New farm club

The Wheeling Nailers?

The Canadiens have a new East Coast Hockey League affiliate, replacing the Cincinnati Cyclones and delighting journalists who are never quite sure how many Ns and Ts there are in Cincinnati.

Added bonus: The logo features a hard-working miner from the coal fields of West Virginia.

And yes, you can follow the Nailers on the legendary WWVA, broadcasting at 1170 on your AM dial out of Wheeling with a 50,000-watt signal strong enough to reach ships at sea.

This from the indefatigable Robert L:

The Canadiens were previously affiliated with the ECHL Wheeling Thunderbirds from 1992-93 to 1995-96. During that time slightly over a dozen later round draft choices and some free agent signees played there, such as Louis Bernard, Martin Brochu, Keli Corpse, Dion Darling, Craig Ferguson, Scott Fraser, Robert Guillet, Ryan Kuwabara, Tony Prpic, Yves Sarault, John Uniac, Terry Virtue and Tomas Vokoun. they switched their name to Nailers from ’96 on. Francis Bouillon was the last Canadiens affiliated player sent to Wheeling.

Shout-out to observer for finding a 1968 Sports Illustrated story on Wheeling’s Continental League football team, including this description:

Where but in Greater Wheeling could you find the World’s Tallest Smokestack? (“A Landmark,” the Wheeling News-Register correctly describes it under a front-page picture of the region’s civic monument, “322 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower. “) Where but in Wheeling, and the whole lush Ohio Valley, would you find such a lavish per capita production of steel, chemicals, strip-mined coal, cement dust, smog and slag?

The affiliation will be shared with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

• Another Down Goes Brown classic, this one an application to head the NHLPA.

• In non-hockey news, Lloyd’s of London – fully recovered from the payout on Patrick V. Hickey’s knees – is insuring Troy Polamalu’s hair for $1 million.


• The NHLPA is bringing 23 rookies to the Mastercard Centre in Etobicoke tomorrow to be photographed for Upper Deck and Panini America trading cards. P.K. Subban is not on the list … because he was there last year.

• Wanna buy a Carey Price action figure from McFarlane Toys? They had a Jaro Halak, but it sold out.

• The NHLPA web site has a feature on Mike Komisarek.

• The Nashville Predators, who can hardly afford to be fussy about their coverage, are extending media privileges to bloggers.

James Murphy writes the Bs are still shopping Marc Savard.

Apps – and we don’t mean Syl – for hockey fans.


  1. Habs-Fan-In-KY says:

    All I got to say is that I don’t know why the new ECHL affiliation is perceived as an upgrade from what existed in Cincinnati. You base it on the fact that you can’t spell it? Geeeeez! Get with it Geezer Gazette people!

    The Cyclones won the league title 2 out of the past 3 years. Yes, it’s ECHL, but it’s a feather in your cap! Wheeling has been CR@P forever!! The goalie we just traded Desjardins and David Desharnais the center are just a couple of the names that have gone on from Cincinnati to impress in Hamilton and Montreal.

    Why take a slug at the Cyclones? I see this as another questionable move by this franchise. Cincy loved having the Canadiens as partners and unfortunately that is over.

  2. B says:

    Woops, 3 of last season’s to 20 in games were not already signed for the upcoming season. I forgot about Nabokov who was replaced in San Jose by Niittymaki (49 games played last season) who signed a 2 year $4M deal with the Sharks. Nabokov signed in the KHL.

  3. Bill J says:

    OK – fine I was not able to check earlier as I was at work.

    Still though – that is ONE…. And THAT Mason, is not in the same category as Price.  But that’s my opinion.

    Look at the overall average as someone else replied earlier, and the vast majority of Goaltenders who play 60+ games in a season get at least 3 Million per.

  4. B says:

    Just nit picking, but it was 8 of the top 11 (Quick, Anderson and Howard were in the top 11). Howard and Vokoun were tied for 11th with 63 games although Howard had a higher TOI. Chris Mason was alone in 13th with 61 starts. That would make 9 of the top 13 for what its worth. Price BTW was alone in 33rd spot with 41 games, but Price seems to be judged by many on what he is going to do in the NHL rather than what he has done :)

    Only 2 of last seasons top 20 goalies in games were not already signed for next season. Turco who started 53 games ended up signing for $1.3M with Chicago while Mason ended up signed a 2 year $3.7M deal with Atlanta.

  5. B says:

    Chis Mason was a UFA on July 1st 2010 when he signed a 2 year $3.7M contract with Atlanta.

  6. JD_ says:

    The way you described it, that’s probably closer to the truth.

  7. Mark C says:

    Thank you for playing? C’mon LA. Chorske acknowledged Gomez is overpaid by almost 2 million.

    Calling Gomez a $3.5$ to 4M$ player is utterly ridiculous given the market for UFA’s. Matt Cullen and Matt Lombardi got signed for $3.5M AAV this offseason. Cullen’s never had 50 points in a season, Lombardi has done it once, last year with 53.  Given that even you think Gomez is good for 60 that throws your $3.5M floor out the window.  Players like Joffrey Lupul, Mike Fisher, Marc-Pierre Bouchard, Nik Antopov, Scott Hartnell, David Booth, Milan Lucic, etc. all have cap hits slightly above $4M. Gomez’ value is easily above $3.5 to $4M.         

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