Bears Break the Bankby Marcel Cormier | October 9, 2018, 11:45 AM ET
If there was any question as to the intention of the Acadia Golden Bears this season, it was answered last night as reports suggest that the club has signed former netminder Roberto Luongo to a franchise record contract.
Official confirmation of the agreement has yet to be made but the team did post a less than covert message via its Twitter feed that simply read "Welcome back, Lou" which certainly goes a long way to support the rumors. Although the team would not confirm the signing of Luongo, a league source hinted that the dollar figure will far surpass anything the club has ever paid a player in the past.
Luongo spent just one season in Saint John but it resulted in a Continental Cup championship in 2014-15. The netminder won a career high 53 games that season in a Bears uniform.
It makes sense for Acadia to be exploring the free agent market after the team lost back up Jacob Markstrom to Seattle in the expansion draft. But the question now becomes 'where does this leave incumbant starter Braden Holtby?'
Holtby has held down the main job for the past three seasons and has done an amazing job. 145 wins, a pair of Ken Dryden Trophies (Top Goalie), a wayne Gretzky Trophy (MVP), a Jarri Kurri Trophy (Playoff MVP) and a Continental Cup win in 2015-16 to his credit, you could argue that Holtby has been the best goalie in the league over the last 3 years.
We may have to wait for training camp to see how it all flushes out.
- Acadia has reportedly signed 20-year-old UFA netminder Michael McNiven to a 1-year deal. The undrafted goalie was a 1st team all-star, OHL Goalie of the Year in his third and final season with the Owen Sound Attack in 2016-17.
- The Bears have resigned restricted free agents Devin Shore, Nic Kerdiles and Gavin Bayreuther.
- Prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky is on fire to start the new WHL season. Through 8 games the Edmonton Oil King captain has 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points, two points back of the league lead in scoring. (Drafted 5th round 2018)
- Not to be outdone, prospect Brandon Hagel of the Red Deer Rebels has 14 points in 7 games. (Drafted 6th round 2016)
- Prince Albert Raiders forward Cole Fonstad has 5 goals and 5 assits for 10 points after just 9 games. (Drafted 2nd round 2018)