As expected, the St. John’s IceCaps have signed veteran seven players to American Hockey League contracts. The players are goaltender Mark Dekanich, defencemen Derek Meech and Paul Postma, and forwards Aaron Gagnon, Maxime Macenauer, Spencer Machacek and Ben Maxwell.
Machacek was the IceCaps' leading scorer last season, while Postma was the team's top defenceman and MVP.
All seven had NHL contracts with the Winnipeg Jets — Dekanich, Meech, Maxwell and Macenauer with two-way deals, while Postma and Gagnon on one-ways. Under normal circumstances, the seven would have to clear NHL waivers to play for St. John’s, but in anticipation of the National Hockey League lockout, the AHL decided earlier this month that NHL-contracted players who were full-time AHLers in 2011-12 could be signed to special AHL-only deals that would end with the lockout. The Jets took advantage, avoiding the waiver process with all seven players. Full-time NHLers not signed to entry-level deals cannot be signed to such contracts.
Training camp for the IceCaps opens on Oct. 1 in Corner Brook. St. John’s plays its first regular-season game Oct. 13 in Springfield, mass., and plays its home-opener Oct. 19 against the Adirondack Phantoms.