Winnipeg’s Madison Bowey has finally found a place to sign. Despite it not being the exact circumstances that the 25-year-old would have wished to find himself in, just two seasons removed from winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, the puck-moving blueliner has put pen to paper on a professional tryout with the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls.
No, it’s not an NHL club and no, it’s not an official/guaranteed contract, but it is an opportunity for the young defenceman to prove his current worth and put together a strong 2020-21 campaign with ties to an NHL club in need of some defensive help down the road.
A professional tryout (or a PTO) is a chance for a player to get his footing with a new club (be it NHL or minor league) and work his way into a contract for the upcoming season. With the AHL set to begin on February 5, the Gulls (who are the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) have already been participating in some pre-season contests.
After announcing the Bowey PTO on Thursday morning, the Manitoba product suited up for the Gulls in the evening, where he skated alongside Kodie Curran on San Diego’s second defence pairing, just behind Keegan Lowe and 2020 sixth overall draft pick Jamie Drysdale.
The Anaheim Ducks currently boast a defence corps consisting of Josh Manson, Hampus Lindholm, Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler up top, with Ben Hutton, Jani Hakanpaa, Jacob Larsson and Josh Mahura battling for the remaining spots. With Manson now out of the Ducks lineup for roughly six weeks, a big-league roster spot has been created. Andy Welinski has been summoned from San Diego and has since slotted in for one game with Anaheim. Bowey will look to impress the Gulls coaching/management staff and earn a full-time place in San Diego, before forcing the hand of the Ducks on a future deal.