When the rosters in the AHL switch from one season to the next it can be amusing to see those who cross enemy lines within the same division. Lately, it has been fascinating to see the exodus from the Rockford IceHogs to the Milwaukee Admirals. In the last three years there have been three players making the leap: Cody Bass (2015-16), Mike Liambas (2016-17), and Pierre-Cédric Labrie (2017-18). For Liambas it was a one-year pit stop around time with the Admirals. For Bass he was a one and done guy within the Chicago Blackhawks organization. But Labrie was competing against the Admirals with the IceHogs the last three seasons. It hasn’t taken him long to blend into Milwaukee.
Labrie is a 30-year old from Baie-Comeau, Québec, Canada. That alone tells you that the Admirals had a special group eager to welcome him in, The French Fries. The Admirals currently have a Québécoise contingent of five. Jimmy Oligny is from Saint-Michel. Alex Carrier is from Québec City. Anthony Richard is from Trois-Rivieres. And Fred Allard is from Saint-Sauveur. Heck, to start the season there was also Bromont native Frédérick Gaudreau. Labrie was going to be welcomed in effortlessly.
In total, Labrie had played against the Admirals for 35 games wracking up 16 points (9 goals, 7 assists) and 90 penalty minutes in spells with the Manitoba Moose, Peoria Rivermen, and Rockford IceHogs. But wait – that’s not all. His familiarity and comfort level with joining the Admirals wasn’t limited to past experiences or the ability to speak French at his leisure. He had a familiar face on the roster that he had won an AHL Calder Cup with previously with the Norfolk Admirals in the 2011-12 season: Trevor Smith.
It hasn’t taken myself long to get a sense from Admirals defensemen and forwards that it is a great thing that they do not have to play against Labrie anymore when facing off against the IceHogs. He is a bowling ball on the ice but also a heads-up veteran that goes to all the dirty areas of the ice to make key plays that, while not necessarily always turn up on a score sheet, can make a difference in each and every game. Not to mention: he is someone that I can best describe as a #GoodGuy. The type that can lighten up a locker room as well as contribute off the ice as well as he does on it.
Cheers to Pierre-Cédric Labrie for taking the time after practice to have this chat and let Milwaukee fans get to know him that much more. Next in Fifteen: it is up to you to decide who we all hear from next. Shall we hear from Tyler Moy, Tyler Kelleher, Anders Lindbäck, or someone else? There are quite a few options with all the new faces in 2017-18. Let me know your choice in the comment section below.
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