It was cut down time for the Hamilton after their second of two scrimmages in
Sherbrooke. The Bulldogs wasted no time trimming down their roster as they
went from 43 players in camp down to 29. There were a few surprises among
the cuts including a few players who have spent their entire career in the AHL
up until now.
Of the players sent packing, five are off to the ECHL. Former Atlanta
first rounder Daultan Leveille has been assigned to San Francisco of the ECHL
while Stefan Chaput, Olivier Fortier, Ian Schultz, and Joe Stejskal are off to
Wheeling, the ECHL affiliate of Montreal and Pittsburgh. None of these
players have ever played below the AHL level (Chaput has four full years of AHL
Several others were handed their outright releases. Forward Zack
Torquato and goalie Scott Darling will also be off to Wheeling but will be
without a contract like those mentioned earlier. Forward Brendan Ranford
was sent back to Kamloops of the WHL where he will re-join Montreal prospect Tim
Bozon, while goalie Cody Reichard was returned to the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder.
Forwards Spencer Bennett, Michel Ouellet (who evidently wasn’t part of the
Habs’ future plans as some in the media were suggesting this week), and Kyle
Rank, as well as blueliners Sebastian Owuya and Cody Wild were also let go but
do not yet have another team to return to.
This would appear to leave an opening for one of the tryout defencemen in
camp. Although tough guy Kyle Hagel has experience playing defence, he has
been listed as a forward throughout camp and has played up front in the
scrimmages. The first six spots appear to be set (Beaulieu, Ellis, Nash,
Pateryn, St-Denis, and Tinordi) which leaves a spot for one of Etienne Boutet,
Antoine Corbin, and Kevin Gagne. Of the three, Corbin has had the best
performance in camp to-date.
As for the forwards, there remain just two invites with Hamilton.
Forward Bobby Farnham has been one of the standouts so far for his all-out
playing style while Stephen MacAulay has been quieter but has played solid as
well. Assuming Hagel stays up front, there are still likely to be four or
five more cuts from this group. Players on the bubble are likely Farnham
and MacAulay, as well as Alexander Avtsin, Alain Berger and Phillipe Lefebvre
who played the full year with the Bulldogs last season. Patrick Holland
could also find himself on the bubble just because of his junior eligibility.
If it’s looking like his role will be a 4th liner or in the ECHL, the club may
opt to return him to junior for the year.
In goal, the battle for the backup role continues as Peter Delmas and Robert
Mayer will battle it out while Cedrick Desjardins’ starter spot is secure.
Hamilton’s exhibition season gets underway on Saturday in Cobourg, ON against
the Marlies and ends on Monday with a game in Brantford, ON, also against
Toronto. Their season gets underway Saturday, October 13th against the
Grand Rapids Griffins.
Here is a listing of who remains in camp:
Frederic St. Denis