Monday, June 18, 2018

Huberdeau inducted into Sea Dogs Hall of Fame

SAINT JOHN - Jonathan Huberdeau became the first inductee into the Saint John Sea Dogs Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Trade and Convention Centre.

The induction capped off a two-and-a-half hour ceremony that featured several speeches, hot stoves and a ring ceremony for the 2016-17 Sea Dogs team.

The most notable part of the evening - other than Huberdeau's induction - was probably the fact that Mike Thomas was announced as the second inductee into the Hall. There will presumably be some kind of ceremony for Thomas in the future.

Here are a few other news and notes from the evening:

  • According to a Sea Dogs release, 14 former players were in attendance: Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Thomas, Zack Phillips, Bailey Webster, Thomas Chabot, Bokondji Imama, Simon Bourque, Phil Richer, Alex Leduc, Dave Comeau, Kyle Ward, Mathieu Joseph, Chase Stewart, and Samuel Dove-McFalls.
  • Current players and prospects greeted fans as they entered the venue on a red carpet.
  • The Sea Dogs held a development camp at the qplex over the weekend, and those players were in attendance. Many speeches made mention of them, and there were moments where the event felt like a recruitment tool.
  • The event had a cool feel to it with the 2018 draft class in attendance. It really felt like the franchise's culture of success was being handed off to them.
  • The videos created for the evening were excellent. Also played was the QMJHL's 50th anniversary video, which was played at the Draft. If you haven't seen it, you'll probably be fired up enough to run through a wall after watching it.
  • Memorial Cup champions Mike Thomas, Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau were on one stove while the other featured members of the 2016-17 QMJHL championship team: Mathieu Joseph, Kyle Ward and Thomas Chabot. Tara Slone form Hometown Hockey hosted the discussions.
  • Chabot, as expected, did not go into great detail when asked about how this past season went for him. His current team, the Ottawa Senators, is on fire.
  • One of the better (and perhaps cheesiest) videos of the night came from Mike Kelly and Gerard Gallant, who coached Huberdeau during his Sea Dogs days and again with the Florida Panthers.
  • Sea Dogs CEO and majority owner Scott McCain said during his speech that the Sea Dogs will again bid to host the Memorial Cup - but only if the team is ready. The next time the QMJHL will host (following Halifax in 2019) is 2022.
  • Former Sea Dogs assistant coach Greg Leland, who was Huberdeau's billet dad, had the longest and most emotional speech of the night.
  • A Sea Dogs release stated that over 500 people attended the event.
  • There still haven't been many details released about the Hall itself.
  • I don't know if this format will be a yearly event, but it was very well done. Very few teams (if any) in the CHL hold events like this.

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