By Sean Hatchard
MONCTON — The Maritime Junior Hockey League trade deadline is still over five weeks away, but the Miramichi Timberwolves are wasting no time trying to turn their club into a contender.
The Timberwolves, who have struggled in November with just two wins in eight games, made a pair of moves last week to bolster their lineup, including signing free-agent forward Chris Doyle, a fifth-round pick of the New York Rangers in the 2008 NHL entry draft.
Doyle, a 20-year-old native of Charlottetown, had an assist in his Miramichi debut Saturday, a 5-4 loss to the Campbellton Tigers.
Doyle scored 100 goals and 240 points in 235 regular-season games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He spent his first three and a half seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket before being traded to the Victoriaville Tigres last season.
Doyle joins the Timberwolves after he was released by the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors earlier this month.
“He’s going to add some offence to our team. He’s a top-end major junior player and he has a NHL shot,” said Miramichi head coach Bill McGuigan, a fellow P.E.I. native who coached Doyle in minor hockey and knows his family well.
“He’s going to add a lot of stuff to our team, like some leadership that we need. He’s been here a couple days and he’s been great in the dressing room. The guys have already taking a liking to him.”
Doyle was claimed off QMJHL waivers by the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and was later traded to Mississauga in September. In 20 games with the Majors this season, he had six goals and 14 points.
Doyle also made headlines last April when he appeared in court in Charlottetown and was subsequently found not guilty on charges of assault stemming from an incident with a young woman.
“I’ve known Chris for a number of years and there’s not much that I don’t know about Chris and his history. We believe he’s going to be a good fit here and we think we can work together to try to capture the same goal,” McGuigan said.
“We believe he’ll be a great addition. He’s a player of great calibre and he wants to come and be a part of our organization.”
Also last week, the Timberwolves acquired 20-year-old forward Jeremy Barron, 19-year-old forward Scott Bragg and 19-year-old goaltender Jonathan Waye in a trade with the Ramblers. Miramichi sent defencemen Jacob Harcoff and Ryan Curzon and future considerations to Amherst.
Monday, the Timberwolves traded Craig Langille, a 6'03 and 210 lbs defenseman, currently playing for the Midget AAA Fredericton Canadiens and future considerations to Dieppe for former P.E.I. Rocket Marshall Worden and a 10th-round pick in 2011 draft.
The Timberwolves are third in the Roger Meek Division with an 11-7-1-4 record, eight points behind the second-place Summerside Western Capitals.
(Moncton Times & Transcript)