All signs point to star forward Ryan Francis staying put in Stockton. That’s right the Saint John Sea Dogs could be in trouble.
Obviously, the Sea Dogs start to the 2021-2022 hasn’t been the greatest to say the least. It’s clear that the team that Trevor Georgie built is adjusting to yet another coaching change.
As we all know coaching changes take time.
Gordie Dwyer will no doubt get the most out of the 2022 Memorial Cup Hosts, but right now their start and abysmal attendance numbers isn’t the organizations biggest concern.
The absence of Ryan Francis for the entire year could prove extremely costly. One could say it’s probably keeping the aforementioned Georgie up at night.
All signs are pointing towards Francis staying put in Stockton for the season. One source said today that they had heard the Flames want Francis in the AHL.
This could be a massive blow for a Dogs team wanting to hoist junior hockey’s holy grail on home ice.
The Sea Dogs have tons of fire power, but Francis could quite possibly put them over the top.
The Calgary Flames would more than likely want to keep Francis in the AHL, to challenge him because he really has nothing left to prove at the Major Junior level.
Georgie is no doubt looking for a replacement, which is difficult to find when you’re looking to replace a player like Ryan Francis.
One solution to their massive unplanned problem could come from their hated arch rivals the Moncton Wildcats.
The Dogs could definitely use help through the middle with a potential Francis departure. With the Cats acquiring Brooklyn Kalmikov today that could mean Philippe Daoust could also be staying at the American Hockey League level with the Belleville Senators or in fact he could be on the trading block for the highest bidder.
If Daoust was to come back to the QMJHL, the Port City would be the best possible landing spot for the skilled two-way centre. Daoust would definitely fill the void left by the absence of Francis. Daoust is a great complementary player and that would really make a lot of noise for a championship caliber team. He would log big minutes in all situations and put points on the board while playing a defensively accountable and responsible game.
This is purely speculation, but there’s clearly a higher probability of Daoust returning to the Q than Francis. Either way, Georgie and the Sea Dogs brain trust might very well be in the market for a Wildcat soon enough.