By: Henry Whitfield
(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)
When the Halifax Mooseheads announced the acquisition of 20-year-old Cameron Critchlow yesterday,it bolstered their over-age player count to five heading into training camp.
Smart money says that late-blooming winger Grenier and the newly acquired gritty Critchlow are already penciled in, granted they don’t forget how to skate during training camp.
That would create a three-way battle for the third and final over-ager spot.
Defenceman Jonathan Parisien will face off with current Herd Captain Travis Randall and goalie Frederic Piche for that slot in the lineup.
With an embarrassment of young, talented forwards it is Moosehead veteran Randell who will face the toughest task to crack the opening night lineup. The Twillingate, Newfoundland native has played 248 games with the club, scoring just 39 goals, but half of those came in the 2009/2010 season when he played big minutes with scoring stud Tomas Knotek.
Piche had a tough season last year, picking up 14 wins in the first half with the Saint John Sea Dogs before being traded to the Mooseheads and adding just 3 wins through his last 20 games. Zachary Fucale was picked up in the dispersal draft and the 16-year-old could steal Piche’s chance to play back-up to Anthony Terenzio.
That leaves Parisien with perhaps the best chance to fill that final over age spot, the blue line seen as the weakest link for this young Mooseheads team. The Laval, Quebec native played three seasons with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar before switching to the Lewiston MAINEiacs halfway through last season, gaining valuable playoff experience on the their run to the semi-finals.
Parisien would add much-needed experience to a young core on the backend that has struggled over the last three seasons, shoring up some big minutes and taking some pressure off the shoulders of Konrad Abeltshauser and Sawyer Hannay.
Luckily for both the organization and the players, each should fetch some trade value.
Meaning that Cam Russell has a chance to get value while letting the two play out their junior career.
Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game