Today in the "A": Falcons Signings

Hockey as a winter sport has become a myth. The Stanley Cup Finals wrapped up just two short weeks ago and since then there has been puck news on a daily basis. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the annual free agent frenzy, so I don't expect there to be a news shortage anytime soon.

Wednesday was no exception, and it should be marked up as a day where the Blue Jackets continue (according to Dan P.) "their summer of ass-kickery". With development camp in full swing in C-bus, the Jackets found time to start the formation of the 2011-2012 version of the Springfield Falcons.

The Jackets and Falcons jointly announced the signing to standard American Hockey League contracts of forwards Aaron Bogosian, Wade MacLeod and Mike Thomas. Bogosian (2-1-3, 10 PIM in 10 games) and MacLeod (1-2-3, 6 PIM in 9 games) got their pro careers underway at the end of last season with the Falcons. Thomas captained the Saint John Sea Dogs to the Memorial Cup championship in his final amateur season.

Separately, the Jackets inked Mike Blunden to a new one year, two-way NHL/AHL contract. Blunden started last season off strongly for Springfield before several injuries put him on the shelf, limiting him to just 37 games played.

Elsewhere, the Buffalo Sabres started their ownership of the Rochester Americans off with a bang. The Sabres announced that Amerks season tickets would be available at just $10 per seat, per game. While that will undoubtedly get fannies in the seats of the Blue Cross Arena, I'm left wondering how executives of other AHL clubs look at that discount. Notably, Bruce Landon of the Falcons is opposed to comps, and "inventive" ways to fill the building. Other clubs aren't shy about papering the house to inflate their attendance numbers.

Also on Wednesday, Patrick Williams and John Bartlett tweeted about a possible model for AHL realignment. I have heard that the league schedule is expected later than usual in August, but that was due mainly to St. John's late arrival to the league. Stay tuned to The Cannon for any news on AHL realignment.

Finally, the affiliation merry-go-round appears to have stopped for the summer. The final piece to the puzzle looks to be the Florida Panthers who will be the parent club to the San Antonio Rampage. The AHL put a nice graphic together that makes next season's affiliations crystal clear.

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