FALCONS SIGN COLLINS, ADD MACLEOD, YORK
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons, AHL affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, announced on Monday that they have signed veteran left wing Chris Collins to a professional try-out (PTO). The Falcons also revealed that they have recalled left wing Wade MacLeod from their ECHL affiliate, the Evansville IceMen, and that goaltender Allen York has been reassigned to Springfield by Columbus from Evansville.
A seventh-year pro, Collins started off the 2012-2013 season with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers, scoring a goal and adding an assist for two points in eight games. In 2011-2012, Collins skated in 45 games with the German Ice Hockey League's Nuremberg Ice Tigers, leading the team with 22 assists while checking in second with 35 points. He played the 2010-2011 campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he was a teammate of current Falcons captain Ryan Craig. With the Penguins, Collins registered 34 points (13g-21a) in 77 contests. The 28-year-old skated with the German League's Augsburg Panthers in 2009-2010, coming in fourth on the team with 23 goals while adding 23 assists for 46 points. He notched 33 points (14g-19a) in 2008-2009 with Augsburg after beginning the year with SM-liiga's (Finland) Rauma Lukko, where he accumulated five points (3g-2a) in 19 outings. Collins tied for third on the Providence Bruins in 2007-2008 with 22 goals while also garnering 19 assists for 41 points in 72 contests. He split his rookie campaign of 2006-2007 with the Bruins, recording two goals in 17 appearances, and the Long Beach Ice Dogs, placing third on the club with 19 goals and fifth with 37 points in 51 games.
Prior to turning pro, Collins played four seasons from 2002 to 2006 at Boston College (NCAA, D-I). Collins exploded in his senior campaign of 2005-2006, amassing 63 points (34g-29a) to tie eventual Falcon Ryan Potulny (University of Minnesota) for the nation's scoring lead. Collins was a Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist with the Eagles that year along with eventual winner Matt Carle (University of Denver) and Brian Elliott (University of Wisconsin). The Fairport, N.Y. native was named the Hockey East Player of the Year and an NCAA First Team All-American, as the Eagles advanced to the national championship game that season. Collins collected 122 points (63g-59a) in 162-career games at Boston College.
York, who joined Evansville on Nov. 28, went 3-1-0-1 in his first stint with the IceMen, posting a .919 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average. In his first professional campaign of 2011-2012, York participated in 27 contests with Columbus, Springfield, and the ECHL's Chicago Express. York experienced his greatest success last season in 11 games at the NHL level with the Blue Jackets, recording a 3-2-0 record to go along with a .919 save percentage and a 2.30 goals-against average. In five outings with Springfield, York was 1-1-0 with an .871 save percentage and a 3.94 goals-against average. The Wetaskiwin, Alberta native went 4-4-2 with an .892 save percentage and a 3.28 goals-against average in 11 appearances with the Express. York began his career at the end of the 2010-2011 season with the Falcons, winning his first pro start on Apr. 1 against Bridgeport before securing his first shutout on Apr. 8 versus Albany.
Prior to turning pro, York skated three seasons from 2008 to 2011 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NCAA, D-I), going 37-34-8 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against average while garnering eight shutouts. The 23-year-old York was selected by Columbus in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Assigned by Springfield to Evansville on Wednesday, MacLeod recorded a hat trick in the IceMen's 8-5 win over the Toledo Walleye on Friday before adding an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday. MacLeod, a second-year pro, has one assist in five games with Springfield this season. He played his entire rookie season with the Falcons in 2011-2012, scoring 10 goals and adding 19 assists for 29 points in 66 contests while registering a +6 rating, tying for the club high. The 25-year-old commenced his professional career with Springfield at the end of the 2010-2011 season, notching three points (1g-2a) in nine games.
A native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, MacLeod played four seasons from 2007 to 2011 at Northeastern University (NCAA, D-I), collecting 137 points (61g-76a) in his collegiate career. MacLeod set career highs in his senior campaign of 2010-2011 with 22 goals, 23 assists, and 45 points, led the Huskies in scoring in each of his final three seasons, and left Northeastern with a school-record 149 games played.
The Falcons, who lead the Eastern Conference with 32 points and have the AHL's best record of 14-4-1-3 (.727), return home Saturday to host the St. John's IceCaps at 7:30 p.m. Fans can win a free bicycle courtesy of Gus Coelho Auto Repair at 442 Holyoke St. in Ludlow as part of "Cycle Saturday" at the MassMutual Center. Santa Claus will also be venturing down from the North Pole to meet and greet Falcons fans at the game.
Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).