The Hamilton Bulldogs were a busy team this week as they prepare for the opener of the 2004-05 AHL season, which begins October 15th vs the Edmonton Roadrunners. The preseason was a disappointing one though, as the Dogs, compiled a losing 1-4 record. A pair of losses to Rochester was sandwiched by a 3-2 victory over the St. John’s Maple Leafs, before the team lost a pair to Manitoba, 2-0 on Friday, and 4-2 on Saturday.
Hamilton began camp with 33 players, but now just 27 remain after cutting 5. G Olivier Michaud, C Christian Larrivee, W Marco Rosa, and D Gary Zinck were assigned to Long Beach (ECHL), while F Eric Normandin and D Jonathan Jolette were handed their walking papers.
Gilmour says no:
When Andre Savard first signed Doug Gilmour back in 2001, he said he really liked what he brought to the Canadiens. Now the GM of the Bulldogs, Savard evidently is still a fan of Gilmour’s, as he offered him an AHL-only contract, which would pay him “a substantial sum of money.” However, Gilmour, 42, graciously turned down the offer, as he has never played an AHL game before, and doesn’t plan to start now. Gilmour would’ve brought leadership to a team filled with first and second year pros.
One more in the fray:
Despite a weak start to the preseason, Bulldogs management was impressed enough by the performance of tryout D James Sanford, that the team has signed him to a one year, two-way contract. Unlike most two-way deals, this is not between the NHL and AHL, but rather the AHL and the ECHL. This leaves 10 defencemen fighting for roster spots, as Ron Hainsey has now joined the team.
Reports out of La Presse in Montreal claim that Cory Urquhart may be ECHL bound to start his pro career. Heading into camp, many felt that there would be a battle between Urquhart and Corey Locke for the final centre spot on the team.