The Brampton Beast of the ECHL held a press conference today to make a few announcements. The most notable for Ottawa Senators fans was that the Beast will remain as the Sens’ affiliate for the 2019-20 season. In 2017-18, they were the affiliate of the Canadiens, but the Sens lacked an ECHL team so loaned players to the Beast. In 2018-19, the Sens were unveiled as the official affiliate at the beginning of September. It must be relieving for Sens management to have this sorted out well before the start of training camp.
Additionally, the Beast named Spiros Anastas their new head coach. The Toronto native spent the last season as head coach and director of hockey operations of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. He led the Stingrays to third place in the South Division, before they lost in Round 1 of the Kelly Cup playoffs. The previous season, he coached at the University of Lethbridge (in Alberta), as well as coaching the Latvian national team for the Baltic Cup, the World U18 championships and the World Juniors (U20). The hiring was necessary after promoting last year’s head coach Colin Chaulk to be an AHL assistant.
The Beast also unveiled their new jerseys:
There had been rumours a new owner would also be announced, but that announcement was cancelled yesterday. It remains to be seen if a new owner will join, especially after that affiliation with Ottawa was already confirmed. We’ll be hoping for a good season from Brampton, who finished fourth in the North Division last year and then lost in Round 1 of the playoffs to the eventual Kelly Cup champion Newfoundland Growlers in six games.
In other minor league news, goalie Alex Dubeau was signed to an AHL contract. This may seem strange given the crowded nature of the crease in Ottawa, but likely Dubeau will spend most of his time in the ECHL and be available for AHL callups like Jake Paterson last year. Dubeau spent most of last year with the University of New Brunswick, leading them to winning the national championship with a ridiculous .957 save percentage and 0.78 GAA in five playoff games. He also played six games for the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets, putting up .921 and 2.48.