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Goaltender Fitzpatrick makes appearance for reigning Cup champion vs Caps; Donaghey, Noel released from NHL camps
After a 20-game audition last season, Clark Bishop is doing his best in training camp to push for full-time NHL employment with the Carolina Hurricanes this year.
Bishop scored in the third period this week as the Hurricanes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in an exhibition game in Raleigh. He was named the game’s first star Wednesday.
The 23-year-old St. John’s native scored his first NHL goal and added a pair of assists in his 20 starts last season with the Canes.
This is Bishop’s fourth pro season. He’s played primarily with the American league’s Charlotte Checkers the past three years.
Bishop played out his entry level contract last season, and was signed to a one-year extension over the summer.
The Hurricanes take on the Washington Capitals tonight.
Bishop is not the only Newfoundlander who remains in an NHL camp.
Evan Fitzpatrick of Mount Pearl played the third period for the St. Louis Blues against the Capitals Wednesday, allowing a pair of goals on 10 shots in a 3-2 loss.
Jordan Binnington played the first two periods for the reigning Stanley Cups champs.
The Blues played the Jets in Winnipeg Friday night, and Jake Allen, the former St. John’s Fog Devils goalie, and Ville Husso made the trip to Manitoba to tend goal for St. Louis.
Fitzpatrick, who now calls the Halifax suburbs home, spent most of the 2018-19 season with the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers. He also appeared in eight games with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.
Nathan Noel of St. John’s was assigned to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs from the Chicago Blackhawks’ camp Friday.
Noel didn’t see any pre-season action in Chicago, even though the Blackhawks just completed a three-games-in-three-days stretch this week.
Noel was Chicago’s fourth-round draft pick three years ago, but has endured his share of injuries.
The one-time highly touted prospect appeared in 46 games for Rockford last season, and managed only a couple of goals.
He’s in the third year of his entry-level contract.
St. John’s defenceman Cody Donaghey was one of the first cuts from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s training camp this week.
Donaghey was invited to the team’s main camp after participating in a pre-season prospects tournament in Nashville.
The 23-year-old signed an ECHL contract with the Orlando Solar Bears, a Lightning affiliate, over the summer. He spent the 2018-19 season with the Solar Bears while under contract to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, but became a free agent earlier this summer when the Sharks didn’t offer him a new deal.
Nobody asked me, but …
The Mary Brown’s St. John’s Junior Hockey League opens its 40th season with three games tonight. Other circuits in this province could learn a thing or two from the junior operation, which continues to be well run year after year, with virtually no drama. You listening, senior hockey? … Credit where credit is due: props to the Toronto Maple Leafs for bringing training camp to metro St. John’s. The Leafs spent a fortune moving camp to Paradise and St. John’s, and they didn’t have to do it … Who knows, but it seems hard to believe Dustin Byfuglien merely decided just prior to training camp he’s having second thoughts about playing pro hockey for a living. It’s his life, of course, and if he wants to walk away, walk away. But it’s the height of selfishness to wait until the 11th hour to inform the Winnipeg Jets of his possible retirement. Rather, he should have told the Jets earlier this summer he is contemplating hanging ’em up, so Winnipeg could prepare as they best they could losing one of the game’s elite defenceman. Now the Jets are caught with their pants down … Amazing thing, that Facebook. Randy Yarke reached out to me over the summer. Who’s Randy Yarke? He and John Stainbrook were a couple of college baseball players from the U.S. brought in by the St. John’s baseball league one summer in the 1980s to play in the local league and suit up for the Caps. More importantly, they worked with youngsters in the St. John’s Minor Baseball Association. It was designed to improve our ball players, young and old alike, and it’s something Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador needs to strongly consider. That or getting some pro coaching here, because what we have now isn’t working. The following are records and runs-for-and-against in national baseball play this summer, at the 15U Ray Carter Cup, 17U Canada Cup and senior men’s championship (Newfoundland didn’t even bother to send an 18U team to nationals for a second straight year): Ray Carter Cup — 1-5, 39-14 (for an average of 6.5 runs allowed per game); Canada Cup — 0-6, 75-34 (12.5 runs per game given up); senior men’s — 0-4, 50-18 (12.5 runs per game allowed). It’s evident our province’s baseball players need help, especially the pitchers. And it’s evident they’re not getting it here … The Mike Yastrzemski story is one of the better ones to come out of Major League Baseball in a while. After toiling in over 700 games in the minors, Yastrzemski gets his shot at the majors at 29 and has 20 home runs for the San Francisco Giants. Under what must have been a lot of pressure because of his last name … What’s the fascination young Newfoundland hockey players have with the Maritime Hockey League? Yes, I’m certain it’s good hockey (it’s classified junior ‘A’). But what’s the end game? Pro? Canadian college? Odds are slim to none on both counts (neither AUS champion UNB Varsity Reds nor runners-up St. Francis Xavier X-Men had Maritime league graduates on last year’s rosters). So why are players willing to invest four years playing in Yarmouth, N.S. or Edmundston, N.B., when they’ll invariably wind up back in Newfoundland when they’ve aged out of junior? Why not stay home, head to MUN or College of the North Atlantic or some other post-secondary school and play in the local junior league? … Can’t say I understand the Toronto Maple Leafs policy of muzzling staff. Nice little story on the Leafs is assistant equipment manager Dave Roper of Mount Pearl. Roper started out in a cubbyhole within The Glacier’s walls doing some work for the Mount Pearl Blades junior and senior teams. From there, he started doing some work for Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. That led to a bit of Hockey Canada stuff, which led to full-time employment, first in the Southern Pro league and then the ECHL. And now Roper, who’s proven to be very good at what he does, is with the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s a great story, and it should be told. If I’m the Leafs, I want Roper’s story out there, not keeping it under wraps because he’s staff and staff don’t talk to the media … Same thing with Hayley Wickenheiser. NTV wanted to chat with Wickenheiser, but were shot down because she’s staff. You’d think the Leafs would be touting the fact, at every opportunity presented to them, that they have the greatest female hockey player the game has seen working in their organization. Or so you’d think. …
Robin Short is The Telegram’s Sports Editor. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @TelyRobinShort