Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Alumdate: Sea Dogs in the NHL

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By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

Today we take a look at the former Sea Dogs who are currently playing hockey in the top three professional leagues in North America this season. In an upcoming report, Station Nation will review Sea Dogs alumni playing in various professional leagues overseas.

In the show
Nathan Beaulieu is learning the ropes in the hockey-crazed market of Montreal. Early in training camp, reports began to circulate that - on the heels of the mega trade of PK Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber - Canadiens' GM Marc Bergevin had received multiple trade offers for Beaulieu. However, hard work and a strong pre-season propelled Beaulieu into a top-pairing assignment with Weber. The budding defenceman has continued his strong play into the regular season - as witnessed by an assist and a +5 rating in the Canadiens first two games. 

During the pre-season, Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau shifted Charlie Coyle between center and the wing. But coach Boudreau has decided to keep Coyle and his 6-foot-3, 218-pound frame on the wing. 'Sir Charles' had a career-high 21 goals and 42 points in 2015-16 and has a goal and an assist in two games played this year.

Despite being held pointless in Ottawa's first two regular season games, Mike Hoffman is a threat to score virtually every time he is on the ice. Reports from NHL analysts have suggested that Hoffman may be among the top five shooters in the NHL due to his uncanny ability to unload an extremely hard shot while in full flight.

Injury bugs attack former Sea Dogs
As reported previously, Florida Panthers star Jonathan Huberdeau suffered a severe leg cut in a freak accident, which was hauntingly similar to the injury suffered by current Sea Dogs forward Mathieu Joseph last season. Huberdeau is expected to miss three to four months of action - but he can take some solace in the full recovery made by Joseph.

Per theScore.com, Anaheim Ducks defender Simon Despres will see a specialist after suffering from symptoms typically associated with a head injury in the absence of recent trauma - according to Ducks general manager Bob Murray after the Ducks’ first game. Murray didn't say Despres had a concussion, but referenced the concerns from last season, when he missed half the year with a diagnosed concussion. Despres didn't take a shift in the third period on opening night.

Tomas Jurco is recovering from back surgery and will likely stay out of the Detroit Red Wings lineup until November.

Healthy scratches
Following a trade from the New Jersey Devils to the Colorado Avalanche, defender Eric Gelinas has some difficulty getting into the lineup on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Gelinas has yet to see any regular season action with the Avalanche.

Much to the chagrin of the current Sea Dogs faithful, defenceman Thomas Chabot is still waiting to see his first NHL regular season action as well. GM Pierre Doiron has indicated that Chabot will likely get into up to nine NHL games before a final decision is made for this season. Many expect Chabot to play in the World Junior Championship with Team Canada and then return to Saint John for the stretch run. 

Close but no cigar ...
Three Sea Dogs alumni were late cuts from their respective NHL training camps and are currently playing in the American Hockey League. Stanislav Galiev was assigned by Washington to the Hersey Bears; Brett Gallant was assigned to the Cleveland Monsters by Columbus; and Alex Grant is playing for the Boston Bruins’ farm team in Providence.

East Coast is the best coast ...
Five more former Sea Dogs have began the season in the East Coast Hockey League. They are:
Mike Kirkpatrick - Florida Everglades
Stephen MacAulay - Florida Everglades
Danick Gauthier - Norfolk Admirals
Ryan Tesink - Wichita Thunder
Sam Povorozniouk - Missouri Mavericks

Charlie CoyleMIN2112
Nathan BeaulieuMTL2011
Simon DespresANA1000
Mike HoffmanOTT3000
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Jonathan HuberdeauFLA----
Tomas JurcoDET----
Eric GelinasCOL0000
Thomas ChabotOTT0000

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