It is pretty early in the season to be bulking up for the annual Western Junior C arms race, but the Carruthers Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs have done just that.
The Bulldogs signed goaltender Mexime Veilleux last night at a team practice in Ripley, Ontario. Veilleux is a native of Hamner, near Sudbury, and played for the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves last season. The tandem of Veilleux and Andrew Lefebvre backstopped the midget AAA squad all the way to a Telus Cup berth (the national championship tournament).
The 18-year-old had been skating wtih a provncial Junior A team in Western Canada, according to Bulldogs General Manager Doug Kennedy last night. Kennedy said that for now, he was going to keep three goalies on Kincardine's roster.
It makes for an awfully crowded crease in the dog pound. Starter Gatlin Burt is arguably the league's best goaltender - when available. He has already served a two-game suspension this season, and even when innocent, Burt seems to get the gate as his reputation as a hothead precedes him with league officals and staff. Justin Hammond has done an excellent job backing up Burt since he was acquired late last season. He backed Kincardine to a 3-2 shootout win over Walkerton not too long ago. So the Bulldogs will either hang on to Hammond and let Burt and Veilliux battle it out for the starting role - or deal Hammond to another team and keep the new highest profile goalies in the loop.
Veilleux will be staying in Kincardine for the next few weeks, said Kennedy, who hadn't even thought about which goalie head coach Jeff Alcombrack mights start this Friday night in Walkerton against the Hawks. Kincardine will also play at home this weekend, hosting Hanover at 7 p.m at the Davidson Centre.