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He's Right: Sea Dogs Coach "A Beneficiary Of The Lockout" With Huberdeau In Saint John Lineup

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However humble, bench boss Mike Kelly understandably appreciates ripple effect of National League labor strife

Richard Wolowicz - Getty Images

Not everyone in hockey bemoans the lockout. Take Saint John Sea Dogs coach Mike Kelly, who performs his humble best in describing the situation he finds his QMJHL squad facing as the NHL's third-overall draft selection from 2011 - a veritable lock for Big League action in the Season That Might Be - reacquaints himself with a club he's spent the better of portion of three years with, which included a Memorial Cup victory in 2011.

"Motivation's not an issue for [Huberdeau]. It never has been."

- Saint John Coach Mike Kelly via Sportsnet.ca

That's all fine and cool but the prospect, and eventual reality, of having a guy who dined on 212 points (88 goals) in 165 games over three seasons likely carries some weight for anyone on the management side of the excitement meter as well. Whatever the party line may be this week, there is no contesting Huberdeau should be in for a terrific year on the scoresheet. Feeding on the collective soul of kids nowhere close to his proven ability and predicted upside, there should be no other outcome. It's a perfect world, right?

The 'Dogs are only two games into the new season, claiming a 1-1 record thus far, but he's off to a solid start with more points (3) than games-played, 1 goal, and no PIM while going 2-for-4 on faceoffs (which answers the "Is he a center or a wing?" question...for the moment). A bit more at the Sportsnet link above; next game is Wednesday vs. Moncton.