monday notes

We’ve all kind of half-expected it for a few years now, even as it kept being put off, a “well, next year he’ll do it” kind of thing. But this apparently is it, and it’s pretty momentous. Dave Andrews is stepping down in a year, reported both Elliotte Friedman and Pierre LeBrun.

Andrews’ accomplishments run the gamut. He shepherded the AHL from a northeast-based, small-market league to become the top development league for the entire NHL, featuring some pretty big cities. He led it through the IHL battle of the late 1990s and absorbed six teams from that league into this one. He handled the delicate relationships between the NHL and the AHL, between NHL clubs and their affiliates, between clubs and cities. The lists go on, and a lot of them have been out there today.

For this old guy who grew up on this league, one major Andrews legacy for me will be one of his many tightrope-walks. He tightened the AHL’s relationship with the NHL — top affiliates for all 30, then 31, and soon 32 teams; rules laboratory; ownership stakes in so many clubs — while maintaining, and in fact strengthening its hold on its history (with help, for sure). All-star weekend. The AHL Hall of Fame. And remember NHL2? Yeah, thank goodness.

There’ll be time for a look back during a season that will mark the end of an era in the AHL.

Stuff from the last little while, starting, um, all around Pennsylvania: The Pens are staying in Wilkes-Barre. Scott Gordon is returning to Allentown. The Bears are down 2-0.

Crazy and upsetting story from the Island: Onetime Sound Tiger Anthony Greco‘s family had a house fire while Anthony’s firefighter dad was in the hospital. Thankfully no one hurt, but the T-birds are auctioning one of his sweaters to raise money for the family.

Saw Friday night that it was going to double overtime, so had to hop onto the stream… Mildly regretted it after 2 in the morning, but worth it to watch the fifth-longest game in AHL history. The Gulls won the next night, too, to go up 2-0. Toronto leads the Monsters 3-0, and Chicago leads Iowa 2-1.

World Championship gold for the U.S. national sled hockey team.

Congrats to Rhett Rakhshani.

The USHL Draft was Monday night. Greenwich’s Paul Davey went eighth overall to Des Moines. Westport’s Matt McGroarty went 32nd to Madison. Both of them are out of Brunswick. In the sixth round, Ridgefield’s Jake Bongo went to Tri-City, and Oliver Flynn of Watertown was picked by Waterloo. Phase 2 comes Tuesday.

And RIP, Nick Panuzio and Edna Fraser.

Michael Fornabaio