Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highlights And Lowlights Of 2013

The Sea Dogs went 16-48-1-3 in the year 2013 and were also swept in a playoff series. But you know what? There were some good things that happened in 2013. But there were also some bad things. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights from the past year as well as a look ahead to 2014.

The Highlights
The 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft – It’s far too early to declare this draft a success, but it certainly looks like a good one. Noel, Thompson, Chabot, Dove-McFalls, Joseph, and others look like a solid foundation for this team’s rebuild.

Stephen MacAulay – The Sea Dogs traded the 20-year old to his hometown Mooseheads where he helped the club win their first President Cup and Memorial Cup not long after the passing of his mother. Definitely the feel good story of the year.

NHL Success – 2013 wasn’t the greatest year for the current edition of the club, but it was a great year for many former Sea Dogs. Several former Dogs made it to the NHL, highlighted by the performances of Jonatan Huberdeau, Charlie Coyle, and Eric Gelinas who are now regulars with their respective clubs. Huberdeau winning the Calder Trophy was a big deal.

Other Success – Travis Fullerton won another CIS Championship with the UNB Varsity Reds, Tomas Jurco won the Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Stanislav Galiev helped the Reading Royals win the ECHL’s Kelly Cup, and Robert Mayer won the Spengler Cup today.

Poutine – It finally arrived at Harbour Station.

2017 – The team announced that their goal is to host and win the Memorial Cup in 2017.

The Alumni Game – What a cool event this was and what a stacked roster the Sea Dogs had. Not many CHL teams have events like this. Huge props to everyone involved.

Sebastien Auger – What a goaltender. One of, if not the best this team has ever had. After all the struggles the Sea Dogs have had with developing goalies, it’s great to see Auger among the best in the QMJHL.

The Lowlights
The Ryan Tesink trade saga – What a mess this thing was. It was embarrassing for everyone involved - particularly the way the league handled it.

Mike Kelly fired – I know some fans were pleased that he was dismissed, but any time a coach/GM is fired it has to be considered a lowlight.

The 2013 CHL Import Draft – The Sea Dogs used the ninth overall pick in the Import Draft to select Slovakian forward Juraj Siska who is still recovering from a neck/back injury. He’s yet to play a game in Saint John and it’s unclear when or if he will.

Attendance – Not a huge surprise but attendance is down and so is interest in the team. Hopefully the Dogs have a big off-season and fire up the hype machine for next season.

What to look forward to in 2014
The rise of the rookies – They’ve had the first half to get comfortable, now we’ll see what kind of impact the rookies on this year’s Sea Dogs team can have on the squad in the second half and next season.

New GM – This will be interesting. Hard to say who will be running this ship a year from now.

The 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft – Let’s face it – the Sea Dogs will have another high draft pick in this year’s draft and potentially the No. 1 overall pick. That is exciting.

The 2014 CHL Import Draft – The Sea Dogs will have a high pick in this year’s Import Draft. Here’s hoping they go big this time around.

Eichel Watch – If this team can get Jack Eichel to report to Saint John, we can basically call the year 2014 a success.

10th Anniversary – It’s hard to believe, but the 2014-15 season will be Saint John’s 10th in the QMJHL. I assume some neat stuff will be happening for that.

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