Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FUTURE STILL A FOCUS FOR DOGS

Just in case we all needed some reassurance, the Saint John Sea Dogs organization is very much still committed to the future, a squad that will hopefully be participating as host in the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup at Harbour Station.

Currently sitting first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at the mid-season break, it would be understandable if the Sea Dogs chose to go all in this season during the holiday trading period. But Saint John is still very much committed to hosting - and winning – the Canadian Hockey League’s top prize next season.

Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant told the Moncton Times & Transcript on Monday that the future is still key.

"I don't think we're going to react to anybody," said Gallant. "If it's a smart deal, we're going to do it. If it's not smart in our minds, we're not going to do it. Sure, there's other teams that are going to load up and get better.

"We'll try to tweak our lineup a little, but we really like our team. We're not going to trade our young kids to make deals for one season. We're not going to risk the future of our club. If we can make our team better, we'll do it. If not, we'll move forward and do the best we can."
This is basically the same thing Gallant and director of hockey operations Mike Kelly said last season during the trade period when the Moncton Wildcats loaded up and ultimately beat the Sea Dogs in a six game President’s Cup Final.

The Quebec Remparts sit just two points back of the Sea Dogs for first. The Montreal Juniors are three points back. Last season, thanks to a 22-game winning streak, there was a much wider margin in the race for first than this season. With the Sea Dogs knowing there are at least two teams knocking on the backdoor, could this have an effect on how they swing some deals?

Rogers Sportsnet junior hockey columnist Patrick King shared his thoughts today:

Many predicted the Montreal Juniors and Saint John Sea Dogs would be in the running, but not as many were quick to anoint the perennial contender Qu├ębec Remparts in that same category. All three teams are atop their respective divisions heading into the break with only three points separating them. The Sea Dogs were the class of the league in the regular season a year ago, but were unable to overcome the Wildcats in the league final. There’s a lot to like about Saint John given their experience, balanced lineup and suddenly strong goaltending from former Brandon Wheat King Jacob DeSerres.

The Remparts and Juniors may need to be a little more active in the trade market to match the Sea Dogs’ talent level.
Speaking of the 2012 Memorial Cup bid, Telegraph-Journal columnist Peter McGuire had an interesting tidbit in his annual Christmas gift piece:

Scott McCain - the right to host the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup. The plan all along was to make a bid to host next year's tournament but when the league hiked the hosting fee by 40 per cent, there was some talk of pulling out. Instead, McCain, the team's majority owner, and his fellow members of the local ownership group decided to bite the bullet and submit the bid. With four teams officially in the mix - Halifax, Cape Breton, Shawinigan and Saint John - it is believed the latter two are the frontrunners.
The rate hike was probably part of the financial concerns McCain expressed in an interview earlier this season on News 95.7 in Halifax.

9 comments:

  1. OK year 6 , I'm 52 When is the future here? I'm running out of time!!!! We have the assets to go this and next year. We keep relying on finding a goalie and have NEVER groomed one. What if the year we go all oout there are none to be had?

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  2. You hear the samething year after year its getting tiring.

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  3. Shawinigan 2012! ... I'm from Saint John but I'm sick of letting very good teams slide through the cracks we had one last year and we have one again but while other teams load up and pass us we sit idle with our collective thumbs up our ass because we wanna get the 2012 Mem Cup and sneak in the backdoor!... Likely to lose all 3 games cuz we'll be worried about our future then too!

    Season tickets or not it's becoming very old maybe I'll think twice next season!

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  4. As I understand it, the memorial cup selection committee doesn't announce who the host city is until after the trade deadline. How are the Sea Dogs supposed to decide whether to go for it this year or hold off until next year if they don't know whether or not they'll host the memorial cup next year? Seems like teams are supposed to guess.

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  5. They don't determine a winner until after so maybe a little pie in the eye on the Saint John decision makers would do them some good.

    Most teams that have been in the league long enough understand that their are cycles in Jr hockey and that's how teams win championships. Moncton went 6 games but were easily the better team last season because they were willing to pay the price to win and they did so without Nicolas Deschamps.

    Saint John is not willing to trade their young assets (and they have more than enough) to win a championship so we can expect good teams frequently just never good ENOUGH!

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  6. Wow, a few whiners on here!! The Dogs made the right call last year, we could of sold the future and still lost to the talented Cats in the finals.I believe in Gallant and Kelley and will stand behind any decision they make!!!! Go dogs Go!!

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  7. If their goal is to go for it in 2012 I hope they are smart enough this time around to trade away guys like Despres and Kirkpatrick for assets in 2012, instead of getting nothing for them.

    And to the poster above who said "The Dogs made the right call last year, we could of sold the future and still lost to the talented Cats in the finals." You are correct.

    But we also could have sold Hoffman and Petersen in 2010, and breezed to a title in 2011 as a result of the assets trading those guys would have given us. Instead we got nothing for them when they graduated the Q, and no title.

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  8. We went to the finals last year and lost to a team that completely loaded up. They were the better team, but not by much. IF SJ would have beaten the Wildcats everyone would have looked at the Cats and said they wasted their future for what....?

    This year we have pretty much the same team, but with a lot of experience. We have the skill and now also the experience so it could be a nice run again.

    It would be nice if we can upgrade in certain positions, but if the asking price is too high (like last year) what do you do?

    Would be nice if Sauve was thrown in our lap. That would help us out big time without having to give anything up.

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  9. i need to put my input into this,i think the boys have a leitmite chance to win it all, we need 3 trades or singings or some luck, i dont no much about this oullete kid, i would love to see yan return, but we need to make a move to bring in another sniper and a grinder, heres what i think, kirk gali jurc line, heubi philli toni line then the gauts thomer n maci, then have a legit 4th line i love the kid line (fourth line) but jason cameron can stay and get a beauraguard form rouyn, i no the dogs signed Ben Miller in the offseason i say we call him up for the fourth line cause he has experiance he can play and a sj product have tes in and out of the line up.D-core despres nate the great 28, durepos gags, if yann comes back i belive we could make bourret expendable as well as deserees kelly dares etc.to bring in a anther highly skilled dmen and goalie if oullete doesnt comprimise but if kridier comes he probly wont then no deals n we go to the mem... sorry for the long rant and probably alot of jibburish.

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