The AHL free agent market opens up on Friday morning for official signings to occur, and the Hershey Bears are sure to be in the mix for some big name players. They’re in need of a backup goaltender and mentor for Philipp Grubauer, a second line center to replace former Bear Ryan Potulny and a right-handed defenseman.
Take a look below at a currently projected Hershey Bears depth chart.
Ryan Stoa-Jeff Taffe-Casey Wellman
Nicolas Deschamps-Michael Latta-Stanislav Gailev
Dane Byers-Peter LeBlanc-Garrett Mitchell
T.J. Syner-Joel Rechlicz
Cameron Schilling-Nate Schmidt
Dmitry Orlov-Patrick Wey
Chay Genoway-Julien Brouillette
Brett Flemming-Patrick Wellar
Goalie: Philipp Grubauer
The Bears are likely to let their remaining free agents walk, including Mike Carman, Jon DiSalvatore and Patrick McNeill. There are is big class of free agents that Hershey could attract including former Bears Andrew Gordon, Darren Haydar and Graham Mink. Last month, Mink’s agent told Inside Hockey that they had not yet begun contract negotiations with the Providence Bruins. Center Trevor Smith from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins could interest Hershey GM Doug Yingst and head coach Mike Haviland, along with winger Jamie Tardif from the Providence Bruins.
A number of veteran AHL net minders could mentor Grubauer including Jeff Frazee, Michael Leighton and John Curry.
You can view a list of the top 300 AHL free agents according to Citizens Voice, here.