Only one more sleep until opening night in the Canadian Hockey League.
The Saint John Sea Dogs will host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the lone game in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It’s Banner Night at Harbour Station with the team sending its 2012 President Cup banner into the rafters. Game time is 7pm. Tickets are listed as “good” on the Harbour Station website.
Every team in the QMJHL plays on Friday night.
CBC Radio Yukon’s show “Airplay” has, according to this post on their website, adopted the Sea Dogs as their junior team for the winter. The Sea Dogs’ Mark Gamble explains the very basics of the team and the league in an interview posted here.
The CHLPA continues to be bizarre. They’ve been operational for a little while now yet it is still a mystery and they don’t seem too interested in giving the public – or anybody, for that matter – any clues.
In a post at The Pipeline Show, Guy Flaming details his adventure in trying to land an interview with someone from the CHLPA. It didn’t happen. The most disturbing thing from the post is a text they received from an agent.
"Wow, a CHLPA guy walks in on team unannounced as they're having dinner after a game tonight. Introduces himself by saying 'Hi, I'm Jake but please call me John'. Handed these guys a sheet asking them all to sign. No info, no details... nothing. YIKES!! Left guys more confused.”
Yikes. No clue what is going on with this thing.
Hockey’s Future calls Simon Despres the best pro prospect in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
“On most other teams Despres would be fast-tracked to the NHL, as he has little left to prove in the minors,” writes Ian Altenbaugh. “However, because Pittsburgh is fairly deep with mobile defensemen, he would have spent most of 2012-13 in the AHL regardless of a lockout.”
Former Sea Dogs captain Alex Grant was named the best pro unsigned prospect in the Pens system. Grant is not signed for the 2013-14 campaign yet.
“For the 2012-13 season, Grant will have to not only replicate his production from the previous season, but be a more dominant all-around defender,” writes Altenbaugh. “Recently re-signed to a one-year deal, Grant will be a restricted free agent in 2013-14, and with so many defensemen in the Penguins' system, several of which are scheduled to go pro in 2013-14, he must make his mark this coming season or risk no longer being a part of the Penguins' long-term plans.”
Hockey Prospectus has named Simon Despres the third best prospect in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
“Despres is a very toolsy defenseman who can flash high-end offensive skill and skating ability, which when you combine with the fact he's 6'4'', makes for a very desirable player,” writes Corey Pronman. “He's got the offensive tools to dazzle, be it putting the defense on their heels with a fast rush, or being able to dangle and quarterback from the blue line. Despres seemed to improve his playmaking to his teammates this past season. He has a solid physical game.”
The “Big Horse” recorded five goals and 10 assists in 44 games with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last season. He also had a goal and three assists in 18 games with the NHL’s Penguins.
Former Sea Dogs defenseman Eric Gelinas is featured in this promo video for UniversHockey.ca.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation