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Habs notebook: rookie camp, day 2

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Ben Maxwell and Ryan Russell are looking to make impressions at the Canadiens' rookie camp.
MONTREAL – Quebec takes over Cincinnati, the Swiss are still in Montreal, and a few good men wanted in Hamilton – that was all on the agenda on Day 2 of the Canadiens rookie camp.

Cincinnati, PQ: Six members of the 2008 East Coast Hockey League champion Cincinnati Cyclones – Thomas Beauregard, David Desharnais, Olivier Latendresse, Conrad Martin, Ryan Russell and Cedrick Desjardins – are taking part in the Canadiens’ rookie camp this week.  Not only have they brought the Ohio franchise its first championship but the crew has also managed another impressive feat: making hockey popular in a state where football is all the rage.

“We had crowds of over 13,000 during the Finals,” said Olivier Latendresse, who racked up 35 points in 24 games with the Cyclones.  “We had a bunch of Quebec natives on the team and together with our teammates, we all built something really special.  There were actually a few Quebec flags in the crowd, and it wasn’t even our families!”

Swiss misters: Switzerland is well represented at the Canadiens’ rookie camp with defenseman Yannick Weber and goaltender Robert Mayer.  Weber, who is expected to make his pro debut in Hamilton this season, and Mayer, a netminder with the Saint John Sea Dogs attending on a try-out, both represented their country at the World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic earlier this year.  Before countryman Mark Streit headed for Long Island, he offered a few words of wisdom to the young blue-liner.

“He said, if I get asked to play forward to go for it.  If that will help me realize my dream of playing for the Canadiens, I’ll gladly do it,” admitted Weber.

Help wanted: Hamilton head coach Don Lever, who has been a helping hand for the Canadiens coaching staff this week, will welcome a new group of players to the ‘Dogs’ pound in just a few weeks.  No less than 20 spots on the Bulldogs roster are open heading into their 2008-09 campaign, which gets underway on October 10.

“This year is one of transition for us,” noted Lever.  “We’ve brought in veterans in Shawn Belle, Alex Henry and Dan Jancevski to solidify our blue line, but the rest will be new faces.

“We’re really anxious to see what guys like Brock Trotter, Ben Maxwell, and Ryan White, among others, can do.”

Let the competition begin!

Heather Engel is a writer for

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