SUMMERSIDE — Brett Gallant will remain with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the 2011-12 season after the two sides agreed to a one-year American Hockey League contract on Thursday.
“It’s nice to get it (contract) done early, and not have to worry about it this summer,” said Gallant, 22. “It’s nice to know you are going back for the year.”
The son of Mike (Pinky) and Patricia Gallant of Summerside finished the 2010-11 season with Bridgeport on a professional tryout contract. He appeared in 17 games with the Sound Tigers, recording his first AHL goal in Providence on March 13 while recording 73 penalty minutes. The Sound Tigers are the top affiliate of the New York Islanders.
“It was a great experience (in Bridgeport),” said Gallant. “We didn’t have a winning team (30-39-4-7), but it is a great organization. They have great people.”
Gallant, a six-foot and 185-pound forward, split the first half of the season in the East Coast Hockey League with the Elmira Jackals and Reading Royals.
“Obviously, my goal is to get to the NHL, but a big goal of mine was to get to the AHL,” said Gallant, a former captain of the Summerside Western Capitals of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League). “I worked hard at the East Coast level, and it was nice to get called up at the end of the year.”
Gallant, who also played for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, admitted he did notice a difference in the level of competition in the AHL.
“Every league I’ve played in, whether it’s going from junior A to major junior or it’s East Coast to AHL, it’s a second quicker and a little stronger,” assessed Gallant.
And knowing he will be back in the AHL next season, Gallant is planning an intense summer of training.
“I’ll work out in Summerside at the gym and with (friend and mixed martial arts competitor) Bradley Collicutt,” said Gallant. “I’ll also be working out with Joe Borden, who I’ve trained with since I’ve been in Grade 10. . .
“I’d like to gain at least 10 pounds to get a little bigger for next season. I saw when I was up there that guys are a bit bigger and stronger.”