Saturday, July 31, 2010


Editors Note - Montreal plays in Saint John on Sunday, October 10 at 4:00 pm.


The Montreal Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce Louis Leblanc’s arrival to the line up for the upcoming 2010-2011 season.

As the 18th overall selection of the Montreal Canadiens at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Louis Leblanc is also the first Quebec-born player chosen by the Habs in the first round since Eric Chouinard of the Quebec Remparts in 1998.

The team has been in negotiations with Leblanc’s agent, Pat Brisson, since this past spring, in the goal of coming to an agreement before training camp.

The Pointe-Claire native is part of the group of players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp. A world-class player, he will make sure to put forward his exemplary work ethic and talent in order to earn himself a spot on the roster for the IIIHF World Junior Championships of 2011.

"The QMJHL, in particular the Montreal Juniors, have demonstrated the growth opportunities available to Leblanc, where he can pursue his hockey development in order to achieve great honour and join the ranks of the National Hockey League as soon as possible," said Martin Routhier, President of the Montreal Juniors. "Moreover, we understand that the balance of sports and education is an important one for Louis, and our organization wishes to support his academic ambitions, within a flexible environment that will offer him all the tools necessary for him to succeed".

Leblanc, who played center with the Harvard Crimson, accumulated 23 points in only 31 games last season, including 11 goals, finishing as the leading scorer on his team.

"For this upcoming 2010-2011 season, our team presents a solid roster, one that is very capable of competing for the MasterCard Memorial Cup," explains Pascal Vincent, head coach and general manager of the Montreal Juniors. "We have six NHL affiliated players in our ranks, including Leblanc, who belong to a National Hockey League team and who bring depth on many levels: Louis-Marc Aubry and Trevor Parkes of the Detroit Red Wings, Jean-François Bérubé of the Los Angeles Kings, Philippe Lefebvre of the Montreal Canadiens as well as Charles-Olivier Roussel of the Nashville Predators, who will accompany Leblanc at Team Canada Development Camp."

Friday, July 30, 2010


The Saint John Sea Dogs have captured the big fish.

Last night, the Sea Dogs organization captured the “sport, recreation, and active living award” as the City of Saint John handed out Merit Awards.

“The sport, recreation and active living award went to the Saint John Sea Dogs for the programs they sponsor for the community, including their work to help deliver the DARE program at school and community centres, their Get FANatical About Math program in School Districts 6 and 8, sponsored by Canadaport LNG, and the Irving Oil Team Player program that promotes the positive values of minor hockey and the importance of being a team player, both on and off the ice,” reports the Telegraph-Journal.

The awards were given to groups and individuals who have made a major impact on the quality of life for Saint John citizens.

Sea Dogs president Wayne Long was on hand to accept the award.


Tomas Jurco will do the Slovakian thing this August by playing for Team Slovakia at a World Under-20 Hockey event.

According to the Saint John Sea Dogs website, Slovakia will be “competing against Germany, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland in an Under-20 event that will be used as evaluation tool in the selection process for all four countries’ IIHF World Junior Championship entries.”

The Sea Dogs forward will be one of only three players from the Canadian Hockey League to be suiting up for the Slovakians.

Drafted by Saint John with the fourth overall pick in the CHL Import Draft, Jurco registered 26 goals and 25 assists in 64 regular season games last season. His goal total broke Chris DiDomenico’s single season Sea Dogs rookie goal record.

In the post-season, he added seven goals and 10 assists in Saint John’s march to the Presidents Cup Final.

The 17-year old does have some international experience, playing in the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge (5GP-3G-4A-7P) as well as the 2009 IIHF World U-18 Championships (6GP-2G-3A-5P-2PIM) and the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

Jurco is already a highly touted prospect for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Of course, a post about Jurco wouldn’t be acceptable without the following:


As Station Nation reported last Saturday, Nathan Beaulieu has been added to Team Canada’s world junior summer evaluation camp roster. Today, Hockey Canada officially announced the addition of the Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Beaulieu said to “When (Hockey Canada Head Scout) Al Murray called me to let me know I’ll be attending the August camp I was thrilled beyond words. I’m really looking forward to skating with the best junior players in Canada and hopefully I’ll do well and get a chance to attend December’s camp as well.”

The news of Beaulieu joining the Canadian camp was leaked last week by the London Free Press. Hockey Canada did not make the official announcement until today in case more players had to be added.
Here is part of the press release from

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, also announced the addition of three players to the camp roster. Defencemen Nathan Beaulieu (Quispamsis, N.B./Saint John, QMJHL) and Brock Beukeboom (Uxbridge, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), along with forward Joey Hishon (Stratford, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL), have been added to the camp roster. These three players will replace defencemen Jared Cowen (Allan, Sask./Spokane, WHL) and Ryan Ellis (Freelton, Ont./Windsor, OHL) and forward Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Windsor, OHL), who will not be taking part in camp for various reasons.
As our buddy Neate Sager pointed out over at Buzzing The Net, Beaulieu is a long shot to be placed on the final roster come winter - but the experience gained is invaluable.

"A nice little ketchup answer (i.e., covers everything) is it cannot hurt to see how either player reacts in such an environment," wrote Sager. "Each would seem a more likely candidate for the 2012 squad."

The 17-year old who is already considered by many to be a first round draft pick in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft, recorded 12 goals and 33 assists last season.

“I’ve been training really hard since the season ended,” said Beaulieu. “I’m about six-foot-three now and weigh around one-hundred-and-ninety pounds (the former Saint John AAA Vito’s star entered the 2009-10 season at 6’2”, 175 lbs.) and I’ve improved my strength and conditioning quite a bit.”

The camp runs from August 4-7 in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ryan Tesink’s hockey season will begin a little early – but without ice.

The Telegraph-Journal reported today that Saint John Sea Dogs first round pick Ryan Tesink will play on Saint John’s top ball hockey team, the “Most Wanted.” The men’s team will begin play next week in St. John’s, Newfoundland at the Canadian A Ball Hockey Championships.

Drafted by Saint John with the last pick of the first round of June’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft, Tesink will be joined by his brother, Brad, on the team.

Brad played with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for one game last season. Prior to that, the elder Tesink played four full seasons in the QMJHL. After leaving the Eagles, he would join his brother with the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Woodstock Slammers.

With the Slammers League last season, Ryan scored 10 goals and added 19 assists in 44 games played. In the post-season, he recorded four goals and six assists in 14 playoff games.

Not on Most Wanted’s roster, as stated by T-J, is former Dog Felix Schutz who is currently with the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Saint John’s new professional basketball team will have the same name as it did last season in Manchester, New Hampshire. It was announced this afternoon that the Professional Basketball League squad will be named the “Saint John Mill Rats” for the upcoming season.

Also at today’s press conference held at Brunswick Square, the Mill Rats unveiled their new logo for the 2011 PBL season (pictured above).

"From what I've learned since I've been here, the fabric of this city is an industrial heritage, hard work, people are proud of putting in a day's work,” said team president Ian McCarthy to the CBC.

Before mocking Station Nation about the EA Sports preview video, News 91.9 interviewed McCarthy, saying that he hopes merchandise will be available to buy by September 1. He also said a new, updated website is in the works.

Unlike when the team played out Manchester, the hoops unit will go with a mill worker theme rather then a rat theme.

"It's a person who looks like they have come out of a mill yard, as opposed to an animal," McCarthy said to News 88.9.

"They wear the number 3 which is in honour of Rip Seely who is a famous basketball player from Saint John".

The team, who sold over 200 season tickets in the first three weeks of sales, will begin training camp in December and the regular season in January – hopefully. There are reports that if the PBL and a Puerto Rican basketball league join forces, the league will begin play in October.

The Mill Rats and Saint John Sea Dogs have stated that they hope to create a partnership this year. That includes the possibility of playing a doubleheader at Harbour Station.

Finally, McCarthy gave the quote-of-the-summer to CBC New Brunswick:

"It's a person, he's got a hard hat, he's got a hammer hanging off his waist. He's ready for a hard day's work."

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Station Nation has confirmed that Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman Nathan Beaulieu has been invited to Team Canada’s world junior summer evaluation camp. The camp begins August 4 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Hockey Canada is expected to make an official announcement in the short future.

The news of Beaulieu’s invitation was leaked last night by the London Free Press who stated that “Nathan Beaulieu, the Strathroy kid who plays for the Saint John Sea Dogs, has just been invited to the Canadian world junior summer evaluation camp.”

Beaulieu will join fellow Saint John defender Simon Despres at the camp. Only Chris DiDomenico has made Team Canada while playing for the Sea Dogs.

Unless another roster moves take place, Beaulieu will be one of nine players invited to the camp from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Bathurst native and Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Sean Couturier is the only other player currently on the roster who is 2011 draft eligible.

Drafted by Saint John in the fourth round of the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft, Beaulieu represented Team Atlantic at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Championships. In five games, he posted two assists.

Last season, the son of former Saint John Head Coach and General Manager Jacques Beaulieu, recorded 12 goals and 33 assists in a breakout season. In the playoffs, he added four goals and 12 assists. He was also a highly impressive +43 in the regular season.

In his rookie campaign, Beaulieu registered two goals and eight assists in 49 games played.


Has Nathan Beaulieu been invited to Canadian world junior summer evaluation camp?

“Nathan Beaulieu, the Strathroy kid who plays for the Saint John Sea Dogs, has just been invited to the Canadian world junior summer evaluation camp,” reports the London Free Press in an article about Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell’s Stanley Cup parade.

This report comes with caution, however, as this has not been stated by any other media source or by Hockey Canada. Beaulieu remains off’s camp roster for the event.

When Station Nation asked the question of whether this was an error or not on Twitter, Rogers TV QMJHL reporter Christina Rogers said that the report was “legit.”

The writer of the article, Ryan Pyette, is very reliable and covers the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights for the Free Press.

If Beaulieu has been invited, he would join Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Sean Couturier as the only 2011 draft eligible player at the camp. Only eight players from the QMJHL were invited, including Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres.

The camp begins August 4 at St. John’s, Newfoundland’s Mile One Center.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


As expected, Mike Hoffman has officially singed a three-year entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators.

Although the signing was, according to reports from News 88.9, expected to happen last Friday, the deal was announced this afternoon by the National Hockey League club.

The Ottawa Citizen says that Hoffman will make $610,000 if he plays in the NHL next season.

“It wouldn't be surprising to see (Hoffman or the recently signed Cody Bass) recalled to Ottawa during the season, but both players will spend the bulk of their time in Binghamton,” reports Allen Panzeri of the Citizen.

The 2010 winner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player award, Hoffman will likely play in the American Hockey League next season given his dominant play at the junior level.

The Kitchener, Ontario native was selected by Ottawa in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

In 56 games with the Sea Dogs last year, the overage center recorded 46 goals and 39 assists. In the post-season, he added 11 goals and 13 helpers in 21 matches. Along with winning the MVP trophy, the OHL castoff won two player of the month awards, was named sportsman of the year, and was named to the first all-star team.

In his three year QMJHL career, Hoffman has 227 points in 180 regular season games and 58 points in 40 playoff games. released an unreal list of Hoffman's team records.


Saint John Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas has been invited to attend Edmonton Oilers rookie camp this September, reports the Telegraph-Journal.

"I'm excited,'' he said of the Edmonton opportunity. "I'm really satisfied. I found out a lot earlier than I did last year (when he attended Philadelphia's rookie camp) and it gives me a little extra push knowing I'm going to be going somewhere.''

Thomas guided the Sea Dogs into the league finals where they would lose in six games to the Moncton Wildcats. The hard working forward added that the long run in the post-season allowed scouts to get an extra look at several Saint John players.

"The teams that make it the furthest are watched the most,'' Thomas said. "It was really good to see our team go as far as we did. Saying that, there's always a huge disappointment when you lose in the final.''

The Fredericton native recorded nine goals and 11 assists in 51 regular season games in his first season as team captain. In the playoffs, Thomas added four goals and three assists in 18 games.

Known more for his fists and physical play than his scoring abilities, Thomas is eligible to return to Saint John as a 20-year old this season. Whether he will be chosen as one of the three overage players is still unclear.

One topic that will hurt Thomas’ possible return to the league next season is the amount of suspensions he received last year. Using up an overage slot on a player who is suspended often could be a costly mistake.

Other players scheduled to attend National Hockey League rookie camps in the fall are: Yann Sauve and Steven Anthony (Vancouver), Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Stephen MacAulay (St. Louis), and Stanislav Galiev (Washington).

20-year old Michael Kirkpatrick, who recently attended Dallas Stars Development Camp, could also be invited as a free agent.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


According to, the 2010 version of Sea Dogs Training Camp will begin at 10:00 am on August 17. No details have been released.

The first day of training camp will likely be open to the public and free of charge – as it has been in past seasons. At the moment, no events are scheduled at Harbour Station on this particular Tuesday.

The schedule and roster should be released soon.

Although there is sure to be free agent invites, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has updated the Sea Dogs’ roster on their website for the upcoming season.

Last year’s training camp also opened on August 17.

Saint John’s first pre-season game is scheduled to take place August 21 at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads. The 2010 President’s Cup runners-up will then head to Halifax for an afternoon tilt against the Herd the following day.

Pre-season tickets go on sale to season ticket holders on Friday, August 6 at 10:00. The general public will be permitted to buy seats on Monday, August 16.


Saint John Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations and Associate Coach Mike Kelly told the Telegraph-Journal that Director of Player Development Norm Gosselin will be replaced.

"We're not in a panic," said Kelly. "We'll look at all the applications we receive. We have a terrific group of guys who work extremely hard and we want to do everything in our power to keep that rolling.”

Sea Dogs beat reporter Scott Briggs also added that “Kelly said the Sea Dogs will fill the vacancy, but added the club doesn't feel the need to hire a replacement right away. Kelly wants someone who's ‘respectful of the chemistry we have on our scouting staff.’”

Gosselin announced that he was leaving Saint John's QMJHL squad yesterday after accepting an offer to join the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes’ scouting staff. The Quebec league veteran spent five seasons with the Sea Dogs with four of them being as the team’s Head Scout.

Like Gosselin a year ago, the void could be filled from within. According to, the team currently has eight “regional scouts.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The 2009 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft was a successful one for the Saint John Sea Dogs. With two first round picks, it was key that the team had the right personnel running the show. But with Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly not with the team the previous season, all eyes turned to Director of Player Development Norm Gosselin.

With Gosselin at the helm, Saint John drafted six players at the draft who would play at least one game for the Sea Dogs team that lost in the President’s Cup Final in six games.

But now, just as the best players from the QMJHL do, the former head scout is headed into the ranks of the National Hockey League. Gosselin joined the Phoenix Coyotes today as an amateur scout who will, according to a Sea Dogs press release, be in charge of “scouting junior-aged players in Quebec as well as the Maritime provinces.”

“This is definitely a bittersweet day for us,” said Sea Dogs President Wayne Long in the release. “We’re obviously sad to see Norm leave the Sea Dogs but we’re thrilled that he’s been given the opportunity to work in the National Hockey League. Norm is a first-class individual and he definitely deserves a lot of credit for our recent success. We wish him nothing but the best of luck with the Coyotes.”

Gosselin has been with Saint John’s major junior team since their inception in 2005. He served as Head Scout until April 29, 2009 when he was promoted to Director of Player Development.

Prior to joining the Dogs, Gosselin served time as General Manager and Head Coach of the Sherbrooke Castors/Lewiston MAINEiacs and worked for the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Shawinigan Cataractes, and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles during his 20 year career in QMJHL management/coaching.

“Norm has proven to be a strong evaluator of talent and will be an asset to our amateur scouting department,” said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.

Although Gosselin is no longer with the Sea Dogs organization, his fingerprints (and mustache) are all the team. His expertise in the scouting world will allow the Dogs to reap many benefits for years to come.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Hat tip to FrankD over at Pensburgh for the video.


Simon Despres impressed at Pittsburgh Penguins development camp, making many within the organization begin to get excited about the ‘Big Horse’s’ future on the blue line.

“Like any young kid, one year makes a huge difference with confidence, maturity and just the way that he looks,” Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald said to “He understands nutrition. He understands conditioning. You can see the transformation in his body in one year. When you try to forecast in five years what that big body is going to look like, that’s pretty exciting to think about.”

“You watch Simon on the ice compared to some of the younger guys, and you can see that he’s just relaxed,” he said. “He’s at ease with who he is and his surroundings. That makes for him to be more comfortable and more productive as a player.”

The Sea Dogs defenseman also reflected in his season in Saint John last year.

“We had a great team overall. It was a fun atmosphere in the room. It was fun to go to the rink. It reflected on my play. I got better as the season went on. I played with great players. We had a great team. It reflected on my numbers.”

It’s been a long time since the name Jason Churchill popped up on the Sea Dogs radar. But the goaltender who played in Saint John’s first franchise game will suit up for the Halifax Mooseheads alumni just prior the Herd’s pre-season tilt against the Dogs on Sunday, August 22 at the Halifax Forum.

According to Metro Halifax, the Newfoundland native will suit up for the Moose when they take on the Halifax Regional Police.

In his one season with the expansion Sea Dogs, Churchill had a record of 14-44, a goals against average of 4.16, and a save percentage of 0.894. The backstop allowed 239 goals against that season. To put that into comparison, Saint John has not allowed that many goals against in each of the past three seasons. Although his stats may be bad, he did pickup 14 of the teams 15 victories in 2005-06.

“Stanislav Galiev converted a nifty deke in the shootout this morning to lift White to a 6-5 shootout victory over Red in the second scrimmage of Capitals development camp,” reported Tarik El-Bash of the Washington Post on Thursday afternoon.

Galiev also scored in regulation. Mastro72 sent Station Nation video evidence of the Sea Dogs forward’s first goal.

“On the white team, Stanislav Galiev was bumped down to the second line, serving with Wade MacLeod (Jr, Northeastern) and Garrett Mitchell (WHL, 2009 Draft, 6th Round, 175th overall),” writes the Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks. “The chemistry of the Galiev-MacLeod-Mitchell line was palpable: the line exploded for the first three goals of the scrimmage – MacLeod was 2-1-3 and Galiev was 1-1-2. Galiev scored his goal camped out in front of the net on a nice deflection that beat goalie Taylor Nelson”

In the final scrimmage held on Saturday, Galiev added another shootout goal to help the white team to victory.

As if we haven't mention the excellent blog Russian Machine Never Breaks enough this past week, here is an interesting article on Galiev and his friend/fellow Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov helping out a University of Maryland first-year Russian class.

RMNB also sent out this tweet:

Evgeny Kuznetsov told us that he bought a PS3 this week. When asked what games he got, Stanislav Galiev interrupted & said "Toy Story 3."
Speaking of learning languages, Galiev reminisced on time with Indiana in 2008-09 with little knowledge of the English language.

“I didn’t speak English at all when I came [to Indiana of the United States Hockey League]. It was just really hard,” Galiev said to Comcast Sportsnet Washington. “Sometimes we are just chilling together. It is good when you have other Team Russia guys. It is so much better than when you don’t speak English a lot and sometimes you are shy.”

2012 FRONT
The Sea Dogs stated in their official newsletter this week that they plan to not only attempt to defend the regular season banner this coming season – but in 2012 as well. The team also published the following on thier 2012 Memorial Cup bid:
Our front office is already hard at work preparing a bid to host the 2012 Memorial Cup Tournament, and we're confident that our outstanding on-ice product in conjunction with our first-rate facility and tremendous fan support will go a long way towards ensuring that this prestigious event will indeed by staged in the great city of Saint John.

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee on Galiev to Comcast Sportsnet:

“Galiev is as expected and we like him better at center ice than the wing. We like him a lot.”

From today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Goals by Zack Sill, Joey Haddad and Nick Petersen Saturday afternoon at Southpointe will not be logged in any official manner, but the reason they and several others were in town and on the ice is something of growing importance for the Penguins.
The three young forwards scored in the scrimmage that marked the end of the annual development camp, which was started by general manager Ray Shero after he arrived in 2006.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


The Saint John Sea Dogs’ official newsletter had clarification on Marc-Antoine Gelinas’ contract signing today.

According to Gelinas agents at VSM Hockey, the goaltender has indeed signed a contract with the Central Hockey League’s Odessa Jackalopes. Although Sports Junior reports that Gelinas had signed a one year deal with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the two teams are affiliated.

“Marc-Antoine should also be attending the training camp of the New York Islanders farm team in the AHL,” reports the VSM Hockey website.

Of note, Station Nation inquired about Gelinas’ possible signing with the AHL club to the Connecticut Post's Sound Tigers reporter Michael Fornabaio. He had heard nothing of the signing.

He posted this on his blog, Soundin’ Off, today:

With a big hat tip to Station Nation, it’s apparent that goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas is at least going to be here for AHL camp. They note that Gelinas’ former team, Saint John (QMJHL), has him signed with Odessa, which his representation also says; though there’s a report that Bridgeport signed him, if they did, it might be for Odessa, like Juha Toivonen last year. Though if he is here, that means Bridgeport will have two of the Q’s top four goalies of 2009-10, according to Goalies’ World. This is probably the most work we’ve ever done on a training-camp invite in July. No, definitely: Gordie Dwyer broke in August.
Gélinas appeared in 27 games for Saint John as an overager in 2009-10, earning 21 victories while registering a goals against average of 2.56 and a save percentage of 0.913.


According to News 88.9, Mike Hoffman “is expected to sign” with the Ottawa Senators tomorrow. The former Saint John Sea Dog was selected by the club in the fifth round of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

“A source confirmed to News 88.9, Hoffman will ink a deal Friday,” writes Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell.

Hoffman, the league Most Valuable Player this past season, played as an overager with Saint John this past year. Acquired in an offseason deal at the QMJHL Draft, Hoffman tore up the league by scoring 46 goals and 85 points in just 56 games.

In the post-season, he added 11 goals and 13 assists in 21 games.

The Kitchener, Ontario native’s signing comes as no surprise as the sniper received plenty of attention at this summer’s development camp in Ottawa after his strong MVP campaign.

In 180 career games in the Quebec circuit, Hoffman has 122 goals and 105 assists.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



Despite being part of one of the greatest upsets in Canadian University Sports history, Ryan Sparling has chosen to leave the St. Francis Xavier X-Men for the Central Hockey League.

According to, Sparling has signed a contract with the CHL’s Missouri Mavericks after playing a year in the CIS ranks.

The Sydney, Nova Scotia native is the Sea Dogs’ franchise leading point getter with 217 points in 247 games. After spending four years with Saint John from 2005-6 to 2008-09, “Spar Dog” joined the X-Men of Atlantic University Sport.

In 25 games played last season with St. Francis Xavier, Sparling recorded two goals and nine assists. The X-Men of 2009-10 will forever be known as the team that swept the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds – ranked number one in the country – out of semi-finals in three straight 3-2 wins. The squad also ended the V-Reds lengthy winning streak in the regular season.

The almost-22-year old winger remains Saint John’s franchise leader in career goals (83), assists (134), points (217), and power play goals (34). In 18 career playoff games, Sparling registered 6G-14A-20P. He assisted on the first post-season goal in Sea Dogs history, setting up Scott Howes for a first period power play marker versus the P.E.I. Rocket on March 21, 2008. Sparling was also named First Star of the Game in Saint John’s first-ever win, recording 2G-1A-3P during a 6-3 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads on September 18, 2005.

Also according to Sea Dogs website is that goaltender Marc-Antoine Gelinas signed a contract with the CHL’s Odessa Jackalopes earlier this summer. But, Sports Junior reports on their Facebook page that the former Sea Dogs netminder has signed with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Gelinas, an overager last season, registered a record of 21-5 with Saint John before traded midseason to the Shawinigan Cataractes. In 27 games with the Sea Dogs, the QMJHL journeyman had a goals against average of 2.56 and save percentage of 0.913.


All indications from Pittsburgh Penguins development camp say that Simon Despres is a superior prospect.

“Despres is held in higher regard by the Penguins now than when they selected him 30th overall in 2009,” said Chris Nichols of Rogers Sportsnet.

“Despres won't turn 19 for another two weeks and won't be ready to make the Penguins' roster this fall,” writes Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “The 2009 first-round draft pick, however, appears to be on the fast track to Pittsburgh.”

“A skilled puck-mover whose skating has improved in the past year, Despres clearly has matured physically,” he stated. “The 6-4, 205-pound defenseman has bulked up considerably since being drafted.”

Despres’ confidence has also been noticed while attending his second development camp.

"Well I think we had a good team last year,” said Despres to Empty Netters. “Confidence for me was a big issue. And it went really high (last) year. It’s always fun to be on the winning team. The atmosphere in our room was good. It was fun to go to the rink."

"Confidence is always a big issue with me," said Despres who, according to Yohe, was quite impressive in an exhibition game last season. "I feel much better about myself this year."

Some may notice the improvement of his mental game, a lot more of noticed his bigger ‘Big Horse’ frame.

"I've been working out," he said with a grin. "You get a bit nervous on the first day. You get scared about your body fat, you know? You try to eat healthy the last days before coming here."

In much more important news, the P-G’s Penguins blog Empty Netters says that his first name is pronounced "Sy-Mun" not "See-mone.”

The blog had a question and answer session with the Sea Dogs veteran defenceman as well.

What's different from his first camp with the Penguins:
"Well this year when I came into camp, I knew what to expect. I’m more confident."

On his first season as a professional:
"It’s what I’ve been dreaming for all my life. It’s what I’ve been working for. You’ve got to keep working to get there."

On his bulkier frame:
"Yeah, I’ve been working out a little bit."

What part of his game has he worked on this summer:
"I’ve been working on my shot this summer a little bit. Shooting on goalies."

His best shot:
"I shoot a lot from the blue line, but give me a chance in the slot and I’ll bury it."

His reaction to the Penguins signing defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek on July 1:
"I didn’t really have one."

How does their signings impact his goals this season:
"It gives me a little bit more motivation to work harder and try to earn my spot more if they didn’t sign them."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Stanislav Galiev kicked off Washington Capitals development camp on Monday.

Several folks on Twitter who attended the first day of camp mentioned that the speedy forward stood out among his fellow prospects – and in a good way. WeagleEye, who has been sending Station Nation messages from camp, said “he's fast, aware of everything on the ice, and has a great smile!”

In an interview with the Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks, Galiev said that he wishes to play in the World Junior Hockey Championships this winter with the Russian team.

“I like North American-style hockey… it is faster, better, they hit harder.”

On the thing he misses most while in North America: “Friends.”

On goals: “[I want to] make the [Russian] World Junior Team.”

On being on the Caps: “It is incredible to be on a team with the best players in the world.”
Pictures of Group B from Caps in Pictures and Caps Snaps.

Three incredible videos after the jump.

Monday, July 12, 2010


By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

One current and two former Saint John Sea Dogs are set to begin Pittsburgh Penguins development camp tomorrow. The players arrived today, begin sessions tomorrow, and will stay at camp until July 17.

According to Penguins press release, the group of rookies and prospects will take part in on-ice practice and scrimmage sessions at Southpointe, medical and fitness testing at the UPMC Sports Medicine Complex on the South Side and workouts, meetings and seminars at Mellon Arena.

The instructors will be Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden, WBS assistant coach John Hynes, Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald, Penguins goaltending coach Gilles Meloche and Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

For a full roster of the camp, click HERE.

“The main function of the camp is not to necessarily grade the players on their individual performance, but rather to teach the kids about the daily structure of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization,” writes Jason Seidling of

“One of the days we will have a flow practice where there isn’t much battle drills but rather a lot of flow where goalies see a lot of pucks,” Fitzgerald said. “We will also work on system drills which show them how we like to break the puck out, what we like to do in the neutral zone and what we like to do on the forecheck.

“Finally, we show them a work day. Those are days where you better put your work boots and hard hat on because you will be going to work out there on the ice. When we have those days your legs will feel it within 50 minutes to an hour. We give them what we try to teach our guy.”

It’s been a while since the name Alex Grant came onto Sea Dogs' fans radars. The former captain and first player ever drafted by Saint John spent last season with the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers and American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“We can teach guys like Alex Grant how we defend a one-on-one,” Fitzgerald said. “Do we cross over or do we defend them stick on puck? Up front, it might be something different. It could be how we cycle the puck.”

In 40 games with the Nailers, Grant recorded seven goals and 20 assists in 40 regular season games. With the AHL’s baby Pens, Grant scored three goals and added two helpers in 14 games.

In 245 career QMJHL games, the first overall pick in the 2005 midget draft registered 44 goals and 99 assists. He spent three-and-a-half season with the Sea Dogs before being traded halfway through the 2008-09 season to Shawinigan.

Grants teammate in Shawinigan, Nicholas Petersen, is also on the camp roster. In three seasons in the QMJHL, Petersen scored 87 goals and added 111 assists. Last season with Saint John, the winger recorded a career high 39 goals and also produced 40 assists.

Despres, a first round pick of the Penguins in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, is expected to get a long look at training camp this fall. Despres has 12 goals and 81 assists in 193 career Quebec League games.


Steven Anthony finished up Vancouver Canucks Prospects Development Camp by defeating his Saint John Sea Dogs teammate Yann Sauve in a three-on-three game.

“We played Yann’s team in our last game - he was teamed with Tochkin and Jordan,” wrote Anthony in the final entry of his blog. “I’m not going to lie, our team wanted to win really bad going into this last one because our record wasn’t so good and because it was against Yann so bragging rights were on the line. We ended up winning 2-1, which is really the game we needed to win most any way. Yann will definitely hear about it all the way to the airport. He didn’t say much to me after the game though, but that’s probably because he figured we would win anyway.”

Anthony also stated he hopes to see another teammate from last year’s Saint John team at the Traverse City prospects tournament in the Fall.

“Right now, all I can think of that might be at the tournament is our goalie from Saint John, Marco Cousineau, who was an Anaheim draft pick so he should coming with them,” wrote Anthony. “I think our first game’s against Taylor Hall, the first overall pick so I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of media checking out his first game. That will be exciting.”

To view his final entry click HERE.

“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description of the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

Speaking of Sauve, he "stood out" during the three-on-three tournament.

”It was a great tournament and we had fun and that was the goal of it, but it sucked to come up short,” laughed Sauve said to, who added that his team faced a tougher draw than the rest.

“It just felt like one really long shift and I don’t think our schedule was fair, we had back-to-back games, I mean come on!”

While the tournament didn’t finish the way Sauve had hoped, development camp did.

”It was a great camp. There were so many activities that we learned from and the nutrition and the Iron Chef and things were great.”

This was Sauve’s third time attending prospects camp with the Canucks and what stood out to the defenceman was the time dedicated to forming team camaraderie.

”The team building was really good, like the rowing, it brought us together. Then the baseball game was good to relax together. In the last two years we didn’t do any activities like that and it really made a big difference, the group was a lot tighter this year, everyone got to know everyone and that team building and joking around is important.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010


You’ll often see Stanislav Galiev smiling for a photo. But on draft day, did the Russian go a little overboard?

“A third-round pick from Russia, Galiev offers a glimpse of what it looks like when he hits the final note while singing in the shower,” said Greg Wyshnski of the very popular and comical blog ‘Puck Daddy.’

Galiev’s photo was named the seventh most awkward rookie glamour shot of the 2010 NHL Draft.

To view the top 10 photos, click HERE.

Former/current/future Moncton Wildcat Kirill Kabanov is listed twice.

If you subscribe to the PEI Rocket newsletter, you were probably a little surprised to read that “all Sunday home games from December to March will be held at 3:00pm.” This came after news that the Sea Dogs proposal to have all Sunday games at Harbour Station start at 3:00 pm was voted down by the league.

Station Nation contacted Sea Dogs team president Wayne Long about the issue via email.

He went on to explain that all teams that were more than 300 km away the night before had to agree on the time adjustment. But, some teams would not sign on.

Like the Rocket, some games could have started at 3:00 pm – but not all. The Sea Dogs, as they have stated before, did not want flipping start times so they chose to stay with 4:00 pm starts.

“But I really wanted three,” stated Long.

Speaking of the Rocket, Sea Dogs, and schedules, there has been a time change for the September 19 Sea Dogs/Rocket game at Charlottetown Civic Centre. Instead of the usual 4:00 pm Sunday start, the tilt will begin at 7:00 pm. It will be Saint John’s first regular season road game of the campaign.

The Vancouver Canucks Fan Zone portion of their website recently posted a rather descriptive scouting report on Yann Sauve.

“While conventional thinking places him with the Manitoba Moose right away, there is thought that his presence could be seen in a Canucks' uniform very soon,” stated the article.

Our thanks to Cody for sending this in.

Stephen MacAulay reacted to being drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL Draft way back on June 28 to Metro Halifax.

“It’s St. Louis, but it could have been anywhere and I’d be just as happy,” MacAulay said. “I just wanted to be picked.”

“My main goal is to win a championship in Saint John,” he said. “My secondary goals are to keep playing my role, put on some pounds and chip in a little bit more offensively.”

Despite asking just about every Dallas Stars fan that is on Twitter and located around the Frisco, Texas area, Station Nation could find very little on Michael Kirkpatrick’s development camp experience.

“Among the tryout players, one guy who caught my attention was Mike Kirkpatrick, who played for St. John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season,” wrote Mark Stepneski of Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page. “He’s not big (listed at 5-10/175 pounds), but he’s got some nice offensive skills. He’s got a nice shot and just seems to find ways to put pucks into the net. Nice scoring touch and nice playmaker too.”

“He had a sick goal during one of the drills,” said Stars99Lobo37 on Twitter when we inquired about Kirkpatrick. “Didn't practice in the first sessions but played well in the 2nd part.”

Marco Cousineau continues to wear his Saint John gear at Anaheim Ducks development camp.

Halifax Mooseheads play-by-play man John Moore has been tweeting about the cost of bringing import players to the Canadian Hockey League with the Herd awaiting the arrival of Martin Frk.

“SeaDogs selected Stanislav Galiev 1st overall in 09 Import draft,” wrote Moore. “They sealed the deal by agreeing to set his mom up in an apartment in SJ.”

The CHL has Stanislav Galiev’s game worn Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game jersey up for bid on The leading bid is currently at $260.00 with the auction closing on 07/13/2010 at 21:12 EST.

Sea Dogs head coach was given the tough task of being one Bob Probert’s pallbearer's at his funeral on Friday in Windsor, Ontario.

"It is awful news to hear," Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal last week. "He was a great fella and a great teammate. It is just devastating news to hear."

Gallant and Probert were teammates with the Detroit Red Wings for eight years.


Stanislav Galiev and the rest of his fellow Washington Capitals prospects are scheduled to arrive in Arlington, Virginia today for Development Camp. The camp officially begins tomorrow and runs through to July 17 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The camp, which features recent Capitals draft picks, select rookie players and other prospects, includes on- and off-ice workouts led by head coach Bruce Boudreau and his staff.

According to a Capitals press release, confirmed participants are Capitals first-round draft picks Evgeny Kuznetsov (2010), Marcus Johansson (2009), Anton Gustafsson (2008) and Joe Finley (2005). Three participants – Cody Eakin, Braden Holtby and Zach Miskovic – played for the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears during their run to the 2010 Calder Cup. Two players from last season’s development camp played for the Capitals in 2009-10 (John Carlson and Mathieu Perreault).

All development camp on-ice workouts, which will include multiple scrimmages, are open to the public. The off-ice workouts are closed to the public.

Galiev, a third round selection of the Capitals in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, will be one of three players at camp who played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season.

The Capitals released a large and informative media guide for the summer skating session. Here is what it said about Galiev:
Galiev’s friend, Evgeny Kuznetsov, was Washington’s first-round selection in June’s draft and as the two had breakfast the morning of the second day of the draft, Kuznetsov predicted that Galiev would join him in the Capitals organization. Sure enough, his name was called, 60 spots behind his friend. Like Dmitry Kugryshev (but unlike Kuznetsov or Dmitri Orlov), Galiev opted to play junior hockey in North America, and figures to be back with Saint John of the QMJHL in the fall.
Selected first overall in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft last summer, Galiev had a strong season. In 67 regular season games, the right winger registered 15 goals and 45 assists. In the playoffs, Galiev recorded eight goals and 11 assists in 21 matches that helped Saint John reach the league final.


Steven Anthony and his fellow Vancouver Canucks prospects spent the morning dragon boating at Development Camp.

“I was sitting in the second row behind Yann, which was probably a bad idea because he was splashing me like crazy,” wrote Anthony in his fifth blog post. “He was probably doing it on purpose but now I know not to sit behind him on a boat.”

The Saint John Sea Dogs forward went shopping with his roommate later in the day.

“I got a new t-shirt and jeans but I might take them back because I found another pair I like better but we’ll see,” he wrote. “I do have to go back and get a Yankees hat because my other one doesn’t fit. I have a really strange shaped head - not strange shaped but I’m in between sizes and this one actually fits me perfect.”

To read his entire post click HERE.

“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description of the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

Saturday, July 10, 2010



Mountain climbing and a baseball game were included in day four of Vancouver Canucks Prospects Development Camp.

“So I’m sure you’ve all heard that the group took on the dreaded Grind today on Grouse Mountain and I was hoping the second time would be easier and luckily it was,” said Saint John Sea Dogs forward Steven Anthony in his latest blog entry. “But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy - it was just better. The first time, I remember I was going up seeing the sign that said I was a quarter of the way there and thinking that there was still three quarters to go, which meant there was a long way left to go.”

Anthony and his fellow Canucks prospects went to a Vancouver Canadiens baseball game later in the afternoon.

"It was great to see a game in Vancouver because I’m a really big baseball fan," he wrote. "I played baseball most of my life and stopped playing just three years ago. It’s just a really fun sport to play in the summer."

To read his latest entry, click HERE.
“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description of the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

To read his first three blog posts, click HERE.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


In his latest blog post, Steven Anthony discusses the food side of the Vancouver Canucks’ Prospects Development Camp.

“Today we had an “Iron Chef” session up in one of the restaurants at the arena with Chef Brad, who helps make meals for the players during the season,” wrote the Saint John Sea Dogs forward on “They called it the Iron Chef but there was no secret ingredient or Chairman, but there was cooking - not by us, by the Chef.”

Anthony also writes about some solid dishes found in this region.

“There’s an atlantic dish called a donair, which are really bad for you and I haven’t eaten those in a while but they’re a Halifax special that you can get at the pizza places,” he wrote. “They’re very good but not very good for you. I’m hungry thinking about it. I told you not to read this on an empty stomach.”

To read his third entry, click HERE.

“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description of the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

To check out his first blog post about what went down on the opening day of camp, click HERE. To read his second entry, click HERE.



Steven Anthony shared some information about his season in Saint John last year in his latest blog post at

“When we went to the finals last season, we had some increased coverage for sure,” wrote Anthony when discussing the increased media attention at Vancouver’s Prospect Development Camp. “We had more Quebec media and even some national coverage so that was different. It was definitely more than regular season but I imagine there's probably ten times more in the Canucks preseason than our playoffs. The media doesn't scare me though, I know some people do get nervous for media but I don't mind it, I actually really enjoy it.”

“In fact, I think I've got Saint John media on my side,” he wrote. “Because I was injured at the end of the year I didn't play much in the playoffs or even in the month before that so I started to talk to the media guys that travelled with us a lot more. I got to know Tim Roszell, our radio guy and Scott Briggs, who writes for a newspaper really well during that time.”

To read his second entry, click HERE.

“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description of the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

To check out his first blog post about what went down on the opening day of camp, click HERE.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010



Just like Yann Sauve a year ago, a Saint John Sea Dog will be blogging his Prospects Development Camp experience with the Vancouver Canucks.

“Okay, so I don’t have a lot of experience blogging but I know Yann kept a blog last year so it can’t be that hard, right,” said Steven Anthony in his first blog entry. “If he can do it, then I know I can do it better (of course).”

“Steven Anthony chronicles prospect development camp in Vancouver for a week with insights from a player's point of view,” reads the official description if the blog.

Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in the 2009 National Hockey League entry draft, is partaking in his second summer prospect camp in Vancouver.

To check out his first blog post about what went down on the opening day of camp, click HERE.

In three seasons with Saint John, the Halifax native has 45 goals and 63 assists in the regular season and playoffs combined.

- Shout-out to Canucks fan Cody for sending in some info.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Vancouver Canucks Prospects Development Camp opens tomorrow at GM Place in Canada’s 2010 Olympic City.

36 players are expected to be at the camp which, according to Canucks blog The White Towel, begins on Tuesday with off-ice conditioning and goes to on-ice work on Wednesday and Thursday. The group will hike the Grouse Grind on Friday, scrimmage on Saturday and conclude with a three-on-three tournament on Sunday.

One prospect who will not attend the camp – on Canucks managements blessing - is the highly touted forward Cody Hodgson who will stay in Toronto to continue his training. Several top end players will attend, however.

From The Province:

Forward prospects include last year's first round pick (22nd overall) Jordan Schroeder and the Canucks' 2009 second rounder (53rd overall) Anton Rodin. On defence, notable attendees include Vancouver Giants' outstanding D-man Kevin Connauton, last season's fifth-rounder (143rd overall) Peter Andersson, 2008's second round pick Yann Sauve 41st (overall) and this year's top pick, Patrick McNally (115th overall).
In goal, Swedish free agent signing Eddie Lack will also attend.
Sauve, a four year member of the Saint John Sea Dogs, was drafted by Vancouver with the 41st overall selection of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft. In his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career, Sauve has 20 goals and 82 assists in 251 regular season games. In the post-season, he has six goals and 14 assists in 39 games.

Last season, the Rigaud, Quebec native recorded seven goals and 29 helpers in 61 regular season appearances. En route to a six game series loss in the President’s Cup Final, the now-overage defenseman registered five markers and 10 assists.

Sauve signed a contract with Pacific coast club a few weeks ago. He is eligible to return to Saint John for one more season but most predict him to play with the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose in 2010-11.

Manitoba based reporter Ken Wiebe lists Sauve ti make the Moose roster next season in his latest blog post on The Brawl.

Steven Anthony, a seventh round pick of the Canucks in 2009, could also attend the camp. In three seasons with Saint John, the Halifax native has 45 goals and 63 assists in the regular season and playoffs combined.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Marco Cousineau begins his professional hockey journey tomorrow as the Anaheim Ducks begin their annual prospect summer conditioning camp. A total of 31 prospects will participate in both on-ice and off-ice workouts at THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE, according to a team press release.

Cousineau, selected by Anaheim 83rd overall in the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft, was traded to Saint John from the PEI Rocket during the holiday trading period.

In 20 games in with Saint John in the second half, Cousineau went 15-5 with a 2.36 goals against average and a 0.914 save percentage. In the post-season, the Les Cedres, Quebec native went 14-7 while playing in at least a part of every playoff game.

In his four year career in the circuit with Baie-Comeau, Drummondville, PEI, and Saint John, he has a combined regular season/playoff record of 112-93.

The seven-day camp focuses on both the on- and off-ice development of the organization’s top young prospects. In addition to on-ice scrimmage sessions, each player will participate in strength and conditioning drills that allow coaches and management to closely evaluate the progress of each athlete. Along with daily weight and aerobic training, each player will also receive a personally tailored nutritional recommendation and be tested for strength thresholds, range of movement and aerobic capacity.

Playing as an overager with the Sea Dogs last year means that he cannot return to the Quebec Major Junior League this season. It is unlikely “Couzy” makes the Ducks this season, meaning he will play in the American Hockey League or East Coast Hockey League.

Anaheim’s AHL affiliate is the Syracuse Crunch, who, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard, are in need of some solid goaltending.

The most important position in the sport is also the biggest test Anaheim faces in proving that it knows how to put a winner in Syracuse.

Right now, the organization lacks a true No. 3 goalie, which in turn means Syracuse has no No. 1.

Ferguson is encouraged by the promise of two young goalies, Timo Pielmeier and Marco Cousineau. Pielmeier went 27-22-5, 3.29, .883 for Bakersfield of the ECHL as a rookie last season. Cousineau, who will be a rookie this year, was 15-5, 2.36, .914 for Saint John of the QMJHL.

Anaheim has also signed another young netminder, J.P. Levasseur, who has bounced around the AHL, ECHL and CHL the past three seasons. All of these may be candidates for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the organization, but none would be a confidence-building bet to rely upon as an AHL stopper right now.

“One of our goaltenders who is in Syracuse will be there for the purpose of developing and being ready to go to the NHL,” Ferguson said of adding an experienced depth goalie. “The last thing you want to do is have two good prospects in the same place because that cuts down on their playing.”

Thursday, July 1, 2010


From the Sea Dogs' official newsletter, "Dog Bytes":

Sea Dogs mascot Fleaburn will be helping to spread national pride throughout the Port City today when he takes part in the annual Saint John Canada Day Parade!

The parade begins just after 11am in the city's uptown district.

If a video involving a cat and domino's doesn't make you feel patriotic, we don't know what will. Happy Canada Day.