Archive for the ‘Hamilton Bulldogs’ Category

– Although it was never a looming possibility, there is one more team to mark off the Chuck Watch map: Hamilton. The Canadiens have hired Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur to be the head and assistant coaches (respectively) of the Hamilton Bulldogs this fall. Cunneyworth was formerly the head coach of the Rochester Americans, who are still in search of a head coach. According to Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, things seem to be at a relative standstill on the Amerks side of things. The other two AHL openings remaining are Binghamton and Springfield.

– Per the Canadiens’ official page, four former Cyclones have re-signed one-year two-way deals: David Desharnais, Cedrick Desjardins, Ryan Russell, and JT Wyman. Wyman, 24, and Desharnais, 23, made their NHL debut with Montreal last season. Wyman, who saw limited action with the Cyclones in 2008-09 in an attempt to convert the winger to a defenseman, had a strong season for the Hamilton Bulldogs, earning himself a 3 game call up, and played his debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Desharnais enjoyed a six game stint with the Habs, tallying an assist. He jumped immediately to the AHL after his outstanding 2008 season, putting together 58 and 78 point seasons back to back with Hamilton. His 78 points broke the Bulldogs’ single-season point record held by Jason Chimera. Desjardins and Russell have been limited to AHL duty, but have seen great success in their two seasons apiece. Desjardins, 24, the 2008 Kelly Cup MVP, shared the 2010 Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award with teammate Curtis Sanford, awarded to the goaltending tandem owning the lowest goals against average. Russell, 23, has scored 39 goals in 153 games in the last two years and was a combined +43. He scored the shorthanded overtime game winning goal for the Cyclones in game 5 of the American Conference finals to send them on to the Kelly Cup Finals where they would ultimately win in 6 games. According to Capgeek, all four will make league minimum at the NHL level, and between 60,000 and 65,000 with the Bulldogs.

While undoubtedly missing from this spot is a recap of the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs (suck on that, SC), I’m taking a quick time-out from the playoff season to bring you an update about some alumni making splashes elsewhere.

If you’ll scoot on over to EP’s wonderful rundown of this year’s Hamilton Bulldogs broken/tied records, you’ll notice a few familiar names to have broken franchise records for Guy Boucher’s resilient crew, including:

– David Desharnais, single-season points: 78 (prior – J. Chimera, 77)
– Ryan Russell, all-time shorthanded goals: 7 (prior – several, 6)
– Cedrick Desjardins, most wins in a season: 29 (prior – Danis, 28)
– Cedrick Desjardins, shutout streak: 212:37 (prior – Michaud, 158:09
– Cedrick Desjardins, single season shutouts: 6 (tied)

Not to be forgotten: Cedrick Desjardins & Curtis Sanford will share the Harry “Hap” Holmes award for the lowest GAA.

All 3 were major players in the 2008 Kelly Cup Run. Undoubtedly Boucher is counting on all 3, as well as a whole host of other talent (and former ‘Clones Frederic St. Denis and JT Wyman) to step up and lead his regular-season Western Conference champs onward into their hunt for the Calder Cup.

-Dannielle

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

The AHL officially released the Clear Day Rosters today. According to the AHL regulations only players listed on Clear Day Rosters can play for the remainder of the AHL season and Calder Cup Playoffs unless call-ups, injuries or suspensions create an emergency situation. The roster also include a Residency List which contains the players which can play if the 22 man roster loses 3 players to any combination of injury, call-up and suspension.

Milwaukee Admirals:

Forwards:

Triston Grant, Ben Guite, Hugh Jessiman, Chris Mueller, Marty Murray, Wacey Rabbit, Mark Santorelli, Mike Santorelli, Dave Scatchard, Nick SpalingAndreas, Thuresson, Colin Wilson

Defense:

Jon Blum, Robert Dietrich, Scott Ford, Cody Franson, Teemu Laakso, Mark Matheson, Alexander Sulzer, Nolan Yonkman

Goalies:

Mark Dekanich, Chet Pickard

In Residence:

Reid Cashman (D), Dylan Hunter (RW), Ryan Maki (RW)

Hamilton Bulldogs

Forwards:

David Desharnais, Mike Glumac, Ben Maxwell, Eric Neilson, Max Pacioretty, Aaron Palushaj, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Russell, Grant Stevenson, Brock Trotter, Ryan White and J.T. Wyman

Defense:

Shawn Belle, Andre Benoit, Mathieu Carle, Alex Henry, Frederic St. Denis, P.K. Subban, Mike Vernace and Yannick Weber

Goalies:

Cedrick Desjardins and Curtis Sanford

In Residence:

Chad Anderson, Andrew Conboy, Olivier Fortier, Maxime Lacroix and Dany Masse

So that’s how it works and there are the rosters. What does it all mean for the Cyclones? First, we have to look at the players not included on the rosters, which are Ian McKenzie, Mark Van Guilder, Reid Cashman and Maxime Lacroix; Cashman and Lacroix are on their respective teams residence lists however. Since they are not on rosters or listed in residence, Mckenzie and Van Guilder will remain on assignment with Cincinnati for the remainder of the Season, unless Chuck can work some of his relocation magic. Although relocating either McKenzie or Van Guilder is unlikely. Cashman and Lacroix will most likely be back at some point, it’s just a matter of when. Both organizations are dealing with some injuries and call-ups right now so I don’t think we’ll see either play back in the immediate future. Odds are we’ll see Lacroix before Cashman since Cashman isthe only D-man on Milwaukee’s Residency list whereas Hamilton has several forwards who rank above him on the depth chart in Residency. Regardless, I doubt we’ll see either of them unless their clubs have their full rosters available to them.

I also want to mention that Chris Mueller IS on Milwaukee’s roster and Brett Motherwell is NOT on Bridgeports roster (I can not find the Sound Tigers Residency List).

The Cyclones Roster sits at 20 (10 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies). Three of those players, Krantz, Roeder, and Zinger are on long term IR. Krantz should be back very soon, Roeder probably won’t be too much longer but Zinger is most likely done for the year. That would put the Squad at 19 active players. Teams can essentially carry 22 players, 20 active with 2 on short term IR. With no guarantee of when Lacroix or Cashman may return, I would have to guess that Chuck would like to add some bodies to the line up for the stretch. Whether he will do that via trades in the next 24 hours or if it will be Junior or College players remains to be seen. Stay tunes.

I’ve received some questions regarding the trade with Bakersfield and I’ve been milling it over in my head. First, there is the question of what the future considerations are, they could be cash or a player to be named later. If it’s cash the deal is most likely done. If it’s a player there are windows as to when a player can be acquired. I’m not positive on this but if the ‘Clones do not receive a player before the trade deadline then I believe a player transaction would have to wait until the end of the Season. I would like to believe that this is some gamesmanship on Chuck’s part but the player that seems to be getting a lot of mention from a fans perspective, Mathieu Aubin, has been playing for the Condors the past few nights. It’s looking like the deal may have simply been to create some roster space for returning players, but then again, based on the roster numbers the Team doesn’t need the space. I can think of reasons of why players like Voakes and Marchesi would be expendable, but I can come up with just as many reasons to keep them. At this point, all I can say is that move has me a little confused, but I’m not about to question Chuck. It seems like he always has something up his sleeve and puts the team in the best position to win.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow at 5.

-Mike-

The NHL trade dead line has come and gone and as expected it didn’t effect us very much, if at all. Here is what we know:

Montreal did not make a move with either Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak. That means the Cyclones’ goal tandem of Jeremy Smith and Robert Mayer will remain intact. I think that is good news for Cyclones fans. Smith and Mayer have had their growing pains, but have been maturing to the pro game quite well. I think the tandem, when combined with the stinginess of the Team’s defense, is quite capable of a playoff run.

The Canadien’s also sent Matt D’Agostini to St. Louis for Aaron Palushaj. This move shouldn’t have any impact on the Cyclones. D’Agostini has spent much of the season bouncing back and forth between Montreal and Hamilton with no trickle down effect on the Cyclones roster. So even though Pulushaj has been assigned to Hamilton there is no reason it will effect the rosters any differently.

– The Bulldogs have also received center Olivier Fortier, who was Montreal’s 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft. Fortier had been playing in the QMJHL up until this point so he is a new face to the mix. There is no word as of yet on whether this will effect the ‘Clones in anyway.

On the Nashville/Milwaukee side of things…

– The Preds didn’t make any major moves but they did acquire some depth. The picked up forwards Dustin Boyd from Calgary for a 4th round pick in the 2010 draft. This shouldn’t cause any player movement since Ryan Jones was claimed by Edmonton after being waived by the Preds. Nashville also acquired defenseman Denis Grebeshkov from Edmonton for a 2010 2nd round pick.

– The addition of Grebeshkov will likely mean the reassignment of a few D-men. The Preds have already assigned Alexander Sulzer and Cody Franson to the Admirals. The move makes Reid Cashman Milwaukee’s 8th defensemen and according to the guys over at the Admirals Short Shifts blog likely means Reid will be Cincy bound.

– In a message relayed from the Short Shift guys via twitter, Admirals forward Dave Scatchard is going to be returning to the line up very soon which would likely send Mark Van Guilder back to the Cyclones.

-Mike-

Finally, my friends, Hamilton is healthy enough to send a player down to us: Maxime Lacroix has been assigned. Lacroix, 22, has 1 point in 16 games with Hamilton, but in 2008-09 he amassed 64 points in 63 games (also 18 points in 23 playoff games) en route to a Kelly Cup Championship with South Carolina. He also maintains well over a penalty-minute per game, so he appears to have a bit of a chippy side to him.

Also I thought I’d catch up on some stats for the boys:
— Dustin Sproat is tied for twelfth in the league in points with 23.
— Matt Pierce, currently on recall to Milwaukee, is sixth in the league in goals with 12.
— Pierce is also tied for the league lead in PPG with 6. While Barret Ehgoetz and Adam Henrich (all with Ontario) are tied for 13 with 4.
— Reid Cashman’s 8 PPA are good for 7th.
— Scott Reynolds is shooting 100% in the shootout on the year (2 for 2).
— Matt Pierce is 5th in rookie scoring.
— The Cyclones have allowed the least goals in the division at 61. Across the league, only Idaho (58) has surrendered less.
— Their 297 PIM are least in the league; 150 less than any team in their division. With only having allowed 103 shorthanded opportunities, their 85.4% is third (88.1% at home). Let’s not talk about the powerplay (16.5%, by the way).
— Jeremy Smith’s 2.45 GAA is 2nd best in the league.

-Dannielle

Wyman to Montreal

Posted: 2009/11/24 by Dannie in Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens
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Unconfirmed reports out of Montreal point toward former Cyclone JT Wyman being recalled from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Wyman played 15 games under Chuck Weber last year in a pet-project attempt to convert the forward to defense. If Wyman cracks the lineup for Montreal (they play Columbus at 7:30pm tonight), he will make the second Weber-coached Cyclones product to make it to the National Hockey League (Greg Stewart, 2006-07, being the other).