Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook

Rogers Sportsnet made the unbelievable decision this week to part ways with play-by-play man Peter Loubardias.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog reported Wednesday night that Loubardias was no longer with the network. The Calgary Herald confirmed that Thursday, stating Sportsnet had “parted ways” with him.

Along with calling Calgary Flames games, Loubardias has been the voice of Canadian Hockey League events, games, and the Memorial Cup for, like, forever. His passion for junior hockey was obvious when watching his broadcasts.

Loubardias told the Calgary Herald yesterday that he was devastated by his dismissal.

"I have treasured the opportunity to cover eight Memorial Cups," he said. "That's hard for me to even talk about. I have been so lucky to be involved with the national broadcast of that tournament. To think next year in Shawinigan that's going to be somebody else, that one really hurts. That one really stings."

We honestly didn’t think it was possible to make Sportsnet’s CHL broadcasts worse. Somehow, they have managed to do so. Loubardias was one of the few people on Sportsnet who had a clue about junior hockey.

The New Brunswick Business Journal had an interesting question and answer session with Saint John Sea Dogs president Wayne Long. Among other things, Long talks about the Sea Dogs’ trying times in their first two seasons in Saint John.

“Actually no,” Long said when asked if it was a clean ride to the successful organization they are today. “By the end of our second year we were like a ship taking on water. I would go as far as to say on the edge of bankruptcy. We were a team that had lost a significant amount of money.”

The Globe and Mail reported basically the same thing back in March of 2010.

Halifax Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell went on The Rick Howe Show on News 95.7/91.9/88.9 earlier this week to talk about Nathan MacKinnon and the upcoming season. He had some nice things to say about the Sea Dogs.

“Cam Russell says Saint John even if Huberdeau doesn't come back will be a top team in the country again,” tweeted Rick Howe.

Hockey’s Future has a breakdown of how the QMJHL did at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in June.

“Nathan Beaulieu might be the only other QMJHL prospect close to making the leap to the NHL,” writes Kevin Forbes. “With that said, it's more than likely that the smooth-skating defenseman will return to the powerhouse in Saint John.”

Along with analyzing the top picks, they have some interesting facts and stats. Here is a look at how each QMJHL team did at the draft.

5 - Saint John
3 - Drummondville, Shawinigan, Victoriaville
2 - Halifax
1 - Baie-Comeau, Cape Breton, Chicoutimi, Gatineau, Montreal, Val d'Or
0 - Acadie-Bathurst, Moncton, PEI, Quebec, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda
Sticking with Hockey’s Future, they have begun to post team-by-team reviews of the draft.

From the Florida Panthers draft review:

Panthers’ Assistant GM Mike Santos said recently that the team has left one or two spots open for a young forward to make the team this fall. Whether or not Huberdeau is able to fill one of those spots will be determined not by his skill, but by his size and strength. If he can work hard this summer to add muscle weight, it is possible he makes the team. If not, he will likely see a couple of games at the start of the season before returning to his QMJHL team for another year of growth and dominance.
Here are the reviews for the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild.

The Memorial Cup will be going on tour in Quebec. Here is the release from the league:

MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions' Metropolitain Tour is a unique opportunity for sports fans of all ages to meet future hockey stars close up. Team players Simon Després, Jonathan Huberdeau, Alexandre Beauregard, Éric Gélinas, Gabriel Bourret, Mathieu Corbeil and Danick Gauthier are eager to share their experience while signing their fans' hockey memorabilia. The event will also highlight the collective and individual honors of hockey players since their beginnings in the local minor hockey league.

From July 21st to 24th, 2011, these upcoming young players will drop by key locations in several cities of the Metropolitanarea. The tour will kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 21st at Manoir Nissan in Repentigny, followed at 6 p.m. by a visit with the St-Jérôme Panthers at the Melançon arena. On Friday, July 22nd at 9:30 a.m., the Vickings will welcome the Tour at the St-Eustache arena. They will stop for lunch at 1:30 p.m. at Houston's in Centropolis Laval. Saturday morning, the Tour will hit the South Shore, dropping by A. Roy Sports in Greenfield Park at 9:30 a.m. and Gold's Gym in the Quartier DIX30 in the afternoon. Finally, a special event is scheduled for Sunday, July 24th, at the Laval town hall where the players will attend a civic ceremony at 9 a.m. followed by an autograph signing session.

The Tour will conclude for a closing event at 1:30 p.m. at the Excellence Rousseau complex in Boisbriand where amateurs will be invited to skate casually among athletes. SportEvenz wishes to thank its partners for their contribution in making this an outstanding event: Houston in Centropolis Laval, Quebecor Media, Gold’s Gym Prestige Quartier DIX30, Manoir Nissan, A. Roy Sports, Melançon Arena, St-Eustache Arena, CKAC Sports, Excellence Rousseau Complex, Michel Dupuis Services Financiers Inc., the St-Jérôme Panthers, PLB Graphique, RDS, the Vickings as well as the Cities of St-Eustache and Laval.
For more information, please contact Sabrina Vincent by email at or by phone at 514-842-0303. To view the schedule, visit

The Ottawa Senators website had an article of former Sea Dogs sniper Mike Hoffman posted yesterday.

"Everything's just a process and a stepping stone along your career," said Hoffman who won the Calder Cup with the Binghamton Senators this season. "I guess it just keeps building up and it seems to get a little bit easier once you get through a couple of (development) camps. It'll lead right into main camp in September.

"Every year is different. Every year, you're going to get better and bigger and stronger. You're going to be playing junior, then going to the pros. It's just a process."

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