Among movement of interest to local hockey fans:
- The ECHL listed its players who were given qualifying offers earlier this week. Teams retain the rights to qualified non-veterans for one year. Players not qualified or signed become free agents.
- You can check out all the NHL free agent deals here.
- The Chicago Blackhawks, parent club of the Indy Fuel, have signed a few organizational depth deals: goaltender Scott Darling, forward Cody Bass, forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie and defenseman Kyle Cumiskey. These will likely affect AHL Rockford, but it's possible we could see one or more of these players in Indy this season. Darling is a former Indiana Ice goaltender who had a 2.00 GAA with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals last season. Bass and Labrie are veterans who bring toughness. All three played at the AHL level last season, and would be expected to do the same this year. Cumiskey has recently played in Sweden and is a veteran of 132 NHL games.
- A handful of Indiana Ice alumni have shown up on the wire in addition to the aforementioned Darling. Shane Berschbach signed an AHL deal with Grand Rapids, the Red Wings' top affiliate. There, he'll play for coach Jeff Blashill at the third level -- Blashill coached Berschbach both with the Ice and at Western Michigan. Enforcer Joel Rechlicz signed a two-way deal with the Minnesota Wild. He is the Ice's first alum to play in the NHL. Also, former Ice forward Mike Embach signed an ECHL deal with Fort Wayne. He had 28 goals in the ECHL last season.
- And for Ice alumni in the NHL: While the Boston Bruins' cap troubles and depth on defense might force them to trade a defenseman, Torey Krug is one of the core guys likely staying in Boston. Washington's spending spree landed John Carlson a new defense partner, as he'll likely be paired with new signing Brooks Orpik.
- Of the 5 Indiana Ice alumni drafted on Saturday, two were already playing in the Canadian Major Junior ranks (Blake Siebenaler, Rinat Valiev), two are almost definitely headed to college (Josh Jacobs to Michigan State, Dwyer Tschantz to Cornell), and one has been open to playing either in college at North Dakota or in the OHL with Niagara. A New York Rangers blog says, citing unnamed sources, that Mantha is "close" to signing with Niagara, and Niagara's coach is confident Mantha will sign with the OHL team. Meanwhile, Siebenaler got the eye of E! as, well, just read it.
- In ECHL news, Bakersfield Condors coach Troy Mann is moving to the AHL to coach the Hershey Bears.
- A Junior Hockey News article written by an anonymous junior coach says the USHL is "just as good as all the major junior leagues." The article notes 51 USHL players picked in the draft. Needless to say, the opinion drew some give-and-take, including responses from Canada, and from publisher Joseph Kolodziej.