Comets Sign Malone/Arseneau
Utica Comets General Manager Ryan Johnson announced today that the team has signed forwards Seamus Malone and Vincent Arseneau to one-year AHL deals for the 2019/20 season.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) June 6, 2019
The offseason news is starting to trickle in and I would expect that to continue in the coming weeks.
With the signings of Arseneau and Malone, the Comets now have four forwards signed to AHL deals for the coming season as they join captain Carter Bancks and fellow veteran Wacey Hamilton.
Last season, the Comets had forwards Hamilton and Bancks, along with Arseneau, Brendan Woods, Cam Darcy, Reid Gardiner, Kyle Thomas, Tanner MacMaster, and Brendan Bradley on AHL deals, along with Jagger Dirk, Brandon Anselmini, Dylan Blujus, Jaime Sifers, and Jesse Graham on the backend. Goaltender Ivan Kulbakov also had an AHL pact with the Comets. MacMaster was flipped midseason for defender Stefan LeBlanc, who was also on an AHL deal.
The team bringing the 27-year-old Arseneau back shouldn’t come as a surprise as he brings a much-needed element of size and toughness to what is mostly an undersized group up front. BigVinny put up a career-best nine goals last season while adding two helpers to go along with 49 minutes spent in the box over his 38 games.
Those goals were a nice plus, but Arseneau knows what his role is and he plays it pretty well. The man is a human bowling ball out on the ice, bringing the pain with heavy hits and heavy fists when it comes down to those kinds of shenanigans.
Much was made amongst the Vancouver faithful about Arseneau getting minutes ahead of, or alongside Canucks prospects last season, but Arseneau proved to be a solid contributor and never played higher up the lineup than the fourth line. It was also while playing on a line with Arseneau when Kole Lind started to become more engaged in games and saw some offensive success.
In 89 AHL games split between Utica, Lake Erie, Worcester, and San Jose, the six-foot-two-inch, 231-pound winger has put up 14 points to go along with 202 penalty minutes. He is a player who the coach isn’t afraid to healthy scratch to get the kids in as he spent his share of time eating popcorn in the press box last season as well.
Malone joined the Comets on a tryout deal at the end of last season after completing his NCAA career with the University of Wisconsin Badgers where he was an alternate captain over his last two seasons.
The five-foot-ten-inch, 181-pound forward can play all three forward positions and did so in his brief six-game audition with the team. He was able to put up three goals, along with a shootout tally over those six games before a broken arm ended his season.
In 143 NCAA games, the 23-year-old put up 33 goals and 71 helpers to give himself 104 points, good for 0.73 points/game.
It was a small sample size for Malone with the Comets, but during his tryout, I saw a player who showed some offensive creativity and promise. He has nice wheels and his smallish frame didn’t seem to keep him from seeking out the dirty areas of the ice. If Malone can pick up where he left off last season, the Comets may have found a diamond in the rough to work with.
I would imagine that we will see Malone at Canucks development camp later this month. If he is there, I will be sure to sit down with him for a quick interview.
I am hoping to see the Comets steer more in the direction of Malone types for AHL deals if possible. The team needs what Arseneau brings as well, but they also need players who are capable of driving play and providing legitimate offensive production.
Stay tuned as I will be keeping you abreast of any and all Comets player movement as the offseason rolls on.