Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

The Sea Dogs close out the pre-season tomorrow afternoon against the Halifax Mooseheads. The Dogs and Moose battle at 4pm at Harbour Station.

The teams were scheduled to play last night at the Halifax Forum but close to half of the Mooseheads were suffering from the flu, forcing the exhibition game to be cancelled. Halifax general manager Cam Russel told the Chronicle Herald that it was just too complicated to try and call up replacement players for the contest.

The regular season begins Thursday at Harbour Station with Saint John hosting the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7pm.

With the NHL lockout approaching, the Florida Panthers officially loaned Jonathan Huberdeau to Saint John on Wednesday. Huberdeau has been taking part in Sea Dogs training camp and played in last Saturday’s pre-season game against the Moncton Wildcats.

“Huberdeau, 19, who is expected to make the parent club this season, can't play in the AHL because he's under 20,” writes Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun Sentinel. “However, he can return to the Panthers as soon as training camp begins.”

Hockey’s Future has an article on the looming lockout and what it will mean for junior hockey.

“For a team like Saint John, Huberdeau's return also provides an unexpected boost as they look to reload their roster,” writes Kevin Forbes. “Saint John is already saying goodbye to NHL prospects like Charlie Coyle (Minnesota), Zack Phillips (Minnesota), Tomas Jurco (Detroit), Stanislav Galiev (Washington) and Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal) as they all move on to pro hockey as 20-year-old's. Like Niagara in the OHL, Saint John is a team that might have normally considered rebuilding but could have a different outlook with Huberdeau in the line-up.”

The Patriot Ledger has an article on Charlie Coyle and his thoughts on the lockout.

“This was going to be my first time, and I was excited to go out there and experience everything,” Coyle said about his first season in the pro ranks. “Now, all this (labor uncertainty) has come up, and they haven’t agreed on anything yet, so things are getting cancelled along the way.”

Coyle is expected to be playing for the Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, this season.

Coyle is the third best prospect in the Wild organization, according to Hockey’s Future.

“Coyle could use more speed and does not always show the best hands as a shooter,” writes Peter Prohaska. “He was able to knock players around in Saint John, and though still putting on mass, he will have to find new ways to be effective in pro hockey. That said, he has a good toolkit, and a year in the AHL would allow him to learn the pro game without too much pressure.”

Zack Phillips was named the seventh best prospect.

“While he needs to work on some aspects of his game, a similarly-dominant performance on the score sheet is certainly within his reach as an Aero next season,” writes Prohaska. “He seems to have the talent and character to make the necessary improvements.”

Hockey’s Future named former Sea Dog Mike Hoffman the 13th best prospect in the Ottawa Senators organization.

“Another highly-skilled player with an excellent shot and puck skills, the always-dangerous Hoffman will be entering his third professional season and will look to make it tough for the organization to send him back to the Baby Sens,” writes John Henkelman. “He nearly doubled his point total and tripled his goal tally with a 21 goal, 49 point season and received a one-game NHL audition.”

Hoffman recorded 21 goals and 28 assists in 76 games with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators last year. He went pointless in his lone NHL appearance.

Former Sea Dog sniper Scott Howes has signed with the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans. The Americans are the CHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

“Having a playoff MVP gives us the leadership and experience that is vital to what we want to ultimately achieve as an organization,” said Americans Coach Steve Martinson. “We are excited that Scott looked at what the Americans have to offer from quality of life to AHL opportunity and choose to sign here in Allen Texas.”

Howes spent last season with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He registered two goals and two assists in six ECHL games and 11 goals and 11 assists in 49 AHL games.

With the Sea Dogs in 2007-08, Howes registered 42 goals and 28 assists in 59 regular season games. He added 15 goals and 11 helpers in 14 playoff contests.

The Pictou Advocate had an article on Jordan Moore earlier this week. Moore played two regular season games and four playoff games with Saint John last season.

“That was a really good experience,” Moore said about his time with the Sea Dogs.

Moore will play for the MHL’s Pictou County Weeks Crushers again this season.

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