Where have all the Bulldogs gone?

Posted: 2010/03/12 by Dannie in 2009-2010 Regular Season, Hamilton Bulldogs
Tags: ,

Two short years ago when the Cyclones were hoisting the Kelly Cup above their collective heads, there were several players on the ice who drew a helping of their income from the powers that be in Hamilton and Montreal, including Kelly Cup MVP Cedrick Desjardins, Mathieu Aubin, David Desharnais, Jon Gleed, and Ryan Russell. Throughout most of the first two years of the affiliation between the two organizations and the Cyclones, and to a lesser degree, the third (2008-09), a healthy showing of NHL prospects have walked through the doors of US Bank Arena. Several have gone on to see a flash of hope in the NHL (Greg Stewart, David Desharnais, JT Wyman), and handful others are knocking on that same door.

This year, however, le bleu-blanc-et-rouge is sparsely represented in Cincinnati. Currently the only player in the locker room trickled down through those ranks is Robert Mayer, the rookie goaltender who replaced Jaro Halak in Habs’ practices during the NHL Olympic Break. Mayer, who has been called up to Hamilton on occasion, is the fifth-ranked (professional) goaltender in the system, behind two solid NHL and two solid AHL netminders. Jason Missaien also figures to be in the picture somewhere next year. All four years of the affiliation agreement, the NHL club has been represented by a goaltender, which doesn’t look to change anytime soon.

The only other Canadiens prospect to see action in a Cyclones jersey this year is Maxime Lacroix, the 22 year-old second-year player (and former Stingray). Lacroix has flourished in Cincinnati (22 pts in 33 games), while struggling to make any impact in Hamilton (1 point in 21 games). Presently he is on the Bulldogs roster, while they struggle with injuries and call-ups to Montreal.

Why has the trickle to Cincinnati dwindled? Neither the Canadiens or the Bulldogs have been able to field a completely healthy team, enabling players like Dany Masse and Andrew Conboy to spend time in the AHL, when both could have benefited from time under the wing of Chuck Weber. After choosing not to re-sign guys like Thomas Beauregard, Jon Gleed, and Mathieu Aubin, the extensive depth shown two years ago just isn’t there. And with guys like Greg Stewart being moved out of the system and a large number of the Bulldogs approaching restricted free agency in the summer (Desjardins, Russell, Trotter, Wyman, Trotter, Pyatt, Carle, and Desharnais following this season), the best hope for the Cyclones in regards to their affiliate to the north, is that there is a large crop of kids floating around the junior and university ranks waiting to jump into action next year.

— Dannielle

  1. I’m curious how things will turn out next year… if they actually get around to signing Misshy (Missiaen), he could be in the ECHL next year. I’d like to see that =) I don’t think the other two in the CHL will make the jump to the pro-ranks next year, but I could be wrong (Lefebvre is 19 and Dumont will be 20 so they could still both play in the QMJHL next year) but there’s a few college guys (and Misshy).

    With everyone being so injured I keep forgetting guys like Dany Masse, Olivier Fortier and Mike Busto are actually in the system… :|

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