Bulldogs Final Player Reports:
Player Stats are GP:G:A:PTS:PIM
Goalie Stats are GP:GAA:W:L:T
Bolibruck, Kevin #22 Age: 22 Defense
Does all the little things well. Was the Bulldogs most consistent defenceman this season. Probably not big or strong enough to get a serious look at the NHL.
Bowen, Jason #28 Age: 25 Defense
He is the most physical of Hamilton’s defencemen. He loves the hip check on rushing forwards trying to beat him on the boards. He is a bit slow afoot, and is beaten on the outside by faster forwards. He will fight, but he hasn’t been too successful in his scraps.
Church, Brad #14 Age:22 Wing
19-1-5-6-22 (with Portland and Hamilton)
Plays a decent 2 way game, and hits well. His scoring touch is suspect, as is his speed. He should find a spot with the Bulldogs next season.
Cleary, Daniel #39 Age: 20 Wing
39-9-18-27-81 (with Portland and Hamilton)
Daniel should probably be back in the AHL next year. He has the speed to play in the NHL but didn’t seem to have much hockey sense here. He never seemed to fit in, and was a healthy scratch for most of the playoffs. He’ll need to have a big year in Hamilton next year to stay on track (especially with Comrie and Riesen expected to improve immensely next year).
Comrie, Paul #8 Age: 22 Center
He’s quick, and a very good playmaker. He can also score himself. He was not intimidated at all when he made the jump from college hockey at the end of the season. If he doesn’t make the Oilers next year, he should be a big time scorer in the AHL.
Copeland, Adam #10 Age: 22 Wing
He didn’t look out of place in the AHL, but he didn’t look very impressive either. He’s a bit slow, and has limited skills. He’s probably a career minor leaguer.
Daw, Jeff #11 Age: 27 Center
Jeff is slow, and does not possess many of the skills necessary to play in the AHL let alone the NHL (weak shot, rolling passes). He is where he is because he’s the hardest working player in the league. Most likely a career minor leaguer.
Descoteaux, Matthieu #24 Age: 21 Defense
Plays a solid 2 way game, I though he was the Bulldogs best defenceman. He hits, moves the puck well, is strong, and will fight if need be. Disco seemed to be in Walt Kyle’s doghouse for much of the year, and I can’t figure out why. I think he is probably the best defenceman prospect that has come through Hamilton since Greg deVries.
Devereaux, Boyd #23 Age: 21 Center
Does everything well at the AHL level. Gives a good effort, scores, passes, and hits. I can’t believe that he can’t crack the Oilers lineup on a consistent basis.
Dowd, Jim #34 Age: 30 Center
Skates like the wind, and doesn’t slow down a step when he has the puck. He’s not the most gifted offensive player, but he can still put up some good numbers. Jim should be able to crack somebody’s NHL lineup as a 3rd or 4th liner.
Ferraro, Chris #15 Age: 26 Center
Chris was the best player the Bulldogs had all season, and he really stepped it up a notch in the playoffs. He does everything well in the AHL, plays on the power play, kills penalties, antagonizes opponents. He could step in to the NHL as a 3rd or 4th line center immediately.
Hajt, Chris #5 Age: 20 Defense
Didn’t play in the playoffs, nor down the stretch. Seems like a capable defenceman if given the chance. Should be able to step into a larger role with the Bulldogs next year.
Heffler, Eric #31 Age: N/A Goalie
A top NCAA goalie, he played well in a 2 game tryout late in the season. He is very big, and plays the angles well. This could be the Oilers goalie of the future.
Hinz, Chad #17 Age: 20 Center
He is a small player, who didn’t look overly fast in his brief stint with the Bulldogs. He’ll probably be in Hamilton next year.
Hulbig, Joe #38 Age: 25 Wing
When Joe is on his game, you wonder why isn’t this guy in the NHL. He scores in bunches and throws some of the biggest open ice hits you’ll ever see. Unfortunately for large stretches of games (sometimes up to 10 or 12 games) Joe will do absolutely nothing. No hits, goals, nothing. It could be time the Oilers let Joe go on his way.
LaCouture, Dan #36 Age: 22 Wing
Good speed, good hitter, becoming a better finisher, he always will give you 110% out there. He will fight, but every time he does he seems to wind up with a broken nose. He will have to put up much better offensive numbers to get a serious shot at making the Oilers.
Lacroix, Daniel #32 Age: 30 Forward
One of the toughest, meanest players in the AHL. He will do whatever it takes to win: hit, fight, high-stick, slash, and spear, and he can play too (he scored some big goals late in the season and in the playoffs). He still takes too many absolutely ridiculous penalties though.
Lindquist, Fredrik #7 Age: 25 Wing
There is no doubt Lindquist has talent, and little doubt that he is the best passer in the AHL. He is also, unfortunately, very lazy. He isn’t blessed with great speed, and was benched in the last two periods of the playoffs because of his heartless play. He might make the NHL some day, but he should not be an Oiler.
Marchant, Terry #25 Age: 23 Wing
Pretty quick, and has proven that he can finish. He should play a bigger role for the Bulldogs next season. Needs to work on his defensive game, while putting up better offensive numbers to earn a crack at the NHL.
Matsos, David #19 Age: 24 Wing
Has good speed and is a good penalty killer, but he can’t finish. A useful role player in the AHL, Matsos has no shot at the NHL.
Millar, Craig #18 Age: 22 Defense
Millar is a solid 2 way AHL defenceman. He moves the puck well, cleans up his own end first, jumps into the rush, and can fight if need be. He could probably earn a job with an NHL team that is weak on the blueline.
Minard, Mike #33 Age: 22 Goalie
Was outstanding when Passmore was up in Edmonton. A classic stand-up angles goalie, Mike never let a bad goal in all year long. I’m hoping the Oilers keep Mike, and have him split duties with Eric Heffler in Hamilton next year..
Norton, Brad #6 Age: 24 Defense
Pretty effective when he plays a simple, physical game. He’s very tough, and will dance with anybody. He’s a bit on the slow side though. He gets in a lot of trouble by trying to be too creative with the puck in his own end. Way too many brutal giveaways.
Passmore, Steve #29 Age: 26 Goalie
Great reflex goalie, but his positioning is sometimes questionable. Still often lets in one bad goal per game. Can he be successful in the NHL as strictly a reflex goalie? That is the question that will have to be answered. I don’t see Steve as a starter in the NHL, but he good be an adequate backup.
Potvin, Steve #12 Age: 23 Forward
A hard working, scrappy, and quick player Steve makes a very good AHL penalty killer. He doesn’t have what it takes to play at the next level though.
Reirden, Todd #21 Age: 27 Defense
Started the season like gangbusters both offensively and defensively, he got worse and worse as the season wore on. Even though he is the biggest player on the Bulldogs, he doesn’t play physically at all. He has a big shot, but in the 2nd half of the season, he couldn’t get it through the other teams forwards, or at the net. I’ve also never seen a player so inept at keeping the puck in at the other team’s blue line.
Riesen, Michel #9 Age: 20 Wing
He took a long time to adjust to North American hockey, almost the full season in fact. In the last few games he played, he didn’t look scared out there anymore, and started showing some unbelievable skill. He should be a 1st or 2nd liner in Hamilton next year, and with a good season, maybe he’ll be in Edmonton in 1 to 1 ½ years.
Thomas, Tim #35 Age: 25 Goalie
Tim looked a little overweight, was slow, and often out of position. He couldn’t control rebounds either. He complained and complained about his playing time, and eventually left the team to play in Finland. Hopefully the Oilers won’t give him another chance.
Vorobiev, Vladimir #26 Age: 26 Wing
73-27-47-74-24 (with Hartford and Hamilton)
Looked like a sure fire NHLer when he first got here from Hartford, he scored and played well at both ends of the ice. When he got back from Edmonton, however, he looked slow and sluggish, and was a non-factor in the AHL playoffs.
Wickenheiser, Chris #35 Age: 23 Goalie
Has never received much of a look in Hamilton. Chris is way down on the depth chart, and may be pushed back even more with the emergence of Fomitchev as an effective WHL goalie.
Yerkovich, Sergei #37 Age: 24 Defense
When he wants to be, he’s likely the Bulldogs best defenceman. He moves the puck well, shoots well, is physical, and will fight. He still takes too many nights off though, and at times he is a little bit lazy.
Walt Kyle Coach
Seemed to do a fairly good job. But, he relies on a few of his favorite’s far too much. With the lineup that was in Hamilton, I have to think that they could have done much, much better than 3rd in their division and a 2nd round exit from the playoffs.
Scott Howson GM
He got the players here that should have won big, but they didn’t. When you match the Bulldogs lineup with any other team in the AHL, you have to wonder why they didn’t do much better.
The people of Hamilton (Home of the Couch Potato) better get off their butts and get down to Copps next year. In my opinion the future of the Bulldogs in Hamilton is not so rosey. Hamilton will likely be loaded with youngsters next season. That generally means a slip in the standings, which of course leads to smaller crowds. Seeing as how Hamilton never broke the 5000 mark in attendance at a single playoff game (an absolutely pathetic and disgusting statistic), there is not much room for a drop. With all of the above concerns that I have along with only a 1 year lease agreement, I’m afraid that next year could be the last year for pro hockey in Hamilton. Thank you people of Hamilton.