'Dogs deal Davis for Simmons

Kincardine also picks up Simpson from Cycs

By Josh Howald

Help has arrived for Kincardine’s struggling power play.

Doug Kennedy, General Manager of the Carruthers Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs, pulled the trigger on a three-player deal with the Hanover Barons last Monday night.

Kincardine acquired defenceman Garrett Simmons in exchange for forward Ben Davis and defenceman Chris Hardy.

Simmons instantly becomes Kincardine’s leading scorer, coming over from the Barons with four goals and 14 assists in 16 games. Two of his four goals came with the man advantage, where the Sutton native also added four helpers. He spent two seasons in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (Tier II Junior A) with Orangeville, the North York Rangers and the Dixie Beehives. He has enrolled in Kincardine District Secondary School’s masonry program in Bervie, and is billeting at an area farm.

 “I really think he is one of the better D-men in the league,” said Kennedy. “Offensively anyway. We’ve always had a top-end defenceman, and this year, you know, we didn’t.  I really think the key to the power play is the defence, he should really help us in that area.”

To say Kincardine needs help on the power play isn’t an understatement. The ‘Dogs have been dreadful with the man advantage, ahead of only the 0-20 Goderich Sailors in that department. While the league-leading Walkerton Hawks have a success rate better than 22 per cent, the Bulldogs are scoring on less than 10 per cent of their man advantages (10 for 104).

But Kincardine is giving up some scoring punch as well. But Davis, who led Kincardine in scoring last year, asked to be moved to Hanover or Mount Forest during the off-season. He is from Ayton.

“Ben came back knowing that we were trying to get a deal done,” said Kennedy. “We just needed to get fair value for him. I talked to both Hanover and Mount Forest, and this is the trade that was the best fit. Hanover wanted a defenceman back in the deal, so Hardy went too, which made sense geographically.”

Hardy, from Palmerston, had two assists in 14 games. He worked hard, but struggled at times in his own end.

Kincardine also added 6”3’ James Hennessy in a separate transaction. Hennessy started the season with the Walkerton Hawks, picking up four assists and 30 PIMS in nine games before being released. He spent last season patrolling the wing for his hometown Collingwood Blackhawks of the OJHL, racking up 99 PIMS to go with his seven points.

“I don’t think he has really got a chance to play,” said Kennedy. “He a great skater with a nice shot. He’s a big kid and teams wanted him for one reason, or whatever, but he will get an opportunity to play with us. I think he can help us offensively and he’ll get a chance to do so.”

Kennedy said he may not be done wheeling and dealing. With Hayden Allen injured, he said he is actively looking for another strong, veteran presence on the blue line. That would allow captain Paul Stewart, who has been playing the back end lately, to return to his natural forward position.

Update: In fact, the Bulldogs acquired Lucknow native Tanner Simpson Monday night from the Listowel Junior B Cyclones. Simpson had a goal and seven helpers this season with the Cyclones. He has played in Listowel the past three seasons, posting 11 goals and 17 assists last year.  For full details, see next week’s print edition of The Kincardine Independent.