Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sea Dogs Will Celebrate Twice

SAINT JOHN – The 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup Champions have finally announced how they will honour their achievements from last season.

The Saint John Sea Dogs today announced that when they host the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Saturday, October 29 their championship banners will be raised to the rafters of Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs should be raising four banners on Banner-Raising Night as Maritime Division, Regular Season, President’s Cup and Memorial Cup Champions.

Along with the banners being raised, the champions of the Canadian Hockey League will also receive their commemorative rings.

With so many of the returning players heading to National Hockey League training camps, the Sea Dogs were put in an awkward situation. If they chose the traditional route and raised the banners on opening night, only a small number of returnees would be there to witness the celebration.

“This was a difficult decision but it’s the price of success,” said Sea Dogs President Wayne Long in a release. “To have this many returning players attract the interest of NHL teams is unheard of. We felt we owed it to our players, and owed it to our fans, to delay the banner raising until the core of that championship team is back to enjoy it.”

Opening Night will still feature some events to commemorate the Sea Dogs’ championship campaign. Both the President’s Cup and Memorial Cup will be in house and there will be a special video presentation highlighting the incredible 2010-11 season.

Saint John opens the season on Thursday, September 8 against the rival Moncton Wildcats.

This is the right move by the Sea Dogs. With so many players returning a few weeks after the season opens, it just makes sense to wait. It’s also nice to see Opening Night will still feature some celebrations as well.

Plus, waiting until Chicoutimi is in town gives the Dogs a chance to honour Gabriel Bourett. The defenseman was traded to the Sagueneens at the draft.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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