SAINT JOHN – Kevin Gagne gave a few waves to a cheering crowd as he was named the Saint John Sea Dogs’ hardest working player in a 5-1 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night. As it turned out, that would be the final time Saint John fans got to see Gagne in a Sea Dogs uniform.
The team announced soon after Friday night’s game that the 20-year old defenseman had been traded to the Rimouski Oceanic along with a sixth-round pick in the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. In return, the Sea Dogs received Rimouski’ first- and sixth-round picks in the 2013 draft and Cape Breton’s fourth-round pick in 2014.
Gagne has been with the Sea Dogs since the 2008-09 season and is one of the few players remaining from the Jacques Beaulieu era. He’s never been the star of the team, but has always been providing steady defensive play and, especially over the past couple seasons, helping out offensively. Gagne is easily one of the best skaters in the league. He leaves with two President Cup championships and a Memorial Cup title.
Gagne, a second-round pick of Saint John in 2008, his currently second in defensemen scoring with 34 points in 31 games.
“Kevin Gagné has not only been an outstanding player, competitor and leader for the organization for the past four and a half years, the example he provided defines how a young man should handle himself through the struggles of establishing himself as player for the Saint John Sea Dogs as well as through the good times of winning championships,” said Sea Dogs Head Coach and General Manager Mike Kelly in a team release. “His example of humility and selflessness in all situations is remarkable while his professionalism is certainly beyond his years.”
The Edmundston native will be going to a good organization, an organization the Sea Dogs defeated in four games to win the President Cup last year. The Oceanic currently sit second overall in the league with a 23-10-1-3 record.
“We wish Kevin all the best in the future and find it difficult to thank him enough for everything he has added to the Sea Dogs organization,” Kelly added.
The Oceanic visit Saint John on February 10. Rimouski’s lineup also features former Sea Dog Scott Oke and former Sea Dog draft pick Maxime Gravel.
The league's holiday trading period begins tomorrow. The question isn't if the Sea Dogs will make more moves, but when.