The Hamilton Bulldogs completed their storybook
season this past week, winning all 3 home games vs the Hershey Bears, taking the
Calder Cup championship in just 5 games. The title is the franchise’s
first in its 11 year history. We’ll break down the final numbers, plus the
free agency status of the Hamilton Bulldogs. The final thought segment
will reveal the top-5 surprises of the Bulldogs season, in the final 2006-07
edition of the Recap.
A sweep of the home games was good enough for
the Dogs, outscoring Hershey 13-5 in those contests.
Game-by-game, Games 3-5 vs Hershey.
3 Stars: 1) Groulx – HAM 2) Price – HAM 3) O’Byrne – HAM
3 Stars: 1) Grabovski – HAM 2) Manlow – HAM 3) Benoit – HAM
3 Stars: 1) Baines – HAM 2) Price – HAM 3) Cassivi – HER
Dan Jancevski led the way in the Hershey
series, notching a total of 8 points.
Goals: Locke (10)
Assists: Locke (12)
Points: Locke (22)
+/-: Benoit (+13)
PIMS: Stortini (56)
This only includes players under contract to
Signed, returning: Mathieu Aubin, Jimmy Bonneau, Kyle Chipchura,
Matt D’Agostini, Francis Lemieux, Ryan O’Byrne, Gregory Stewart
Restricted free agents: Andrew Archer, Andre Benoit, Mathieu Biron,
Jonathan Ferland, Michael Lambert, Corey Locke, Duncan Milroy, Cory Urquhart
Unrestricted free agents: Jean-Phillipe Cote, Yann Danis*, Dan
Signed, new to the team: Mathieu Carle, Sergei Kostitsyn, Loic
Lacasse, Ryan Russell, Pavel Valentenko (reportedly close to signing)
Potential graduates: Mikhail Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak, Andrei
Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre, Carey Price
* There have been reports that Danis could possibly still qualify for RFA
What a year it was for the Hamilton Bulldogs, a
team that many, including yours truly, felt should miss the postseason entirely.
The following are the top-5 things to remember from the 2006-07 season of the
Calder Cup Champions:
5) The resurgence of a couple of players thought to be nearing
their end in the organization – Duncan Milroy with a strong regular season, and
Corey Locke, who had a better second half and finished 2nd overall in league
4) Aside from Zack Stortini, there was no Oilers prospect that
spent a significant amount of time with the team, an encouraging sign that
things are looking up.
3) The rookies, very encouraging debuts from Matt D’Agostini,
Mikhail Grabovski, Kyle Chipchura, and Ryan O’Byrne, not to mention a certain
goalie in particular mentioned below.
2) Goaltending, from the great start of Jaroslav Halak, to the
incredible postseason of Carey Price, with Yann Danis playing consistently
strong throughout the season.
1) This one’s easy, winning the first championship in franchise
history, captivating Canadiens fans along the way.
With this, the second season of the HW Recap
has come to a conclusion, as has HabsWorld’s coverage of the now departed
2006-07 season. In the coming weeks, we will be turning our focus towards
the NHL draft on June 22nd and 23rd, as well as the impending free agency
season. On behalf of the HabsWorld staff, I’d like to thank our readers
for your continuing support as we move forward. We’re already eagerly
awaiting the puck drop on the next season, HabsWorld’s 4th (5th if you include
the lockout), and we’ll be here each step of the way until then.