Defenceman Morgan Ellis brings a championship season with him to the American Hockey League.
Ellis, a member of the Memorial-Cup winning Shawinnigan Cataractes last season, showed up at Brossard with the rest of the Montreal Canadiens’ prospects for day one of Hamilton Bullodgs’ training camp: which consisted of a series of physical and medical tests, both in the exercise room and on the turf at the Bell Sports Complex.
This is year one for Ellis as a member of the Bulldogs, after a half season with Shawinigan and three-and-one-half seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Ellis ended up winning a championship in Shawinigan, and spent some of the off-season enjoying the fruits of his team’s labours.
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“It was excited to be at the banner raising in Shawinigan,” said Ellis. “I get chills down my spine. It was a long time coming for Shawinigan and I’m glad I could be part of it.”
Ellis also had a chance to bring the Memorial Cup to his hometown of East Bideford, a tiny community in PEI.
Well, not THE Memorial Cup.
“The Cup got damaged a little bit. i didn’t get the real Cup. I got a little souvenir miniture one, I guess. It was better than nothing and I got to bring it home. It was pretty special.”
A total of 42 players are taking part in ‘Dogs training camp. The scene shifts to Sherbrooke tomorrow through Wednesday, when the ‘Dogs will take part in a series of practices and intra-squad games.
For the first time in a long time, Canadiens’ defenceman Yannick Weber celebrated a birthday at home, in Switzerland, with family and friends.
He enjoyed that. But, at the same time, had in not been for the NHL lockout, Weber would have been celebrating his 24th birthday today with his Canadiens’ teammates in the first game of the pre-season. Instead, Weber has returned home to Switzerland to play with a team based in Geneva. He suited up for the Geneva-based team for the first time last night.
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“It was really strange,” said Weber, who joined me today in CJAD’s The Locker Room, from Geneva. “I just got here, a new city, a new team, a new everything. It was a little weird for me wearing a new jersey yesterday. It would have been better for me had I been in a Habs’ jersey.”
Weber said it’s a difficult decision for North American players to make when it comes to playing in Europe.
“I’m sure it’s not easy for a lot of guys. For guys with kids in school, it’s not easy. But for players who decide to come, I think Switzerland is a good option.”
Weber acknowledged the frustration that the players and fans are feeling as a result of the lockout.
“After last season in Montreal we were excited for a new year. Now we have to wait. But we want a fair deal and we’re prepared to wait a little bit so we can get this done.”