Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton Bulldogs’

Leggo my Ehgo: Captain Barret Ehgoetz will be rejoining the Cyclones for a fifth season. Ehgoetz, 29, will be returning for his sixth professional season (prior to joining the Cyclones in 2006, he played for the Utah Grizzlies under then-assistant coach Chuck Weber). In his four seasons with Cincinnati, he has scored 81-152-233 in 271 regular season games (0.86 points per game), and 18-29-47 in 71 postseason games (0.66 ppg). According to cycloneshockey.com, Ehgoetz owns 21 team records, including: career scoring lead (233 points), games played (271), assists (152), shorthanded goals (eight) and shots on goal (696). In his time with the Cyclones, he has been consistently one of the best penalty killers, typically joined on a top PK unit with Scott Reynolds. His veteran presence and Selke-style play will continue to be huge for the Cyclones.

Catching a Predator: For the fourth consecutive season, the Cyclones will remain the ECHL affiliate for the Nashville Predators and Milwaukee Admirals. Last season, the Predators sent one player to Cincinnati (Jeremy Smith), Milwaukee sent four (Mark Van Guilder, Ian McKenzie, Reid Cashman, and Jason Jozsa), and one Cyclones player (Dustin Sproat) was given a PTO for the Admirals. With the move, the Cyclones formally announced their agreement with Montreal had come to an end.

Desjardins bids les Canadiens adieu: After four years as a member of the Montreal system, Cedrick Desjardins was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goaltender Karri Ramo. According to Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, the Habs traded the 24 year old netminder as a “favor” to him. Ramo is currently playing for the KHL’s Omsk, so Kelly Cup Co-MVP Robert Mayer will likely make the jump to Hamilton as Curtis Sanford’s backup. With the Lightning organization, he rejoins former Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher (Tampa head coach), and former Bulldogs GM Julien BriesBois (Norfolk GM).

Who’s in Goal? As of now, Nashville has five goaltenders professionally active in their system, which once again allows them to place a goaltender in Cincinnati. Pekka Rinne’s position as Preds starter is the only certainty. Unless they sign a formidable NHL backup, that leaves the backup position to a fight between Mark Dekanich, Chet Pickard, and new signee Anders Lindback. Seth over at OnTheForecheck has a great write up on the Preds’ goaltending situation, and by the looks of things, Jeremy Smith is likely to rejoin the Cyclones in October unless he has a strong camp and earns his way into a role in Milwaukee.

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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 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-