Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gerard Gallant In The News

Former Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant appeared on the front page of The Guardian newspaper yesterday.

The full article, which is on Gallant’s career as both a player and a coach, can be read online here. In it, the Florida Panthers bench boss talks a bit about his time in Saint John.

Over at All Habs, writer Sean Garland discusses why the Montreal Canadiens’ biggest loss this off-season may have been Gallant’s departure.

Lastly, the Florida Panthers website has an interview with Gallant. In the video, the Summerside native talks a bit on hiring Mike Kelly as an assistant coach.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Despres Re-Signs With Penguins

Former Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres re-signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins today.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Simon Despres to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford. 
The deal runs through the 2015-16 campaign and has an average annual value of $900,000.

Despres was drafted by the Penguins with the 30th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. The Laval native has appeared in 85 NHL regular season games, recording three goals and 13 assists. He has gone pointless in six post-season games.

Last season, the 2011 QMJHL Defenseman of the Year registered five assists in 34 games with Pittsburgh. In 36 games with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins he registered six goals and 16 assists and another two goals and seven assists in 17 playoff games.

The Penguins organization has seen quite a few changes this off-season and some of them could benefit Despres. From The Score:

With the departures of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen via free agency, Despres is expected to challenge for a regular roster spot come training camp in September, especially given the changing of the guard among the team's coaching staff. 

Despres played in 240 career regular season (25 goals and 109 assists) and 58 post-season games (six goals and 33 assists) with Saint John over four seasons.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Notebook: Eichel Unlikely To Report

The chances of Jack Eichel reporting to the Sea Dogs continue to look very slim.

In an interview with John Moore, Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young gave everyone an update on Eichel watch.

Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, is committed to play at Boston University this fall.

Some positive news regarding Juraj Siska was revealed this week.

Young told the Telegraph-Journal on Tuesday (paywall) that the Slovakian centre recently passed a medical test that would allow him to play professionally in his native land. Young added that the import pick is scheduled to come to Saint John training camp for further medical evaluation.

The 18-year old was chosen by the Sea Dogs with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft but did not play last year due to a neck injury.

In his Friday column in the Chronicle Herald, Willy Palov takes a look at the QMJHL’s incoming import class. It’s looking like this is going to be a talented group.

Palov also notes that the Red Line Report lists Sea Dogs defenseman Jakub Zboril, the fifth overall pick in this year’s CHL Import Draft, at No. 32 for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Former Sea Dogs defenseman David Weckworth will play for the Carleton University Ravens this season.

“David’s size and skating ability were evident when we scouted him this season,” Ravens head coach Marty Johnston said in an article on the team’s website. “I think that those skills will help us continue to push the attack from our d-core again this season. After talking to teammates and coaches, we feel that David will be a very positive influence on campus and in the Carleton community.”

Weckworth played with the Sea Dogs the past two seasons. As an overager last season, the Ottawa native registered two goals and 13 assists in 64 games.

The Ravens also feature former Sea Dogs defenseman Jason Seed.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exhibition Schedule Changed Again

Another game has been added to Saint John’s pre-season schedule.

The Sea Dogs will now play the Halifax Mooseheads on August 23 in Truro. The game was added on following the cancellation of the August 24 exhibition contest between the Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Also, the August 16 game between the Sea Dogs and Mooseheads has been moved to the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

Saint John will play six pre-season games – three at home and three on the road. All home games will be played at Harbour Station. Here is the full schedule:

Friday, August 15th - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Saint John Sea Dogs, 7 p.m. 
Saturday, August 16th - Saint John Sea Dogs at Halifax Mooseheads, 7 p.m. (Dartmouth Sportsplex) 
Friday, August 22nd - Halifax Mooseheads at Saint John Sea Dogs, 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday, August 23rd - Saint John Sea Dogs at Halifax Mooseheads, 7 p.m. (Rath Eastlink CC-Truro) 
Friday, September 5th - Charlottetown Islanders at Saint John Sea Dogs, 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday, September 6th - Saint John Sea Dogs at Charlottetown Islanders, 7 p.m. (Eastlink Centre)

Exhibition tickets go on sale to season ticket holders on July 25 and the general public on August 5.

Dogs Broadcasts Moving To NewSong FM

The Saint John Sea Dogs are moving up the radio dial.

The team announced today a new radio partnership that will see all regular season and playoff games broadcast on NewSong FM 96.1. Games will be broadcast on the FM dial and online at

The agreement with the Christian radio station begins this fall and runs through the 2015-16 season.

Sea Dogs games have been broadcast on News 88.9 since the 2006-07 season but faced an uncertain future with Rogers selling the station to Newcap. The CRTC finally approved the sale this past March and Newcap will reportedly flip the station into an Adult Contemporary format “appealing to listeners between 25 and 54 years of age.”

NewSong FM’s game broadcasts will feature the same things News 88.9 delivered – pre-game shows, post-game shows, and Tim Roszell on the microphone.

"NewSong FM is delighted to become partners with the Saint John Sea Dogs," said NewSong FM General Manager Don Mabee in a release. "What a great combination. As we head into our 15th year of broadcasting in the city, we are pleased to present these games to our community, especially during the Sea Dogs' tenth anniversary year."

“We’re really excited to be the new radio home of the Saint John Sea Dogs,” said NewSong FM Program Director Terry Hatfield on the station’s website. “As we head into our 15th year of broadcasting and the Sea Dogs celebrate their 10th anniversary year, it’s actually a combination of 25 years of bringing ‘family entertainment' to our community, and we look forward to covering the games.”

The broadcasts begin with Saint John’s season opener on September 12 in Charlottetown.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Two More Camp Invites Announced

The Saint John Sea Dogs continue to dip into the Ontario free agent market.

The team announced today that two more Ontario natives have been invited to Sea Dogs training camp. Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League right-winger Drew Gross and defenceman Jack Van Boekel will compete for roster spots at what is shaping up to be a very competitive camp.

Gross, 18, is listed at 6'0", 185 lbs and played last season with the Stratford Cullitons. In 46 regular season games, Gross registered 13 goals and 11 assists. He added another three goals and an assist in 15 post-season games.

In a press release, Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young spoke highly of Gross, saying the forward could challenge for a spot on the team’s third line.

"Ottawa-area scout Mathieu Bougie and I went to a playoff game in Stratford to watch a certain player, and we came away believing that Drew was the best prospect on the ice," Young said. "We like his speed and puck pursuit ability, and how he gets there on the forecheck. We believe he is a player that is just starting to develop into the type of player he can be.”

Van Boekel, 18, is listed at 6'7", 205 lbs and played last season with the Strathroy Rockets. In 39 games, the large human being posted one goal, 10 assists in 123 penalty minutes. He added another 14 penalty minutes in four playoff games.

"Jack brings a physical presence to our defence, and his 340-plus penalty minutes over the past two years are an indication of how he plays the game," Young said. "We wanted to address our overall team toughness, and whether Jack plays defence or left wing remains to be seen.”

Van Boekel was a 15th round pick of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2012 OHL Draft.

The Sea Dogs are expected to make more free agent announcements in the coming weeks.