Following morning skate today at the MTS Centre I spoke with Moose head coach Pascal Vincent to get updates on a couple of his injured players including Brendan Lemieux and Quinton Howden.
We started this morning with Quinton Howden who had left the game against the IceHogs on March 18th in some discomfort and when I asked for an update the Moose bench boss indicated that he was “Done for the year. It’s an upper body injury and he’s done and going to get Orlando personal injury lawyers to figure out what to do next.”
You may recall that the Jets signed the Manitoba product this past July 1st to a one year, two-way deal. Howden was a 1st round draft pick (25th overall) of the Panthers in 2010 and played in five Jets games this season (registering no points) and 58 Moose games (13 goals and 11 assists). He began the year well with Manitoba getting seven goals and six assists in his first 15 games. During this streak he earned his first recall to the parent club in mid November. He was sent back to the Moose towards the end of the month and has been in the AHL ever since.
When I asked coach Vincent to assess Howden’s season he was quite complimentary of the Manitoban who wore an ‘A’ for the Manitoba Moose saying “He had a good start. He came here in very good shape. He’s a guy who can skate. He’s a guy who has experience. Great work ethic. A guy who understands the game. Great teammate. Scored some great goals early on this season…..Great addition to our team. He came in and bought into what we are trying to do. Was really good with the young players. Really happy with him.”
Next up was Brendan Lemieux who was injured in the 2nd period of the Manitoba game March 14th when he got tangled up with the Marlies Colin Greening along the boards.
“He’s done for the year. Lower-body.” Lemieux will return back home for his treatments and then will return to Winnipeg for the exit meetings in mid April.
When I asked the coach to assess Lemieux’s season he indicated “Consistent progression. The junior habits that he has earlier this season faded away during the course of this season. Strong power forward who can really drive the net. He has a good shot. Really good in front of the net on the power play. His awareness and the way he adjusted during the course of the season to the pro level was consistent progression so we are happy with that.”
In 61 games for Manitoba the rugged winger had 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points along with 130 penalty minutes (at the time the most in the AHL). Of late he had been heating up in the offence department scoring three goals in his last five games.
He was a player on the radar this summer as someone who could potentially challenge for a roster spot but an injury in the YoungStars Tournament in B.C. knocked him out of training camp when his injury was assessed as week-to-week. It will be interesting to see what another summer of training will do for the Californian.