The St. John’s Fog Devils lasted only three years, but the one-time Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise is making a mark on pro hockey.
Three former members of the now-defunct St. John’s Fog Devils of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are playing for the AHL all-stars in tonight’s American Hockey League All-Star Classic at Mile One Centre. They are (from left) T.J. Brennan of the Toronto Marlies, Luke Adam of the Rochester Americans and Jake Allen of the Chicago Wolves. — Photo by Robin Short/The Telegram
That’s certainly evident this week in St. John’s as three former Fog Devils are suiting up for the American Hockey League team tonight when the puck drops on the 2014 Assante Wealth Management AHL All-Star Classic at Mile One Centre.
Forward Luke Adam, a St. John’s native, joins defenceman T.J. Brennan and goaltender Jake Allen in a Fog Devils reunion against Farjestad BK, a Swedish Elite league team in tonight’s game slated for 8 p.m.
Adam and Brennan were Fog Devils teammates in 2006-07. All three suited up for the 2007-08 squad and again in 2008-09 when the franchise relocated to Montreal to become the Juniors.
Other than Brennan, who was in St. John’s last month when the Toronto Marlies dropped in for a two-game visit with the IceCaps, it marks the first time Adam and Allen have been back in St. John’s as pros.
“It’s pretty ironic that we’re back together here in St. John’s,” said Allen, the Chicago Wolves goalie who is second in the league in wins (20) and fifth in goals against average (2.14).
“It’s great to be back. We’re all great buddies, and we’ve certainly talked about playing in this game. We’re all looking forward to it.”
“We’ve all kept in touch over the years,” said Brennan, who is on fire with the Marlies, leading all defencemen with 20 goals and 31 assists in 48 games, good enough for fourth overall in league scoring.
“It’s nice to be reunited, especially here. We like to think we had a special bond at the time. To see guys like Lukie and Jake doing well for themselves is huge.”
All three were relatively high draft picks. Brennan, who signed a one-year free agent contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres 31st overall in the 2007 NHL Draft,
He’s appeared in 40 NHL games with Buffalo and the Florida Panthers.
“It was a culture shock when I first got here,” said Brennan, from Willingboro, N.J. in the Philadelphia suburbs. “I’m not used to warm-hearted, nice people.
“Looking back now, when I came here, I was so fortunate to have a great coach (Real Paiement), a lot of class act guys for teammates and a great billet family (Rene Spurrell and Trevor Budgell).”
The St. Louis Blues tabbed Allen 34th overall in the 2008 draft. He’s 20-11-2 this year, with a 2.14 GAA and .923 save percentage for the Wolves.
Allen played in 15 games with the Blues last season, going 9-4 with a 2.46 GAA. He’s third on the Blues’ depth chart behind Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he said of the Blues’ system. “I’m a fourth-year pro, and I feel like I’ve progressed each year, and I think they know what I can do.
“I’m just trying to get better and better day in and day out in the minors and hopefully get a crack next year. I feel like I’m on the cusp of a job in the NHL, and I’m going to camp next year with the mentality that it’s my job to take and I’m going to take it.”
As for Adam, the Sabres took the Kilbride product 44th overall in 2008. So far this season, which included a nine-game stint with the Sabres, Adam has 20 goals and 14 assists in only 32 AHL games.
He has 26 points in 84 career games with Buffalo.
Brennan, Allen and Adam aren’t the only players with St. John’s and Newfoundland connections on the AHL All-Stars.
Ben Street of the Abbotsford Heat, who grew up in nearby Coquitlam, B.C., has relatives in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. His father, Rob, is from St. John’s and mom, Jan, is from the Pearl city.
Street’s grandparents live in St. John’s.
And Brett Connolly of the Syracuse Crunch, the sixth overall pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, was born and raised in B.C. But his parents, Pat and Dawn (McDonnell) are natives of St. George’s on the west coast.