There are some new faces, and letters, on the ice as the River Rats skate through warmups before tonight's game with Binghamton.
Jeff Hamilton, sent down Tuesday by the Carolina Hurricanes, has arrived and will be in the lineup, wearing No. 15 and skating at right wing on the top line with Joe Jensen and Jamie Johnson.
Speaking of Johnson, he is wearing the captain's 'C' for the first time. Need any further affirmation that Keith Aucoin isn't coming back this season? There it is. The Rats had used three alternates on the occasions Aucoin was recalled, most recently on Feb. 4. With him having found a home in Raleigh, the captaincy has been passed on.
Pat Dwyer, who still wears the 'A' as an alternate along with Joey Mormina, is the only one of the original captains from the start of the season still around. Aucoin and Tim Conboy are in Carolina, and David Gove was traded last month for Joe Jensen.
Like Hamilton, Cohoes native Marc Cavosie will be making his Rats debut. Signed to a pro tryout Tuesday, he is skating on left wing with Jakub Petruzalek at center and Jerome Samson on the right. Hamilton bumped Samson from the top line.
Albany's third line has Mike Angelidis between Dwyer and Chris Blight, with wingers Trevor Gillies and Joel Rechlicz on the fourth line. Brandon Nolan, Bobby Hughes and Nic Blanchard, all injured, are out, along with defenseman Bryan Rodney, a healthy scratch.
Defense pairings are Mormina-Mark Flood, Casey Borer-Noah Babin and Steve Ward-Brett Carson. Carson had been practicing and playing in recent games on right wing.
Cavosie isn't the only local product on the ice tonight. South Glens Falls native Shawn Weller is playing his 40th game for Binghamton tonight. He has seven goals and four assists and is minus-5 in the AHL this season.
Albany starts the night with 66 points, third in the East Division, two points behind second-place Hershey. Binghamton is sixth in the East with 61 points.