NHL Alumni: 6 Players Holding on in AHL

Sometimes NHL-ers Get Waived and Claimed. Other Times NHL-ers Get Waived and Sent AHL Bound. Here Are Five NHL Alumni Who Are Holding Onto Their NHL Glory in the AHL.

With Mike Ribeiro clearing waivers and being sent to the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate team on February 4th, he joins a list of players who have once made headlines at the NHL level but have since fallen from grace.

The AHL rosters are full of journeymen as well as some exciting names that are getting ready to make their debut in the big leagues.The true gems are the players that bring about those “Oh yeah, this guy!”, moments.

When some of the bigger names from yesteryear go missing, it can be assumed they went overseas. However, this isn’t always the case.

Whether they were popular for the right or wrong reasons, here’s a list of players that you may not have known are taking shifts in the minor leagues

Milan Michalek –  AHL Team: Toronto Marlies

Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Waived at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Milan Michalek was a casualty of those crazy kids tearing things up in Toronto. Still only 32 years old, Michalek has 5 points in 16 games played with the Marlies.

A one-time All-Star with the Ottawa Senators, Michalek was never able to replicate the production he experienced during the 2011-2012 season, setting a career high with 35 goals.

Now Michalek is now a new Marlie and will be doing what he can to prove his level of play there.

Brooks Laich – AHL Team: Toronto Marlies

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Nov 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich (21) skates with the puck in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Traded by the Capitals to provide cap relief, Brooks Laich never really hit his stride with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Like Michalek, Laich’s age and lack of production didn’t mesh with Toronto’s youth movement. As a result, Laich has racked up a modest 6 points in 16 games with the Marlies this season.

Laich was noted for his two-way playing style and being a locker room presence during the Ovechkin era in Washington. Statistically, his best season came in 2009-10 which saw him pack in 59 points in 78 games.

James Wisniewski – AHL Team: Chicago Wolves

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

A recent addition to the list, Wisniewski signed a PTO with St. Louis Blue’s affiliate, on January 26th, 2017.

Wisniewski has been heralded during his career as a productive offensive defenseman but haunted by shortcomings in his own end. While a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013-14, he did boast 51 points in 75 games played.

Wisniewski posted 53 goals and 221 assists in his NHL career of 552 games. Now, Wisniewski is putting all he has into being the best d-man he can be for the Chicago Wolves. Chicago is currently third in the AHL’s Central Division.

Paul Bissonnette – AHL Team: Ontario Reign

Jan 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette (12) and Philadelphia Flyers center Chris Vande Velde (76) watch the puck during the first period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette (12) and Philadelphia Flyers center Chris Vande Velde (76) watch the puck during the first period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

BizNasty’s inclusion on the list isn’t because he is a former top tier NHL’er, it’s more just because we thought he was retired (or planning to join Barstool sports a la Pat McAfee). However, this isn’t the case. With 17 games played so far this season, Bissonnette has racked up 31 PIMS in 17 games with the Ontario Reign of the AHL. This includes 3 fighting majors.

Gaining notoriety for his social media presence and feisty playing style, Bissonnette is no stranger to the AHL. He has however seen some NHL ice time over the years, suiting up for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes.

Rob Scuderi – AHL Team: Ontario Reign

Stan Savran makes ignorant joke during Pittsburgh Penguins-Columbus Blue Jackets game

Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Rob Scuderi? A few teams certainly do. The Boston College product was drafted by Pittsburgh, later signed with Los Angeles, went back to Pittsburgh, visited Chicago for a spell, and then ended up back in LA. Scuds has not suited up for the Kings this season, however, only the Reign of the AHL.

“The Piece” proved to be just that during the Penguins cup run in 2009. His defensive style of play gained him fans and a roster spot on two cup winning teams; one in Los Angeles and another in Pittsburgh.

Karri Ramo – AHL Team: Toronto Marlies

Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Karri Ramo signed a PTO in December of 2016, joining the Toronto Marlies. So far it hasn’t gone so well, post a 0-3 record with GAA of 3.80 and a save percentage of .880.

The only goaltender featured on our list, Ramo has was never really a stand out with any team during his career. Usually one part of a tandem, he minded the crease for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Calgary Flames over two 3 year splits in the league.

His mediocre play perfectly embodies the spirit of the list. Never good enough to be a number 1, but never bad enough for us to forget.

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