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Old 07-31-2017, 08:37 PM
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I'll be surprised if the Dogs finish in the top half of the conference. It has nothing to do with Billy taking over the coaching duties. Mississauga should be the class of the East. Peterborough could challenge them. Oshawa was in first place and sold with eye to the future, they are far ahead of the Dogs in their rebuild after winning the Memorial Cup a few years ago. Ottawa had possibly the youngest defence group in the country and still finished ahead of the Dogs. They should also take another step forward especially with assets they acquired in the Konecny deal. Kingston has something along the lines of 15 returning players. Barrie added possibly one of the best NHL draft eligible players on the planet. IMO, Hamilton is better than Niagara.

While the Dogs played 17 year old rookies in Singer, Castleman, Ham, Somerville, etc. The other teams were taking their lumps with 16 year olds.

My point? I think other teams will/have improved more than the Dogs, and have done it with younger players. With all of the 17 year olds on last years team, the Dogs will be in a "go for it" year next year when they're all 19. I just don't see championship type talent on this roster for 2018-19. There are some stand-outs in Thomas, Maksimov and Castleman. But, I don't think they'll be anywhere near a championship squad.

As far as draft picks, they sold last year just to get back to even after Marty emptied the cupboard. They're not on a position to go on a shopping spree. I've said it all along, IMO Marty left the cupboards so empty that this is a five year rebuild.

Again, my point? If junior doesn't have success right from the hop, it may not be his fault at all. But, in the eyes of this rabid fan base that wants a championship so bad... he'll be getting the blame.

I won't make a prediction on where they'll finish, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if the finish at or above .500 and/or in the top half of the conference.
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