The Hamilton Bulldogs have made their second move since the trade freeze as they have acquired defenseman Stephen Templeton along with a fifth-rounder in 2017 and conditional sixth-rounder in 2019 from the North Bay Battalion. In return, the Bulldogs sent defenseman Jesse Saban and a 10th-round pick in 2017 to the Battalion. Templeton had been acquired by the Battalion on Jan. 6 after being traded from the defending Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals.
BREAKING NEWS: Bulldogs acquire Memorial Cup Winner Stephen Templeton. #blackandgoldunite
— Hamilton Bulldogs (@BulldogsOHL) January 9, 2017
The defenseman has one goal and three assists in 33 games with the Generals this season. He did not play any games with North Bay since being acquired. Obviously not an offensive defenseman, Templeton should give the Bulldogs a defensive defenseman that should be a steadying force on the blue line.
General manager Steve Staios had this to say about his newest defenseman,
“Stephen brings playoff experience and a winning attitude to the Bulldogs… He has been part of a championship team and will be a great addition to the team’s blueline.”
Bulldogs Preparing for a Playoff Run
Templeton’s playoff experience as a member of the Generals’ Memorial Cup team will be helpful for the Bulldogs the rest of the season. Hamilton wants to have a strong playoff run this season and hopefully host the 2018 Memorial Cup, so adding a player with Templeton’s experience should be more than valuable.
Templeton had dropped down the depth chart in Oshawa this season, becoming the seventh defenseman. He even played forward at times for the Generals. Now he will get the chance to play his natural position full-time again, which should help him.
Saban had eight assists for the Bulldogs in 33 games this season. Head coach Stan Butler said this about the former Bulldog,
“He’s a big, strong stay-at-home defenceman who can play against good players on the other team and help bring some stability there.”
So all in all, this was just a switch of defensive defensemen. That being said, the championship experience that Templeton brings should help the Bulldogs.
This trade does not help the Bulldogs overage situation I wrote about earlier. Both players will be overagers next year, so the Bulldogs will still be at six next season, meaning something still needs to be done. In the short-term, however, this is still a good deal. Since he was just acquired, it looks like you can pencil in Templeton for a spot next season, which leaves five others on the bubble.
Templeton actually has a Hamilton connection. His grandfather, legendary OHL head coach Bert Templeton, won a Memorial Cup in 1976 with the Hamilton Fincups. Hockey historians in Hamilton will definitely like this move. Can another Templeton win a Memorial Cup in Hamilton? That’s what Staios wants for sure.
Are there any more moves to be made before today’s trade deadline? Will the Bulldogs be active? We will find out more on Tuesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs Writer At The Hockey Writers.