NHL Lockout Looming; AHL Bulldogs Ready to Pounce
By: John Gilbert (@jgilbertmedia)
With an NHL lockout likely on the horizon, the AHL will be front and center when hockey season opens. Ready to capitalize, the Hamilton Bulldogs have just released their training camp information.
The Bulldogs will travel to Brossard, Quebec on September 28 for medical and physical testing on the opening day of training camp. From there, they will move to Sherbrooke, Quebec for practices and exhibition games between September 29 and October 3. On October 4, the Dogs move back to Trenton, Ontario to continue on-ice activities and also partake in team-building exercises. On the night of October 6, the Bulldogs will play the Toronto Marlies down the highway in Cobourg, Ontario. Finally, on October 7, the team will return to Hamilton for practice and then on October 8, will travel just up the road to the home of The Great One, Brantford, to play an exhibition game against the Toronto Marlies at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.
The Bulldogs open their 2012-2013 season in Grand Rapids, Michigan against the Griffins on October 13.
Sylvain Lefebvre enters his first year as the Bulldogs head coach. He comes from an assistant coaching position alongside Joe Sacco in Colorado. The Bulldogs are quickly becoming a development project for successful NHL coaches. Claude Julien won a Stanley Cup with Boston and Guy Boucher has done well with the Lightning. The Canadiens named Michel Therrien their new head coach in June. However, many people are criticizing that move since this will be Therrien’s second stint with the club and the first one didn’t end well. All signs could point to Lefebvre becoming the next Canadiens head coach if Therrien is just a temporary stopgap. Remember, the Canadiens failed to pull the trigger on promoting Boucher, prior to him leaving for Tampa. If Lefebvre does well with the Bulldogs, the Canadiens organization won’t make the same mistake twice.