Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Palmieri clears waivers and is returning to Houston; Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell coming with him

The Aeros did not lose any players when the Wild put them on waivers earlier this week. There are a few horrible teams in the NHL right now, and those always make you nervous around mass waivers time.

Well, Nick Palmieri, Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell survived and won't be going to the NHL for now. Instead, they get a Delta Air Lines flight to Chicago to join the Aeros as they start a five-game road trip against the Chicago Wolves.

Palmieri was playing well up until the lockout was lifted. And maybe it was a little before that when he took his foot off the gas. I know we all hope he got some good advice (along with Kampfer) about the demotion. Go down, play hard, and get back up here the second those groins start to pop.

Veilleux played in Houston from 2002-2005 and helped the Aeros win the Calder Cup in 2003. He scored one of the biggest goals in franchise history when he beat Ty Conklin in the finals that year. That was an OT goal to tie the series (2-2)  in Houston. If they lose that game, they probably don't win the title. That simple.I do, however, think his time in the NHL is over. I think Steph may be in Houston, barring injury up north, for the rest of the season.

Dowell played in Dallas last season and did OK in about 50 games or so. His best year in the NHL was the year before with the Chicago Blackhawks. He's not an "offensive" guy, but Aeros fans really have to hope that he will use this time in the minors as motivation to get back to the NHL.

Here is some more information on the guys that were sent down (via the Houston Aeros press offiice:

Palmieri has played in 36 games for Houston this season, scoring nine goals and setting up 10 others for 19 points. The fourth-year pro has played in 87 NHL games from 2009-2012 for Minnesota and New Jersey. The 23-year old has 13 goals and 25 points over his NHL career. The Utica, NY native has also suited up in 178 AHL games for Houston, Lowell and Albany, scoring 45 goals and totaling 84 AHL points. Palmieri was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the third round (#79 overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Dowell joins the Aeros after attending training camp with the Wild. The Eau Claire, WI native spent the 2011-12 season with Dallas, scoring two goals and totaling seven points in 52 games with the Stars. The sixth-year pro has played in 154 NHL games with Dallas and Chicago, scoring 11 goals and amassing 33 points. The 6-foot, 205-pounder has suited up in 211 AHL games for Rockford and Norfolk, scoring 22 goals and totaling 65 points. Dowell was drafted in the fifth round (#140 overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Veilleux returns to the Aeros where he began his 12-year career in 2001-02. The Saint-Georg, PQ native played in 229 games for Houston from 2001-05, scoring 49 goals and picking up 75 assists for 124 points. He was also a member of the Aeros 2003 Calder Cup Championship squad, scoring seven goals and totaling 18 points in 23 playoff games. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has played in 460 NHL games with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and New Jersey. He has 46 career NHL goals and 55 assists for 101 points. The left wing was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the third round (#93 overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.


ICEVET said...

"The truth is hidden in plain sight".........TC attendance will continue to decline as fans began to face the reality that the Aeros are off to greener pastures.

Your BLOG Triumvirate deserves credit for bringing this issue to the forefront in the POST of May 4, 2012, in which you made reference to some "ole boy" connections which might put the Team in Sioux Falls in the Fall of 2014 (with a likely interim stop in Minneapolis during the 2013-4 season....similar to the Marlies / Maple Leafs situation in Toronto).

T. Denny Sanford, Sioux Fall's richest man, major philanthropist and a benefactor of U of Minnesota athletic projects, is a 1958 UM graduate and the Financial Driver behind the new SD Arena, which will bear his name.

My recent comment of 1/16 (Royal POST of 1/12) addressed the
relocation from the WILD point-of-view, while my comments of 1/5 addressed the relocation from the ALEXANDER point-of-view. Over the past year, FORECHECK has been the only other commenter expressing original thoughts on this issue.

While a few members of the Aeros Staff have made "alternative" arrangements for next season, more may do so in the months to come, as the remainder electing to relocate with the Team.

Serious Aeros fans must accept the inevitable and hope that another team can be found to support LIVE HOCKEY in Houston in the years to come......there is always a silver lining to every cloud.

All the best to the Aeros!

Andrew J. Ferraro said...

So you think they are going to play in MN next year and then move to a city that cannot support an AHL team?

Also, I don't think the Aeros attendance will suffer. The only way I can see it taking a hit is if all the ticket staff starts a mass exodus and they cannot be replaced.

Anonymous said...

If an agreement hasn't been reached by now there will be no Houston Aeros next year.
I would think more time and effort is being spent on another home for the team probably in the mid-west.

ICEVET said...

Mr. Ferraro said....."So you think.....and then move to a city that cannot support an AHL team"

While it makes no difference to me, whatsoever, WHERE the Aeros move (only that they WILL move), let's examine YOUR THESIS that Sioux Falls (SF) won't cut it...by reference to selected data:

1. SF is the largest and fastest growing city in South Dakota with ~160,000 city population and ~ 230,000 regional population.

It is notable that 14 of 30 AHL Venues do NOT reach this threshold. Excluded from this group, Hershey ("company town" of 15,000, draws from the larger Harrisburg MSA). Included in this group, WB-Scranton draws from a 120,000 area base, while St. John's draws from an area base below 100,000. BTW, over the first half of this season, St. John's has nearly equaled Houston's average attendance (a MSA 100X SJ size).

2. SF has grown 25% since 2000, driven by new business, including a large regional financial center (Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Premier and others), a large regional medical services complex (4 hospitals), a large regional destination retail mall center, and an assortment of solid manufacturing and processing companies. With a median age under 35 and a hockey history (Stampede), the SF "Aeros" could draw from a large diversified fan base knowledgeable about Hockey.

To be sure, the most RELEVANT question is whether an Aeros relocation (anywhere) could/would improve the WILD "hockey economics" and its player development over the next (CBA term) 10-years. Let's defer to the WILD marketing executives and their bean-counters to analyze whether Sioux Falls (or any other relocation is positive to these issues). There should be little doubt that the AHL would bless whatever the WILD decide to do.

Forecheck said...

The only way I can see it taking a hit is if all the ticket staff starts a mass exodus and they cannot be replaced.

Or if it gets out that the team is leaving. The average person in the stands is rather clueless about this and probably doesn't even know the lease is up.

Anonymous said...

I'll wager most of the season ticket holders are very much aware of the situation.
Those in my vicinity are and following this closely.

Forecheck said...

STHs for the most part, yes - we are following it (and losing sleep, etc.).

I'm talking about the people I see in my section who watch the game with a blank stare not understanding what they are seeing, those who are just interested in getting on the video screen while dancing, and those who just want to drink beer and yell "kick his a** !!!". Or those who just come to a handful of games a year because the kids like it.

It's the so-so fans who will stay away.

Anonymous said...

Identify with Forecheck's assessment and am too fretting over the pending loss of our team. Tragic. I go back to the wha days in the coliseum.