Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

Saint John’s pre-season continues tomorrow night with a game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Tracadie-Sheila. Game time is 7pm.

The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0 in pre-season play and are coming off a 6-5 loss to the PEI Rocket on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Titan are 2-0-0 thanks to back-to-back wins over the Moncton Wildcats over the weekend.

After tomorrow’s game, the Sea Dogs will take a break. Main camp begins on September 4.

News broke yesterday that the Florida Panthers had cancelled their annual rookie tournament due to the CBA garbage. It was to take place from September 15 – 19 and would have featured the Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, and Boston Bruins.

The Red Wings cancelled their Traverse City rookie tournament last week for the same reason.

The CBA expires on September 15. Depressing times are ahead. Luckily the QMJHL’s regular season begins on September 20 in Saint John.

The Minnesota Wild website had a Q & A with Charlie Coyle on Monday. He spoke about his “Sir Charles” nickname.

“I don’t know if it was during the playoffs or regular season or what,” said Coyle. “I don’t even know who came up with it, but someone brought it up and it kind of stuck. So, I guess that’s my first nickname. Guys had some fun with that, calling me it.”

The State of Hockey News, a Wild blog, ranked the best prospects in the Minnesota system. Coyle was ranked third.

“I think Coyle is another year away from playing in the NHL, and I think he'd be better served by playing top line minutes on the Aeros then receiving 4th line minutes on the Aeros,” writes Derek Felska. “I think he'll get a call up or two if he's playing well in Houston, but he has tremendous Top 6 potential.  This is why the Brent Burns' trade was worth it!”

Zack Phillips came in at No. 11.

“He has terrific hands, can handle the puck as well as just about any other Wild prospect and has a knack for finding the open areas of the ice,” writes Felska. “Yet the skating issue will severely limit his versatility at the next level and until he gets it resolved it’s tough for me to call him a sure-fire NHL prospect.”

It was Minnesota Wild day on NHL.com today. Two Sea Dogs were listed as top prospects with Coyle coming in at No. 3 and Phillips at No. 5.

"His skill set with his size and strength, they're just so hard to come by," assistant GM Brent Flahr told NHL.com about Coyle. "Moving to Saint John, he was able to play with some great players and at the same time take his offensive game to another level."

"Zach is a high-skill forward with very good hands and offensive sense. He is a terrific power play player and produces points. He's a very intelligent, competitive player, so we're excited about him," Flahr said.

If you haven’t heard, some people (nobody is quite sure who) are apparently trying to start a Canadian Hockey League Players Association. As far as we can tell, the entire thing is a mess and nobody seems to have any idea what is going on.

Here’s Jeff Marek talking about it on Sportsnet.

The CHLPA’s Facebook page has some info on what they are trying to do. Former NHLer Georges Laraque was named the Executive Director of the CHLPA today.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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