Marc Bergevin carries the dual role of Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager. Bergevin got the business of filling holes in the Canadiens roster out of the way in hurry with the signings of forwards Daniel Briere and George Parros in the first week of July. He then turned his full attention to the hard part, re-stocking the depleted Hamilton roster.
Farm teams are an annual moveable feast and when the free agency window opened on July 5th, while the core talent that Trevor Timmins brought to the team through the draft remained, the other half of the roster was on the move either through free agency, retirement, trade or release..
In just over a month Bergevin has signed fourteen players plus assistant coach Stefan Lebeau to contracts. It started back in March when Bergevin signed 2011 draft choice Darren Dietz to a three year entry level contract for next season. In July he has signed four veteran unrestricted free agents with two-way NHL/AHL contracts, three more under AHL/ECHL deals. Also getting contracts were two draft picks out of the Swedish Leagues plus 20 year old Swiss-born draft choice Sven Andrighetto out of junior hockey. Bergevin also talked goaltender Robert Mayer out of heading home to Switzerland and traded Danny Kristo for left wing Christian Thomas. (Hamilton Depth Chart Below)
There are still two issues on the table. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski is a restricted free agent. He has been tendered a contract offer but has yet to sign. And the Canadiens have until August 15th to sign Dartmouth College graduating left wing Dustin Walsh before they lose him to unrestricted free agency.
The Hamilton Bulldogs were a disaster last year mostly because they were carrying ten rookie professionals including five first year defensemen. With a year’s experience for the kids and the judicious signing of veteran free agents, there is a chance to once again create the important winning atmosphere needed for a developing organization.
Rebuilding The Bulldogs For 2013-2014
March 17 – D Darren Dietz (Saskatoon Blades) signs to three year entry level Canadiens contract.
May 9 – G- Mike Condon (Princeton University) signed to 2-year entry level Canadiens contract.
May 21 – D- Magnus Nygren (Sweden) signs to 2-year entry level Canadiens contract.
July 2nd – Canadiens trade RW-Danny Kristo to New York Rangers for LW- Christian Thomas.
July 6th – Canadiens re-sign goaltender Robert Mayer – two way/two year contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign C- Nick Tarnasky (AHL-Rochester) to one year/two way contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign C-Martin St.Pierre (Rockford-AHL)to one year/two way contract
July 6th – Canadiens sign forward Stefan Fournier (Halifax Mooseheads) to three year/two way entry level contract.
July 8th – C/LW-Stephen MacAulay (Halifax Mooseheads) signed to one year Hamilton AHL/ECHL contract
July 11th C- Ben Duffy (PEI Rocket) signed to one year AHL/ECHL contract
July 15th – C-Blake Geoffrion announces retirement.
July 15th – RW-Sven Andrighetto (Gatineau Olympique) signed to 3 year entry level contract.
July 29th – Bulldogs sign D-Drew Schiestel (Rochester-AHL) to two-way AHL/ECHL contract
July 29th – RW/C Marcus Hinds (Boisbriand-Blainville Armada) signed to a rookie camp tryout.
August 2nd – LW Erik Nystrom (Sweden) signed to 25 game AHL professional tryout contract.
August 2nd – C- Stefan Chaput re-signed to two-way one-year AHL/ECHL contract
The Hamilton Bulldogs Depth Chart
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Christian Thomas Louis Leblanc Patrick Holland
Erik Nystrom *** Joonas Nattinen Steve Quailer
Stephen MacAuley*++ Michael Bournival Mike Blunden
—— Gabriel Dumont Sven Andrighetto*
—— Martin St. Pierre** Stefan Fournier*
—— Nick Tarnasky**
—— Stefan Chaput ++
—— Ben Duffy*++
Nathan Beaulieu Morgan Ellis
Drew Schiestel**++ Darren Dietz*
—— Greg Pateryn
—— Magnus Nygren*
Dustin Tokarski (Unsigned RFA)
* = Rookie Season
** = Free Agent Signing
*** = 25 game Pro Tryout
++ = AHL/ECHL Contract