HERSHEY, PA- Pucks and players can once again be seen whizzing by at Giant Center. Many of those players are familiar names to Hershey Bears fans. Of the 20 players that competed in at least one Calder Cup playoff game last season, 13 are on the training camp roster. Two others, Zach Sill and Aaron Ness could also be Hershey bound pending the conclusion of Washington’s training camp cuts.
The roster of players as of October 5th is as follows:
Forwards include Riley Barber, Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Travis Boyd, Dustin Gazley, Dylan Margonari, Tim McGauley, Garrett Mitchell, Dominec Monardo, Liam O’Brien, John Parker, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker, Kelly Zajac
On defense, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos, Darren Dietz, Danny Federico, Joey Leach, Tyler Lewington, Hubert Labrie, Colby Williams
Finally, the goalies are Joe Cannata and Vitek Vanecek
Notable Departures: Erik Burgdoerfer (Buffalo), Carter Camper (New Jersey), Sean Collins (KHL), Justin Peters (Arizona), Ryan Stanton (Colorado)
Darren Dietz was released by the Montreal Canadiens and signed a two-way deal with the Capitals during the offseason. The 23-year-old Defenseman was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL draft by Montreal. Dietz played in 13 games for the Canadiens tallying one goal and four assists. Dietz also played 61 games for the St. Johns Ice Caps (four goals, 12 assists).
Hubert Labrie (hew-BAIR la-BREE) signed with Hershey as a free agent. He split time between San Antonio and Chicago of the AHL last season. He totaled 11 points and 81 penalty minutes. Despite his smaller stature at 5-10, Labrie is not afraid to drop the mitts. According to hockeyfights.com, which tracks fighting in professional hockey, Labrie was part of five fights last season. There is no doubt Labrie will add toughness to the lineup.
Tim McGauley was signed to an entry-level deal by Washington in October of last season. McGauley is coming off a championship season with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. He finished his four-year career in Brandon with 102 goals and 157 assists in 271 games.
Dominic Monardo joins the roster after two seasons with the Springfield Falcons. He played in 44 games for the Falcons last season registering 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists).
The new season also brings a fresh batch of netminders. Vitek Vanecek will occupy one of the spots in goal after a stellar rookie season in North America. The Czech native went 18-7-5-1 with a 2.03 goals against average and a 0.917 save percentage in his rookie season with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.
Newcomer Joe Cannata is viewed as Washington’s third-string goalie beyond Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. Cannata looks to take the majority of starts in nets for the Bears. The 26-year-old Wakefield, MA native went 20-13-5-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .909 save percentage with Utica last season.
Stay tuned to The Sin Bin for more as we see how things shake out.