Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

The 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge is coming up and members of Team Canada will head to Toronto on Thursday to prepare for the event. The team will practice on Friday at the MasterCard Centre.

Saint John Sea Dogs captain Jonathan Huberdeau will be playing for Team Canada. Other QMJHL players include Charles Hudon, Xavier Ouellet, Phillip Danault, and Maxime Lagace.

The Canada-Russia Challenge will replace Team Canada’s usual summer evaluation camp. There will be four games with the first two in Russia on Aug. 9 and 10 and the final two in Halifax on Aug. 13 and 14. Tickets are still available for the Halifax games.

According to Hockey Canada’s release today, all four games will carried by TSN and RDS.

The Florida Panthers website had an article on Huberdeau last week. He had some kind words for the Sea Dogs organization, a team he could end up returning to if the NHL goes dark this fall.

“It was a great organization; they have great coaching so it was great to be there,” recalled Huberdeau. “They knew what you had to do to prepare for the NHL, which was great. All my teammates, we had a lot of fun together, it was just great to be there.”

The Hockey Writers also had a piece on Huberdeau in an article about Panther prospects.

“His hands are incredible, allowing him to maneuver the puck between defenders with ease but it’s his vision and creativity that makes him such an offensive wizard,” writes Adam Stafki. “Too put it simply, he is a playmaker in its purest form.”

And in other Panther news, they were ranked first in ESPN's organizational rankings again.

The Ottawa Senators website had an article on former Sea Dogs forward Mike Hoffman. He made his NHL debut with the Sens back in December and, obviously, is looking for a roster spot this year.

"I think I'm right there," Hoffman told the website when asked how close he is to achieving his National Hockey League dream.

"He is a guy who, after he came out of the Quebec league, had to make the adjustment to the AHL," said Randy Lee, the Senators' director of hockey operations and player development. "He did the adjustment, did well in the playoffs, had a limited role but built on that role. He had a pretty good year last year, got the game up (in the NHL) and did well against Carolina."

Hoffman, who spent the 2009-10 season with the Sea Dogs as an overager, recorded 21 goals and 28 assists in 76 games with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators last year. He went pointless in his one NHL appearance.

Remember Angelo Esposito? He’s the guy you booed at Harbour Station before Hugo Laporte and the 2012 Shawinigan Cataractes came along.

Esposito’s pro hockey career hasn’t exactly gone well. A former first round pick who has been hurt by injuries, Espo will be heading to Finland to play hockey next year. Puck Daddy has the full story.

He spent time with the AHL’s Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage last year as well as the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. He played with the Quebec Remparts and the Montreal Junior during his four-year Q career.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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