Former Michigan D Jon Merrill (2010-11 through 2012-13) was selected by Las Vegas from New Jersey in tonight's NHL expansion draft. Merrill was New Jersey's second-rounder (#38 overall) in 2010. Vegas could keep him or decide to flip him at some point as they build their roster from scratch.
Checking the leaderboard at NHL.com after the first handful of games, one finds a (not too meaningful) cool thing: multiple familiar names.
Pacioretty accounts for a lot of the pop, in the top 4 for goals, points, and +/- , but Cammalleri, and Larkin both put in good showings. As does Al Montoya for both his save % and GAA.
Ward was an excellent defenseman for Michigan from 1990-93 and was drafted 5th overall by the former Winnepeg Jets in 1991 but traded to Detroit in 1993 (for Paul Ysebaert, anyone remember him?). He won Cups with the Wings in '97 and '98, then was traded to Carolina in 2001, with whom he won a Cup in 2006. He then went on to play for the Rangers, Bruins, Hurricaines again, then Anaheim for a few games last season. He had a 44-107-151 line in 839 NHL games (Wikipedia). Ward was yet another of the many players Michigan sent to the NHL who enjoyed long, productive careers, and one of a few who went on to play for the Red Wings. Congratulations to him on a great career and his retirement--may it include many an alumni game appearance.
Happy trails to former Michigan star defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who's retired from the NHL due to mounting injuries and will begin a new career as an assistant coach in the OHL (Niagara IceDogs).
Van Ryn was drafted in the first round, 26th overall by the Devils, but signed with St. Louis as a loophole free agent after a good, but short, UM career. He was traded to Florida, then Toronto, where a knee injury ultimately cut his career short.
A sad end to the pro career of a popular hockey alum, but hopefully the beginning of something greater as a coach.
St. Louis traded Aaron Palushaj's rights to Montreal for Matt D'Agostini.
Palushaj and Pacioretty back together? Oh my.
Been following the news on the new ECHL team down in Toledo-- the Toledo Walleye (mostly b/c I think the logo, team name, and colors are fairly unique and cool-looking).
Anyway, Brandon Naurato seems to have caught on (OMG- forgive the pun) with the Walleye. Yeah hockey alums-- even if it is an ECHL team! Wonder if they're going to try and get more UM/MSU alums on the team to draw interest. Looks like the initial roster is CCHA / local college team heavy.