Piche Out: Who Will be the Old Moose?
The first shoe in the Mooseheads overager situation has dropped. Halifax Mooseheads General Manager Cam Russell announced this morning that 20 year old goaltender Frederic Piche has been released by the Club.
Ironically, Piche is the victim of both a youth movement and an abundance of overaged talent.
As an overager, it’s a numbers game. Only three are permitted per team. Off-season acquisitions Alexandre Grenier and Cameron Critchlow came in to camp with spots virtually locked up.
That left Piche to battle with defenceman Jonathan Parisien, and incumbent team Captain, forward Travis Randell for the final spot. The decision would come down to where the need was the greatest: forward, defense, or goal.
Piche’s departure means that rookie goalie and 11th overall pick in this June Q Draft, Zach Fucale will be the backup to Anthony Terenzio this year. The 16-year-old has looked solid in his first Major Junior action, albeit preseason, but his development will benefit from the higher pace of play and growing with the young core.
Piche remains on Halifax’s 50 man protected list. Piche and the Club are exploring his options for reassignment for the upcoming season.
The final big decision for the club will once again be about the overagers. Randall and Parisien are the tow left on the bubble and only one can remain once it pops. Randall certainly has a good case being the former captain, but an influx of young, skilled forwards is making jobs tough to come by. While similarly, some good performances by young Moose D, specifically Mitchell Shewfelt and Josh Desmond, have made Parisien’s job tougher.
Both will get a slight reprieve, as Alexandre Grenier will attend the start of Vancouver Canucks training camp, allowing the Moose more time to make the final decision.
The Moose will wrap up the preseason with a home-and-home against the Moncton Wildcats beginning tonight in Moncton. They’ll be back on home ice for one final time Saturday evening at the Forum.
The team will then kick-off the regular season on the road in PEI and Acadie-Bathurst on September 9th & 10th.