Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cereal Meets President's Cup


If you are in the Shediac area tomorrow, the town will be honouring Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Pierre Durepos.

According to the Times & Transcript, “Shediac is organizing a meet and greet session with him on July 31. An autograph and photo session will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the Shediac Multipurpose Centre at 58 Festival St. There is no entrance fee.”

"It's definitely a special honour for me. It shows that my small little community really supports me and is really proud of what I accomplished this year," he told the T&T.

Durepos, who played in every game in the Sea Dogs' championship season, tweeted the above photo today featuring some Cheerios in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s President’s Cup.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook

WELCOME THE ICECAPS


St. John’s new American Hockey League team was officially named the IceCaps today. They also unveiled their snazzy new logo (above).

Sea Dogs all-time leading scorer Michael Kirkpatrick was signed by the new Winnipeg Jets affiliate several weeks ago.

PRE-SEASON TICKETS
Sea Dogs pre-season tickets went on-sale to season ticket holders on Monday. The general public will have an opportunity to purchase tickets to the team’s exhibition games on August 2 at the Harbour Station box office, online, or by phone.

Saint John will play two pre-season games at Harbour Station, two on the road, and one at the Quispamsis qplex. The Dogs host Moncton on August 20 and Bathurst on August 31 while the team will host PEI at the qplex on August 27.

Tickets to the August 27 game in Quispamsis can be bought on August 1 at the qplex.

CUP VISITS PEI
The Memorial Cup continues to make its rounds to the hometowns of each Sea Dogs player. On Tuesday, the trophy visited Jason Cameron on Prince Edward Island.

"Getting the Cup again was just like reliving the moment," said the Sea Dogs forward to the Journal Pioneer.

Cameron is one of the few Islanders to ever win the Canadian Hockey League’s top prize.

"It's pretty special to be one of the few to bring it back to the Island," he added.
Cameron missed the Memorial Cup due to a bruised kidney.

CUP VISITS COLE HARBOUR
The Memorial Cup also visited Nova Scotia this week. Yesterday, Cole Harbour Place was the place-to-be as Stephen MacAulay brought the trophy home.

“Right away, when we found out it was coming for a couple of days, my (family) and myself thought it would be good to get everyone involved and be interactive with family and friends,” MacAulay said to Metro Halifax. “What better way to do it than where I grew up playing hockey?”

MacAulay, a St. Louis Blues prospect, stated that his goal is to play in an NHL exhibition game this season. He is expected to return to Saint John for another year following Blues training camp.

Metro also reports that Steven Anthony had his day with the Cup today.

CUP COMING TO GAGETOWN
According to this news release, the Memorial Cup will be visiting CFB Gagetown on August 10.

For more info, contact the Public Affairs office at local 2466 or by email at gagepublicaffairs@forces.gc.ca.

Puck Drop Dinner Details


The Quispamsis qplex posted the above photo on their Twitter account today, releasing some details about the Saint John Sea Dogs’ Puck Drop Dinner this August.

Click the photo for a larger version.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christian LaRue Is Back In The Q

Christian LaRue is returning to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Quebec Remparts announced today that LaRue will join the club as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. According le Journal de Quebec, the move has been rumoured for a while.

LaRue was the first head coach in the history of the Saint John Sea Dogs franchise, guiding the expansion team to a woeful 15-47-2-6 record and were one of only two teams to miss the playoffs.

LaRue was fired just after the 2005-06 QMJHL regular season came to a close.

"It's tough when you let someone go who has as much passion for the game as Chris La Rue," said then Sea Dogs general manager Bob "Tipper" LeBlanc in a team release on March 20, 2006. "However, I'm convinced this is the right direction for our hockey club."

"With the way we played, particularly in the second half of the season, it was evident the message wasn't getting across to the players. Quite simply, we just didn't see enough improvement in certain areas with our hockey club."

Before joining the Sea Dogs, LaRue spent several seasons behind the Moncton Wildcats’ bench. Prior to the Wildcats he worked with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

It’s been an eventful off-season for former Sea Dogs coaches. Jacques Beaulieu is now the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting and Jim Midgley joined the Halifax Mooseheads as an assistant coach.

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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Training Camp Schedule: Week 1


The tentative schedule for week one of Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp was revealed in a package sent to season ticket holders this week.

Training Camp for the Sea Dogs’ seventh season begins Wednesday, August 17th. All of the events – with the exception of the August 19th pre-season contest in Moncton – take place at Harbour Station.

Here is the schedule for week one:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
10:00 – 11:45 am: Goalie Session
11:00 – 12:00 pm: Scrimmage
2:00 – 2:45 pm: Goalie Session
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Scrimmage

Thursday, August 18, 2011
10:00 – 11:45 am: Goalie Session
11:00 – 12:00 pm: Scrimmage
2:00 – 2:45 pm: Goalie Session
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Scrimmage

Friday, August 19, 2011
10:00 – 11:15 pm: Pre-game skate
11:30 – 12:45 pm: Practice non-dressing players
7:00 pm: Sea Dogs @ Moncton Wildcats
Following their August 19th exhibition game in Moncton, the Wildcats and Sea Dogs meet again on Saturday, August 20 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs website has an updated roster for the pre-season which includes prospects and free agents.

Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sea Dogs In NHL 12 Trailer


Winning the Memorial Cup gets you a lot of things. Among those things apparently is a spot in an "NHL 12" video game trailier.

Via GameTrailers.com, here is the trailer featuring the Saint John Sea Dogs' Memorial Cup win over the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some Key Dates

The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a bunch of key dates this afternoon regarding pre-season festivities.

Here are the dates that were announced:

July 25 – Pre-season tickets available to season-ticket holders
August 1 – Sea Dogs in Quispamsis pre-season tickets available at the qplex
August 2 – Tickets to all three home pre-season games available to public at Harbour Station
August 5 - Season-ticket payments due (box office)
August 17 - Training camp opens
August 22 - Flex package pick-up & redemption (Sea Dogs office)
August 27 - Individual regular-season game tickets on sale to general public
September 8 - Opening Weekend Fan Fest (Harbour Station 4:30-6:30 p.m.)
The Sea Dogs’ pre-season schedule:

Friday, August 19 – Saint John @ Moncton, 7 p.m. (Red Ball Internet Centre)
Saturday, August 20 – Moncton @ Saint John, 7 p.m
Saturday, August 27 – P.E.I. @ Saint John, 7 p.m. (qplex)
Sunday, August 28 – Saint John @ P.E.I., 7 p.m. (UPEI)
Wednesday, August 31 – Acadie-Bathurst @ Saint John, 7 p.m.
Saint John opens the regular season on September 8 at 7:00 pm when the Moncton Wildcats visit Harbour Station.

Development Camp Update

Minnesota Wild Development Camp came to an end yesterday with another scrimmage at the Xcel Energy Center.

After losing on Saturday, Team White got their revenge on Sunday by posting a 3-2 victory.

Saint John Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips found the scoreboard yet again for Team Green on Sunday. From the Wild website:

But Granlund and the Greens weren't done yet as they made it 3-2 with plenty of hockey to play. Granlund centered a perfect pass from behind the net to Zack Phillips, who crashed the crease and one-timed the pass into the net for his third goal of the weekend to lead all scorers.
Despite losing the scrimmage, Team Green would win the shootout. Phillips did not score in the breakaway contest.

Here are the highlights:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Development Camp Updates

(Note: Thanks to our NHL blogging pals for their help in our coverage of Development Camps.)

IN MINNESOTA


Saint John Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips potted a pair of goals in Saturday’s Minnesota Wild Development Camp scrimmage. The game, played in front of 3,300 fans at the Xcel Energy Center, ended in a 5-5 tie.

From the Wild website:

Team Green finally got on the board a minute later when Zack Phillips -- the second of the Wild's two first round selections in the most recent draft -- potted a goal thanks to some puck luck. Traffic in front deflected a shot by Marco Scandella to Phillips, who was all alone at the right circle.

That goal capped first half scoring.

"I try and be an offensive player so it was good to get a couple goals for the fans out there today," Phillips said. "That was important to me, so I'm glad they went in."
Team Green was then down by two but scored three straight to take a 5-4 advantage late in the contest.

Phillips struck again, capping a pretty 2-on-1 rush after a great pass through the defenseman by Kris Foucault.

"Foucault made a nice pass to me, I thought he was going to shoot but he made that nice saucer pass and I just slapped at it and it went in," Phillips said of his second tally.
Team White tied it late to end the game in a 5-5 tie. There was a shootout after the match and apparently Team Green “dominated.”

Here are the scrimmage highlights:

VIDEO: One-On-One With Despres

The Pittsburgh Penguins website posted a one-on-one interview with Simon Despres.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lots Of Scrimmages Today


A number of scrimmages take place today as National Hockey League Development Camps come to an end.

The Washington Capitals will hold their final scrimmage of camp this morning at 10:00 am local time at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

“Tomorrow's going to be a big scrimmage and I'm looking forward to that,” wrote Saint John Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev in his blog entry yesterday. “I'm a little bit sad, because camp is almost over. We're going to get ready for tomorrow's game and then we're leaving after the game.”

Along with the scrimmage, the Capitals are also holding a fan fest today.

At Minnesota Wild Development Camp, their first of two scrimmages takes place this morning at 11:00 am local time at the Xcel Energy Centre. The second scrimmage will be held tomorrow morning.

According to the Wild website, Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips will play for Team Green along with Cody Almond, J.T. Brown, Brett Bulmer, Jack Connolly, Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Tyler Cuma, Kyle Medvec, Marco Scandella, Nick Seeler, Jared Spurgeon and Matt Hackett. Team White will feature Charlie Coyle, Justin Fontaine, Mario Lucia, Carson McMillan, Chad Rau, Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin, Chay Genoway, Sam Lofquist and Darcy Kuemper.

The Wild website will streaming both contests.

Lastly, Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp comes to an end today with a scrimmage at CONSOL Energy Center. Game time is 3:00 pm local time.

Penguins HD Radio, which is available on the team’s website, will have coverage of the event.

Simon Despres, Nick Petersen, and Alex Grant are all in attendance.

Sea Dogs Notebook

PETER LOU IS GONE
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.

WAYNE LONG Q&A
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.

RUSSELL ON THE DOGS
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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Development Camp Updates

PANTHERS CAMP CLOSES
Florida Panthers Development Camp came to a close today.

“Last day was great,” tweeted Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau today. “Had the chance to play with the boys! Team B won!!.. Thanks for the week #FlaPanthersfans we appreciate the crowd!”

Huberdeau and fellow Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi have become quite popular on Twitter because of their constant chirping at each other over the past week.

“I have to say that @JonnyHuby11 has very good English,” tweeted Grimaldi today. “Hes a great guy. I love the kid. A great week of chirping is over.”

"I like this guy. He's small, but really quick, creative and has a good shot,'' Huberdeau said to the Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He has a great future.''

Grimaldi was selected by the Panthers in the second round of June’s NHL Draft.

WILD STUFF TOMORROW
After a week of practicing and workouts, the Minnesota Wild prospects at Development Camp will play scrimmage matches on both Saturday and Sunday at the Xcel Energy Centre.

Both scrimmages begin at 11:00 am local time. On Saturday, fans in attendance will get a Devon Setoguchi t-shirt and on Sunday a Danny Heatley t-shirt. Fun stuff.

According to the Wild website, Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips will be on Team Green.

If you are interested, the Wild website will be streaming both scrimmages.

Pre-Season Ticket Info Released

According to the Harbour Station website, tickets to the Saint John Sea Dogs’ pre-season home games go on-sale to the general public on August 2nd. Season tickes holders will have tickets made available to them on July 25th.

Tickets go on sale at 10:00 am at the Harbour Station box office, by phone, and online. Seats cost $5 for season ticket holders and $9 for the general public.

The Sea Dogs will play two pre-season games is Saint John. The first match will be held on August 20th against the Moncton Wildcats and the second on August 31st against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

The Memorial Cup Champions will play as the home team in one other game as well. The Dogs take on the PEI Rocket at the Quispamsis qplex on August 27th.

Ticket information about that game was also revealed today. Tickets will go on-sale on August 2nd with no mention of any pre-sale date for season ticket holders. Seats will cost $10.

The qplex holds somewhere around 1,500 people. The contest will be general admission with no reserved seating. Tickets can be purchased at Harbour Station or the qplex.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Development Camp Updates

GALIEV’S BLOG


Stanislav Galiev has posted the fourth entry his blog on the Washington Capitals website.

Now we’re going to play paintball. We played paintball last year and it was really fun. We played Team USA against Team World and the players from Europe and Canada were on a team together. I hope it’s not as hot as it was last year. I think everyone lost five or six pounds just sweating so much, it was so hot out. But, I think it’s going to be a fun day.
It was Day Four at Capitals Development Camp and it featured the second scrimmage. After losing the first scrimmage yesterday, Team White got some revenge today by defeating Team Red 4-3 in a shootout.

Here is Galiev speaking to the media:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Development Camp Updates

OFF-DAY AT PANTHERS CAMP


It was an off-day at Florida Panthers camp but it was still quite eventful. The prospects – which include Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau – spent the day on the beach and buying groceries.

According to the Panthers website, the “training session came as they hit Deerfield Beach for a round of stretching and drills, conditioning run and then some fun as they split up into groups of five and six to battle it out in beach volleyball and beach football.”

The group then split into groups with half taking some cooking lessons and the other half getting some shopping lessons.

The players return to the ice tomorrow.

Also making news at Panthers camp has been the Twitter chirping between Huberdeau and fellow 2011 draftee Rocco Grimaldi.

Huberdeau also made a tweet today referring to Connor Brickley, a US college player who the Sea Dogs own rights to.

“Give a follow to my boy @ChairJordan23 , got drafted by the sea dogs ! We should try to get him,” he wrote.

MacKinnon is a Moosehead


Nathan MacKinnon is officially a Halifax Moosehead.

The 15-year old phenom from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia had his rights traded from the Baie-Comeau Drakkar to the Mooseheads in exchange for forwards Carl GĂ©linas and Francis Turbide as well as Halifax's 2012 and 2013 first round picks and the Quebec Remparts' first selection in 2013. Halifax acquired Quebec’s top pick in a trade yesterday that saw Adam Erne sent to the Remparts.

The Drakkar made the gutsy move of selecting MacKinnon first overall at June’s QMJHL Entry Draft. He was by far the best prospect available but all reports prior to draft indicated that if Baie-Comeau went through with picking him he would choose to play in the United States next year.

Now that he has been swapped to his hometown Mooseheads he is, not surprisingly, playing in the QMJHL next year.

“It was nothing against Baie-Comeau,” MacKinnon told Metro Halifax. “It was a decision to either go to college or the Q and the trade happened. Everything just kind of unfolded for me to go the major junior route.”

MacKinnon had 39 goals and 85 points in 34 games with Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Minnesota last season. He has often been compared to that other guy from Cole Harbour and is already considered a top five pick for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Obviously, having a player of this calibre in the QMJHL is good news.

"The fact that Nathan MacKinnon will play for a team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League next year is fantastic news for our league," said QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau in a release. "I would like to salute the excellent work of both organizations."

The deal has rejuvenated the Mooseheads fan base that has watched some terrible hockey over the past three years. But with a promising core of forwards featuring MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Andrew Ryan, Luca Ciampini, and Martin Frk, the Herd have set a foundation that looks similar to the one of the 2011 Memorial Cup Champions.

The Moose make their first trip of the season to Saint John on Saturday, November 12.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Development Camp Updates


GALIEV’S BLOG
Day Two of Washington Capitals Development Camp is in the books. Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev is blogging all week on the Capitals website and posted his second entry today.

Nothing happened last night because we were tired. Again, I played a couple games of FIFA and I won and everyone got mad again, so I should stop playing. The team dinner had good food and then I went with Orlov and Kugryshev to get some pizza, so it was a good evening with us.

Read the full entry over on the Capitals website.

Photos from Day Two can be found over at Russian Machine Never Breaks.

Here is Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau discussing today’s events at the camp.

Plainville in Blainville


The team formally known as the Montreal Junior and formally, formally known as the St. John’s Fog Devils announced their new name today.

At a press conference at Centre d'Excellence Sports Rousseau this morning, it was announced that the Blainville-Boisbriand Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team will be called the ‘Armada.’

According to our boy Nick over at Hockey Points, the name means “force, cohesion, unity, and the pooling of forces....like a fleet of ships entering combat". Armada is also a Nissan car brand.

Along with announcing the team name, they also unveiled their logo and jerseys. Their choice of colour scheme has created quite a bit of discussion around the internet.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Development Camp Updates

CANUCKS CAMP CLOSES
Vancouver Canucks Development Camp ended today with the annual ‘Grouse Grind.’

According to the Canucks website, “as has been the case the past few years, the prospects were put into groups of five or six. Whichever group collectively got to the top of the Grind first would be crowned the winner.”

“The players that do it for the first time really can’t appreciate it how difficult it is,” says Canucks Director of Player Development Dave Gagner. “They’re told by the other guys, but until you’ve done it…it’s quite an experience for them.”

Sea Dogs forward Steven Anthony along with former goaltender Karel St. Laurent both took part in the camp.

KINGS CAMP OPENS
Los Angeles Kings Development Camp opened today and features Sea Dogs defenseman Pierre Durepos who is attending as a free agent invitee.

It is a quick camp as it began today Group A practicing, a game, and the Group B practicing. It all wraps up tomorrow with Group B practicing first, followed by a game, and then Group A hitting the ice. Fun stuff.

According to the Kings website, today’s scrimmage ended in a 3-3 tie.

WILD CAMP BEGINS TOMORROW
Minnesota Wild Development Camp begins tomorrow and runs until July 17. Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips will be taking part in the camp.

“Under the direction of Aeros Head Coach John Torchetti and the Wild's Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir, the group will spend three days on the ice practicing, before the pair of scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday,” states the Wild website.

There will be scrimmages on both Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

PENS CAMP OPENS TOMORROW
Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp begins tomorrow and it will have plenty of Sea Dogs content.

Defensemen Alex Grant and Simon Despres along with forward Nick Petersen will all be taking part. Grant and Petersen both played professional hockey last season while Despres dominated the QMJHL back in likely his final year of junior.

According to the Pens website, “in addition to the on-ice portion of camp, the group of rookies and prospects participating in development camp will take part in medical and fitness testing, workouts, meetings and seminars at CONSOL Energy Center.”

The first on-ice practice is tomorrow from 2 - 4 pm local time at the CONSOL Energy Center.

PANTHERS CAMP
Florida Panthers Development Camp opens tomorrow at 9 am local time at the Saveology.com Iceplex. According to the Panthers website, “two additional on-ice sessions will be held at the Saveology.com Iceplex on Thursday, July 14 at 9 a.m. and Friday, July 15 at 9 a.m.”

Highlighting the camp will be the Panthers top pick in this year’s draft, Jonathan Huberdeau. Also attending will be Connor Brickley, a college player who the Sea Dogs own rights to.

“There won’t be much body contract, but there will be a lot of skating, shooting and passing,’’ assistant general manager Mike Santos said to the Miami Herald. “We have a plan in place and part of that is to draft well. We have brought in 23 players in the past two drafts. Now we have to develop these young guys. We have 13 picks in the top three rounds of the past two drafts. That’s two drafts worth of players in the top three rounds. We have as good a group of prospects as anyone. The excitement now turns into developing them.’’

Galiev Blogging From Caps Camp

Saint John Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev is blogging from Washington Capitals Development Camp. The Russian forward, along with fellow camper Patrick Wey, posted their first entry today on the Capitals website as camp kicked off at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.

Here is an excerpt from Galiev’s portion of the post:
Last night at the hotel we had a good dinner and afterwards I went over to Orlov and Kugryshev’s room to play FIFA Soccer but since I beat them every time they got mad at me and just said “get out and goodnight.” There is no point in playing against me – I always win.
Read the full post over at the Capitals website.

The prospects have been split into two groups. Group A practiced at 9:45 am and Group B at 2:00 pm. We believe Galiev is in Group B.

Entering his second Development Camp with the Capitals and following a solid season in Saint John, Galiev will be put under the microscope much more than last year. The Washington Post lists him as a ‘player to watch’ and the Caps blog Japers’ Rink has him in the ‘all eyes will be on’ category.

The camp continues tomorrow with Group B practicing in the morning and Group A taking to the ice just before noon. Wednesday will feature an intrasquad scrimmage.

If you are on Twitter, SN friend Emily from Japers’ Rink hooked us up with a list you may want to follow for camp coverage.

Photo Credit: @cnichols14

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook

THE ICE CAPS
It’s looking more and more likely that Michael Kirkpatrick’s new team will be called the Ice Caps.

The St. John’s Telegram newspaper has been speculating about the new American Hockey League team name for a few weeks now and it’s looking like ‘Ice Caps’ will be the name of the Winnipeg Jets’ affiliate.

As you can see in The Telegram comments section, there are plenty of negative opinions about the name choice. As they point out, there is no escaping the connection between the name and Tim Hortons.

It was announced a few weeks ago that Kirkpatrick, the Saint John Sea Dogs’ all-time leading scorer, had signed a two-year deal with the team formerly known as the Manitoba Moose. On July 1, the Cape Breton Post had article on the North Sydney native signing with the AHL team.

“It was a good deal and to play in St. John’s, it’s pretty close to home and I know some people over there, so it’s going to be a great experience for me,” he said. “I played over there when they had the Fog Devils and it’s a great hockey city.”

NEW MASCOT PERSON
Sea Dogs mascot Fleaburn posted this on his Facebook page yesterday:

Hello all, want to thank everyone for adding me as a friend and for all the pictures and messages you posted over the last 2 years, just wanted to let you know I will be closing this page by next weekend, so once again thanks to you all.

Fleaburn clarified in the comments section that the mascot will be staying but the person inside will be changing.

The fury beast replaced Splash as Sea Dogs mascot at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. Fleaburn quickly became one of the top mascots in the league and was a massive improvement over Splash.

Thanks for your hard work. You will be missed.

DRAFT STUFF
The Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov was quite impressed with the Sea Dogs showing at the NHL Entry Draft.

Having Nathan Beaulieu (17th, Montreal) and Zack Phillips (28th, Minnesota) also go in the first round, as well as Tomas Jurco (35th, Detroit) early in the second round, made for an incredible showing by the Sea Dogs. Ryan Tesink also went in the sixth round to the St. Louis Blues, giving Saint John five drafted players. It doesn’t get much more impressive than that.

He also noted that Jonathan Huberdeau was the highest QMJHL player taken in the draft since Sidney Crosby went first overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 2005.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Development Camp Updates

DeSERRES DOING WELL
Former Sea Dogs netminder Jacob DeSerres is one of four goaltenders taking part in Phoenix Coyotes Development Camp. DeSerres earned a free agent invite to the camp.

“I’m just trying to be myself and work hard,” said DeSerres to Coyotes.com. “I’d do that either way. I wouldn’t work less hard if I wasn’t trying to earn it (a spot in the organization), but it's still just a different mindset in your head, because you’re thinking you want to be part of this full-time, you don’t just want it to be a one-time experience.”

The Coyotes blog ‘Five For Howling’ was quite impressed with DeSerres today.

“Almost a complete 180 from Day 1,” writes Carl Putnam. “I thought he was the better of the two goalies on Day 2. His rebound control and lateral movement appeared to be much better. His body movements, his all exuded a confident goalie. On a number of occasions he displayed excellent patience by not going down too quickly with forwards coming in close. Given his history, it shouldn't be a surprise the guy bounced back after a not so great day.”

The players hit the ice for 90-minutes today. The camp wraps up on Sunday.

JURCO IN TRAVERSE CITY
Tomas Jurco is currently attending Detroit Red Wings Development Camp in Traverse City. Selected 35th overall by the Red Wings in last month’s draft, this is Jurco’s first NHL camp.

The camp began yesterday and runs until July 14.

Speaking of Detroit, Puck Prospectus named their organization the best in terms of prospects.

The Tomas Jurco Wannabes


We’ve all heard it a hundred times now – Tomas Jurco doesn’t want to be known as just some viral video guy. The Saint John Sea Dogs’ skilled Slovak wants to known as a good all around hockey player as well.

“On the one hand, I’m happy for it,” said Jurco of his first viral video to the Detroit Free Press. “But on the other hand, I don’t like to be called YouTube sensation. I’m trying to be good hockey player.”

Jurco, coming off an up-and-down season with Saint John, was selected 35th overall by the Detroit Red Wings during last month’s National Hockey League Entry Draft in Minnesota. He is currently attending Red Wings Development Camp in Traverse City.

Obviously the Red Wings see more in Jurco than just a YouTube star. Detroit general manager Ken Holland told The Detroit News that he has not even seen the video.

Ever since the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January - where Jurco was filmed doing some tricks in the dressing room of the Air Canada Centre – his popularity on the internet has gotten bigger. A lot of his older videos, like his unreal shootout move in Cape Breton, have over one-hundred thousand hits.

While there are now dozens of Jurco highlight packs on YouTube, there are also plenty of people that try to recreate the dazzling dangles. These are their stories.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

DEVELOPMENT CAMP UPDATES

DUREPOS AND THE KINGS
Sea Dogs defenseman Pierre Durepos will be attending Los Angeles Kings Development Camp next week. The camp runs from July 11-12 at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. Here is the full schedule from the Kings website:
Monday, July 11:
Group A – Practice, 8:00-9:15 a.m.
Game – 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Group B – Practice, 10:45-Noon
Tuesday, July 12:
Group B – Practice, 8:00-9:15 a.m.
Game – 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Group A – Practice, 10:45-Noon

Other notables participating in the camp include Nicolas Deslauriers, Jean-Francois Berube, and Chris Gibson.

“Once the draft was over and I wasn't taken I thought I'd probably get the opportunity to get a tryout somewhere,” said Durepos in a interview with the Kings blog Mayor’s Manor. “Fortunately for me, two or three days later one of the scouts for LA called me and asked if I was interested in going to the camp. It was a no-brainer for me. Obviously I wanted to go to an NHL camp, so I was pretty happy.”

PENS CAMP SCHEDULE
Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp will once again have a high dosage of Sea Dogs flavour.

Defensemen Simon Despres and Alex Grant along with forward Nick Petersen all received invites according to the Penguins website. The camp runs from July 11-16 at the new CONSOL Energy Centre. There will be a scrimmage on the 16th that is open to the public.

It will take a miracle for Despres to return to Saint John next season. After dominating the QMJHL last year, the ‘Big Horse’ will be moving onto the pro-ranks this season.

Grant, who was Sea Dogs captain for the 2007-08 season and parts of 2008-09, spent much of last season recovering from a nasty hit he took at the annual London, Ont. rookie tournament. He played in 14 regular season games with the East Coast Hockey League’s Wheeling Nailers, recording three goals and two assists. In 17 playoff games he registered two goals. He also played four games with the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins but had no points.

Petersen, who played his overage season in Saint John in 2009-10, had a productive year offensively. In 40 games with Wheeling he had 24 goals and 33 assists. With Wilkes-Barre he recorded five goals and nine assists and added two more markers in the post-season.

COYOTES CAMP
Phoenix Coyotes Development Camp kicked off today with a 90-minute on-ice session at Polar Ice in Peoria.

Former Sea Dogs goaltender Jacob DeSerres, a free agent invitee, is one of four goaltenders at the camp. Louis Domingue of the Quebec Remparts, Team Canada’s Mark Visentin, and Michael Lee from St. Cloud State are the others.

The camp continues tomorrow with another 90-minute on-ice session.

DOGS MAY WAIT TO RAISE BANNERS

It doesn’t look like the Saint John Sea Dogs will be raising any banners on opening night, reports the Telegraph-Journal.

"We'd like to wait certainly until the core of our group is back and that will probably be early October," said Sea Dogs president Wayne Long.

The 2011-12 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League schedule was released yesterday. The Sea Dogs open the season on Thursday, September 8 at Harbour Station when they host the Moncton Wildcats. With so many players attending National Hockey League training camps in the fall, Saint John’s lineup for the first few weeks of the season will be quite depleted.

It does make sense to wait, but is a bit bizarre to not raise championship banners on opening night.

The Sea Dogs have four banners to raise as Maritime Division, Regular Season, President’s Cup and Memorial Cup Champions.

Saint John plays six home games in October with the earliest being October 8 against Rimouski. Their final home game of the month is October 29 against Chicoutimi.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

KEY DATES FOR THE 2011-12 SEASON

After some delay, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finally unveiled their 2011-12 regular season schedule today.

With the Lewiston Maineiacs (RIP) now gone, the league will be made of 17-teams this season. A total of 578 games will be played with each team having 34 home and 34 road dates.

Here are some of the key dates on the Saint John Sea Dogs’ schedule:
  • As the league champion does every season, the Sea Dogs will open the year on a Thursday prior to the rest of the league kicking off. Saint John will host the rival Moncton Wildcats for their home opener which will take place on September 8 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs will raise a number of banners that night, most notably the President’s Cup and Memorial Cup ones.
  • Because it wouldn’t the regular season without Saint John playing in Bathurst on the first Friday night of the campaign, the Sea Dogs will travel north to play the Titan on September 9.
  • For the third straight year, Saint John’s first Quebec road game will played against the Montreal Junior franchise. The Junior relocated to Blainville-Boisbriand making the Wednesday, September 28 contest the first time the Sea Dogs will play in the city.
  • Saint John’s first three-game Quebec road swing will played from September 28 to October 2 with stops in Boisbraind, Drummondville, and Victoriaville.
  • The Victoriaville Tigres, who Saint John eliminated from the playoffs last year, make their return to Harbour Station on Sunday, October 9.
  • Saint John visits Gatineau on October 12 in a rematch of the President’s Cup final.
  • Because of arena renovations, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will start the season with a 12-game road trip. The Sea Dogs will play in the Huskies home opener on October 14.
  • According to the Halifax Mooseheads Twitter, the Herd will likely host their ‘Pink in the Rink’ game on October 21 against Saint John.
  • Patrick Roy and the Quebec Remparts make their first appearance at Harbour Station on Sunday, October 23.
  • Gabriel Bourret and Guillaume Cloutier return to Saint John as members of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Saturday, October 29.
  • If the Baie-Comeau Drakkar pull off a miracle and somehow woo Nathan MacKinnon to join their club, they play at Harbour Station on November 13.
  • We’re predicting that the Wednesday, November 16 game against Rouyn-Noranda will be the least attended game at Harbour Station this season.
  • The game we’ve all been waiting for happens on Saturday, December 3 as the Memorial Cup hosting Shawinigan Cataractes make their first of two Saint John appearances. The Cataractes come to town again on January 12.
  • The Sea Dogs close out the first half with three straight road games.
  • There are no games scheduled between December 19 and 26 due to the Holidays.
  • The annual Sea Dogs-Wildcats New Year’s Eve game will be held in Moncton this year. Game time is 7:00 pm. The two rivals meet again on January 2 at Harbour Station for an ultra-rare Monday game.
  • Gatineau visits Saint John on January 4.
  • The new Blainville-Boisbriand franchise make their first and only Harbour Station appearance on Sunday, January 29.
  • Saint John will play their first of two road games in Shawinigan on January 4. They will return to the Memorial Cup host cite on March 11.
  • The Sea Dogs’ final regular season home game takes place on Saturday, March 3 against Bathurst.
  • The Dogs will close out the season with five straight road games. Their seventh season ends on Saturday, March 17 in Cape Breton.
  • The playoffs will likely start on Friday, March 23.

Sea Dogs training camp will open sometime in mid-August. Their pre-season schedule was released a couple of days ago.

Is it August yet?

QMJHL Releases 2011-12 Schedule

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has released their 2011-12 regular season schedule, and the Saint John Sea Dogs will open their title defense against a familiar foe. The Moncton Wildcats will visit Harbour Station on Thursday, September 8th, to witness the Sea Dogs raise their President’s Cup and Memorial Cup banners. It’s the lone game on the opening day of the QMJHL season. A fitting opponent for the Sea Dogs to host while raising their banners, given that they didn’t get a playoff rematch after the Wildcats defeated them in the 2010 Finals to win the President’s Cup.

The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst to open their road schedule against the Titan the following day, September 9th. Other notable games on Saint John’s schedule include a rematch of the 2011 Finals when the Sea Dogs visit Gatineau on October 12th. The Olympiques make their only trip to the Port City on January 4th. 2012 Memorial Cup hosts, the Shawinigan Cataractes, will be in Saint John on December 3rd. The Sea Dogs will visit the host city on February 4th.

Will Sea Dogs fans get their first look at Nathan MacKinnon on November 13th when Baie-Comeau comes to town? Probably not. Check out the full schedule, as well as the team-by-team schedules. If you missed it earlier this week, the league also released the preseason schedule.

Photo credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Monday, July 4, 2011

PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE RELEASED

SAINT JOHN – It’s been awhile since the Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats have met in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season.

But the two rivals will get acquainted on the first day of the pre-season schedule this year as they do battle at the Red Ball Internet Centre on Friday, August 17 at 7:00 pm. They meet the next night at Harbour Station at the same time.

The Sea Dogs will play the Wildcats and PEI Rocket twice and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan once.

Saint John will play three of their five games at non-QMJHL rinks. Along with playing at the Red Ball Internet Centre in Moncton, the Sea Dogs will hold a game at the new $24-million multi-purpose facility 'qplex' in Quispamsis on August 27.

“Our great fans stretch beyond the Saint John city limits,” said Sea Dogs President Wayne Long in a release. “Hundreds of dedicated supporters from the Kennebecasis Valley and other nearby areas travel to see our games all season long. The qplex is an incredible facility and a new focal point for the community in Quispamsis and the surrounding areas. This is a great opportunity to take a major junior game right to their backyard.”

The Dogs will also face the Rocket at the University of Prince Edward Island’s MacLauchlan Arena.

The full pre-season schedule can be seen below:

Friday, August 19 – Saint John @ Moncton, 7 p.m. (Red Ball Internet Centre)
Saturday, August 20 – Moncton @ Saint John, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 27 – P.E.I. @ Saint John, 7 p.m. (qplex)
Sunday, August 28 – Saint John @ P.E.I., 7 p.m.
Wednesday, August 31 – Acadie-Bathurst @ Saint John, 7 p.m.

The QMJHL’s regular season schedule, which was delayed after the Lewiston Maineiacs (RIP) folded, should be released shortly.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CBJ CAMP COMES TO AN END

The 2011 edition of Columbus Blue Jackets Development Camp came to a close yesterday with a scrimmage at the Ice Haus, the team’s practice facility at Nationwide Arena.
Two Saint John Sea Dogs participated in the camp. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, a 2010 Columbus draft pick, and forward Mike Thomas, a free agent invite who recently signed with the clubs American Hockey League affiliate.

The camp began on Tuesday and wrapped up yesterday afternoon.

According to the Jackets website, goaltenders Mathieu Corbeil, Martin Ouellette and Allen York rotated between the teams throughout the scrimmage. The teams played two 25-minute halves that featured 5-on-5 and 4-on-4 play, as well as alternated 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 power play opportunities of one-minute each for a period late in the second half.

Thomas was on the losing side as Team White beat Team Blue 8-4. The former Sea Dogs captain made it a 2-2 game just 2:47 into the second half when he "completed a two-on-one break with a snap shot that beat York.”

Here are the highlights:


Saturday, July 2, 2011

DEVELOPMENT CAMP UPDATES

ANTHONY, ST. LAURENT GET INVITES
The Vancouver Canucks’ annual summer development camp will begin this Tuesday, July 5. According to the team’s website, “the camp will consist of on- and off-ice sessions throughout the week with activities that will showcase the city of Vancouver, including hiking the Grouse Grind and Dragon Boating at False Creek.”

34 players received invitations including two that spent time with the Sea Dogs last season. Forward Steven Anthony, drafted by the Canucks in 2009, and goaltender Karel St. Laurent, a free agent invite who spent most of the year playing Junior ‘A’ hockey in Surrey, British Columbia.
Anthony had 23 goals and 37 assists in 61 games with the Dogs last year. He added five goals and seven assists in 14 playoff games before going down to an injury.
St. Laurent started the season in Saint John but was the odd-man-out in the team’s overage situation. In 32 games in Surrey, St. Laurent had a record of 19-12-1 and a 2.74 goals against average.

CBJ CAMP UPDATE
Columbus Blue Jackets development camp comes to a close today with an afternoon scrimmage at the Ice Haus, the club's practice rink at Nationwide Arena.

Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Mathieu Corbeil and former team captain Mike Thomas are both taking part in the camp. Corbeil was drafted by the club in 2010 while Thomas recently signed a contract with the Blue Jackets American Hockey League affiliate.

Here is the Jackets goaltending coach talking about some stuff as well as some video of Corbeil in
action.



And here is a video that features Mike Thomas (#83) doing some skating drills.



Friend of the blog, @CBJProspects, tweeted “Corbeil sure seems to flop around a lot but could've been just how it was in the drills.”

@CBJProspects was kind enough to share some photos. You can check them out on the SN Facebook page.

OKE AT STARS CAMP
Dallas Stars orientation camp began yesterday in Frisco, Texas. According to the team’s website, “the daily schedule includes both on-and off-ice workouts, with all on-ice practice sessions open to the public. The camp will conclude with a skills event at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, July 7.”

Sea Dogs forward Scott Oke was a free agent invite to camp after not being selected in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Other notables at the camp include Moncton’s Olivier D’Aoust, Gatineau’s Hubert Labrie, and Victoriaville’s Troy Vance.

SENS CAMP
Ottawa Senators development camp is in full swing. The camp began on June 28 and wraps up on Monday with a three-on-three tournament.

Former Sea Dog Mike Hoffman, drafted by the Sens in 2009, is taking part in the camp. Hoffman recorded seven goals and 18 assists in 74 regular season games in Binghamton last year. In the playoffs, the Kitchener native helped the Baby Sens capture the Calder Cup with a goal and eight assists in 19 games.

“Scored a really nice goal on a lightning fast release,” wrote the Senators blog Silver Seven following day three of camp. “I like this guy and wish there was room for him. He’s one of those guys who will be a better NHL player than an AHL player.”

SensTV has video from the first few days of camp.