Now, to the links!
- The Canadian Press’ annual QMJHL preview came out on Tuesday. If you haven’t heard, Jonathan Huberdeau will start the season in Saint John. ''Our approach is that we have him week to week,'' said coach and general manager Mike Kelly. ''We've got some tremendous kids and the exciting thing about Jonathan is he's an even better person than he is a player. He's humble and hand-working, so it's easy for our young kids to get to know him.''
- At Sportsnet.ca, Patrick King writes that the time has come for Saint John to give up their powerhouse status. “Huberdeau and his team may now be ready to pass the torch to another Maritimes Division team and star,” writes King. “The Halifax Mooseheads and their sophomore sensation, Nathan MacKinnon, proved to be quick studies as evidenced by their improbable run to the league semi-finals last season.”
- Over on the Sherbrooke Phoenix blog at NRJ Radio, they have the Sea Dogs finishing 10th overall in the league.
- At The Hockey Writers, Fred Poulin has the Sea Dogs finishing 12th. “The team has lost many key elements in Charlie Coyle, Nathan Beaulieu, Zack Phillips, Danick Gauthier and Tomas Jurco,” writes Poulin. “Already this year, Oliver Cooper, Spencer Smallman, Matthew Highmore and Olivier Leblanc will have quality playing time.”
- RDS' Stephane Leroux has Saint John finishing 10th as well.
- The Times & Transcript’s Neil Hodge has the Sea Dogs finishing fourth in the Maritimes Division. (paywalled)
- Hockey’s Future has a QMJHL preview. “It might take some time before the Sea Dogs are once again competing for the President's Cup, but if anyone can build a contender, it is GM/Head Coach Mike Kelly and his staff,” writes Kevin Forbes.
- Over at Hockey Sense, they have the Sea Dogs finishing third in the division behind Halifax and Moncton.
- Steve Turcotte’s season preview in Le Nouvelliste reminds us that the Sea Dogs could get a huge return on the trade market at Christmas time if the NHL lockout is still going on.
- All Habs has a Maritime Division preview. “As generous as the last handful of years have been to the Sea Dogs, this season will start what is about to get as bumpy as most roads in this province,” writes Kathy K. “Saint John may be able to count on a few returnees, especially in light of the lockout, but they will have to work much harder than in recent history to even contend.”
So there you have it. Most have the Sea Dogs finishing around 4th in the division and between 10th-12th overall. That sounds reasonable.