Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mayer injured in ATV accident


Former Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Robert Mayer was injured in an all-terrain vehicle crash last weekend.

Mayer's current team, Switzerland's Genève-Servette HC, made the announcement yesterday on their website, saying that the netminder will miss at least several weeks of action.
Mayer, now 27, has been playing in Switzerland since the 2014-15 season. Prior to that, the Swiss native spent four seasons in the Montreal Canadiens system.

The third overall pick in the 2007 CHL Import Draft, Mayer spent two seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2007 to 2009, recording a 42-39 record to go along with a 3.41 goals against average and a .893 save percentage.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

More 2018 NHL Draft rankings released


More 2018 NHL Draft rankings have been released.

HockeyProspect.com released its early top 31 (yeah, 31!) for 2018 on Wednesday, ranking Saint John Sea Dogs forward Joe Veleno 17th overall.

Veleno was the second highest ranked player from the QMJHL behind Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Jared McIsaac who was ranked 11th.

The ranking is one of the lowest Veleno has received so far (although not many have been released). In The Hockey News' annual Draft Preview edition, the exceptional forward was ranked third overall. Last month, The Hockey Writers listed Veleno as one of the top prospects available for next year's draft.

Veleno has recorded 83 points in 107 regular season QMJHL games. He's added 18 points - 14 of them goals - in 35 playoff matches.

A lot will change with these rankings over the next year. As we've said before, it'll be interesting to follow Veleno's ranking throughout the 2017-18 season.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Saint Johners seem to like idea of Harbour Station naming rights sponsor

In a very unscientific poll/survey, the people of Saint John are very much in favour of slapping a corporate name on Harbour Station.

While it's often unpopular for a well-known entertainment venue name to be replaced/adjusted by a corporate name, the fine folks of the Port City - at least those who commented on this 97.3 The Wave Facebook post - are very much in favour of the initiative.


These people are, of course, correct, and the added revenue from a sponsorship agreement would be a huge boost for the building. Just look at the Halifax Metro Centre, which has undergone several much needed renovations since Scotiabank purchased its naming rights.

According to the Telegraph-Journal on Monday (paywall), Harbour Station runs an annual operating deficit of $700,000.

Harbour Station has been publicly seeking a naming rights sponsor since 2015.

One thing that is perhaps complicating Harbour Station's future is Moncton's new facility, which is set to open next year. Moncton will no doubt attract a lot more shows - perhaps more than Saint John - with its new building, which could certainly have a negative impact on Harbour Station. Along with that, you have to think Moncton is also interested in finding a naming rights purchaser.

A few weeks ago, The Telegram had an interesting article on the rental costs of Atlantic arenas.

Richer takes over Aces

Former Saint John Sea Dogs forward Philip Richer has been named head coach and general manager of the St. Stephen Aces.

Richer, who was named associate coach and assistant general manager of the Aces earlier this summer, replaces Josh Hepditch who has joined the Moncton Wildcats has an assistant coach.

“For a young coach, Phil brings a ton of experience and lots of enthusiasm to our organization,” said Aces president John Hyslop in a release.

“Josh did a great job continuing to build our foundation and now Phil and his staff will help push us to the next level. He’s going to be a great fit,” added Hyslop.

Richer had previously been an assistant coach with the MHL's Miramichi Timberwolves and head coach of the NB/PEIMMHL's Miramichi Rivermen.

Richer was a fourth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft and played in 45 games with the club over two seasons. The 26-year-old also played a season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar during his QMJHL career.

Replacing Richer as assistant coach and assistant general manager is Justin Bowers.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Galiev signs two-year deal in KHL

2011 Memorial Cup champion Stanislav Galiev has returned home to Russia.

The former Saint John Sea Dogs forward signed a two-year deal with the KHL's Ak Bars Kazan on Friday. The signing ends a weird situation for Galiev after he was stuck in contract limbo by Dynamo Moscow.

The 25-year-old has played in North America since 2008-09. He spent a lot of his professional career bouncing between the East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey League - which included some stints in the NHL with the Washington Capitals.
From Russian Machine Never Breaks:

During the 2014-15 season, Stan Galiev blossomed into one of the most talented scorers in the American Hockey League, scoring 25 goals in 67 games with the Hershey Bears. After years of struggles and injuries in the minors, Galiev finally earned a dream promotion to the NHL. But Galiev’s momentum would be halted, tallying only one goal and being a frequent scratch during parts of two seasons in Washington.

It's too bad Galiev was never able to stick in the NHL, but it seemed as though his biggest flaw in Saint John - consistency - troubled him in professional hockey as well. There were games during his Sea Dogs career when he looked like the best player in junior hockey. Then there were games where he was barely noticeable.

Despite consistency issues, Galiev put up some good numbers in Saint John. The first overall pick in the 2009 CHL Import Draft, the forward played all three seasons of the Sea Dogs' glory days from 2009 - 2012. He recorded 65 goals and 79 assists in 151 regular season games and added 34 goals and 46 assists in 57 playoff games. He averaged nearly a goal-per-game (16 goals in 17 games) during the 2012 playoffs.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sea Dogs creating a Hall of Fame in 2018

The Saint John Sea Dogs will be honouring some of their past this season.

In a press release issued today, the team announced it will be creating a "Sea Dogs Hall of Fame" in 2018. The first inductee will be announced next month at a charity golf event.

From the release:

Following the Challenge, a dinner will be held at Britt's Rockwood Park where the Sea Dogs Foundation will announce the first inductee in the new "Sea Dogs Hall of Fame" in 2018. A formal induction ceremony and the opening of the Sea Dogs Hall of Fame are scheduled for next year.

No further details on the Hall of Fame have been announced.

The Sea Dogs, despite having played just 12 seasons, have such an impressive history that it makes sense for the team to create something to show it off. The team has a trophy case and columns of fame on the concourse, but that's about it.

You also have to wonder when the Sea Dogs will start retiring jersey numbers to accompany all of the championship banners hanging inside Harbour Station. It's worth noting that no player has worn Alex Grant's No. 20, Mike Thomas' No. 17 or Jonathan Huberdeau's No. 11 since their departures (Grant is the only player in team history to wear No. 20).

Today's Hall of Fame news was part of an announcement about the team hosting its first annual "Sea Dogs Par 3 Celebrity Challenge," which will be held Aug. 18 at Rockwood Park Golf Course. A number of Sea Dogs alumni will be taking part in the event, including NHLers Huberdeau and Nathan Beaulieu.

More information on how to take part in the event, prizes and alumni can be found here.