Earlier today, news broke that the anticipated rebuilding “trade sale” of the New York Rangers had official begun. While they didn’t add any household names like Ryan McDonagh or Rick Nash, the Capitals have already come to terms with New York on a trade of AHL prospects. In this piece, NoVa Caps takes a look at the newest members of the Hershey Bears.
Four players were involved, two from each team. The Hartford Wolfpack, the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, traded their captain, left wing Joe Whitney, and teammate right wing Adam Chapie, while Hershey is sending defenseman Hubert Labrie and center John Albert over to Connecticut’s capital.
Joe Whitney has a colorful background already, having previously played for the San Antonio Rampage (Colorado Avalanche), the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes), the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders), the Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils), and the Portland Pirates, now known as the Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida Panthers) before signing a one-year contract with the Rangers and assuming the role of the Wolfpack’s Captain. So far, the 29-year old has played 40 games this season and has collected a total of 19 points, with a minus-12 rating. Whitney also has a few NHL games under his belt, having played a total of five games, all with the New Jersey Devils. Ironically enough, in his debut game in the NHL, he faced the Capitals. Hershey has struggled this season, and a well-seasoned player with experience from all over the AHL might just be able to help the Bears out of their funk.
Adam Chapie is a young hockey player, at 26-years old and in only his second season of professional hockey. He has never played in the NHL, nor has he ever played for anyone besides the Wolfpack. In his debut season, Chapie played 24 games and collected only four points, all assists. This year, the right wing has tallied seven points across 31 games played, scoring his first two goals in professional hockey and adding another five assists to his record.
John Albert broke into professional hockey in 2007, after being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers, however he wouldn’t see professional ice until 2011, when he was picked up by the Winnipeg Jets to play for their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s Icecaps. He scored his first NHL goal against the Rangers, ironically enough, in December of 2013. The Washington Capitals signed him as a free agent last summer, alongside teammate Anthony Peluso. So far this season, Albert has played 33 games for Chocolate Town, and racked up a total of 11 points, three of which were goals.
Hubert Labrie is a defenseman who has been playing for the Bears since 2016. So far this season, he has seven points across 25 games. Having previously played for a number of other AHL teams, including the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars), and Chicago Wolves (Vegas Golden Knights, before being affiliated with the NHL), Labrie brought a lot of experience with him to Hershey for being still at such a young age.
Tomorrow night will be an especially interesting night for all these men, as the Bears are set to host the Wolfpack at Giant Center. Which team do you think came out ahead in this trade? Do you believe this trade will greatly impact Hershey or Washington in their respective runs this season? Let us know all your thoughts regarding this trade deal, and any future ones you’d like to see in the comments. The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, February 26. After that, teams will no longer be able to trade players to and from each other. There are a lot of rumors spinning regarding Washington’s current defensive situation, and Hershey’s situation overall. Stay tuned for all the latest details on trades from the Capitals organization as they’re happening.
By: Chris Laroche