A sour end to a boom-or-bust season isn’t deterring the Halifax Mooseheads — they’re sticking with a building approach that has yet to land them a QMJHL championship.
The Mooseheads will stay the course with a three-year cycle in which the first two seasons are spent competing — not cellar-dwelling — and the third campaign contending.
It landed them a spot in the Q final in 2005 and was supposed to do the same this year, until their stacked team melted down in the semifinals against the Gatineau Olympiques.
They’ll restart the cycle at this weekend’s QMJHL draft in Sydney.
“Our track record shows we know how to build contenders,” Mooseheads general manager Marcel Patenaude said. “Maybe we’re missing a little touch or tweak to win it all, but overall, people in Halifax cannot be displeased. We’ve built some very good teams compared to other franchises.”
So when the trade period opens this morning, don’t expect Patenaude to be eager to part with his top veterans such as Logan MacMillan, Andrew White and Mark Yetman.
MacMillan, an Anaheim Ducks’ first-round pick, would be a huge catch for any team loading up for a championship. Patenaude said last night he is making and listening to trade offers, but doesn’t want to be left with a team of rookies.
“You can’t sell the farm and not have anybody — it’s detrimental to your young kids,” Patenaude said. “Young kids have to be led by example, and some players would end up playing on the first line before they’re capable of doing that.”
Patenaude said another reason for avoiding a complete tear-down is because of the franchise’s high attendance. He said it’s important to offer “a good show” to fans.
He is also firm in his commitment to his players, and won’t trade them if they’d prefer to stay in Halifax.
“We have to treat them like we treat our own sons,” he said.
When it comes to dealing, Patenaude will go after 17- and 18-year-olds as well as whatever picks he can secure for tomorrow’s draft. At the moment, he doesn’t have a first-rounder.
Trades expected to be announced today will see Peter-James Corsi dealt to the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Guillaume Monast to the Quebec Remparts for draft picks.
>> For live coverage of the draft in Sydney, visit Matthew Wuest’s Q Files blog at www.metro