Florida Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen is comfortable with Jonathan Huberdeau starting the year in junior and had some high praise for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
“I feel that for one he’s part of a program that’s one of the best-run in the country, they’re an extremely well-run organization, they’re a fabulous ownership, they’re well coached, theirs is an area that Brian Skrudland spends time through, organizationally working with Craig Slaunwhite, myself that the trick is not to overwhelm somebody with a lot of information. One of the kid’s best strengths is his natural ability to play the game and his creativity. Some times you’re not sitting there teaching people those things. The level of talent would obviously not the same as the AHL but he’s going to get out there and work on areas he needs to work on and keep building up his strength which is something we’ve always encouraged.”
Huberdeau will be allowed to join the Panthers whenever the lockout ends. Florida was scheduled to start the regular season on October 13 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
CTV Atlantic had a feature on Huberdeau during last night’s newscast.
“There’s the benefit of having a high end player for sure, but it’s better to have a high end person,” said head coach and general manager Mike Kelly to CTV. “He’ll be good for our young guys to learn from.”
Kelly was also on CBC Radio’s Information Morning today to discuss Huberdeau. It’s a good listen.
No. 11 is expected to be in Saint John's lineup Thursday night at Harbour Station for the Sea Dogs' season opener against Bathurst.
In related news, the Panthers have laid off their mascot. These are dark days.