Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Losing Without Playing

While there was no action involving New York Ranger or New York Islander prospects on the ice; off the ice was the trading deadline day for both the WHL and the OHL.

No Ranger or Islander prospects changed teams on Tuesday but that for a few of the prospects what happened Tuesday will have an impact on how the rest of their season goes.

In our eyes, the one prospect was affected most on Tuesday was Scott Stajcer. Stajcer the New York Rangers fifth round pick in the 2009 draft had been sharing the goaltender duties in Owen Sound.

Now we can understand the reluctance of Owen Sound general manager Dale Degray to trade Stajcer given how his other goalie Jordan Binnington has had a subpar season. But now that the decision has been made to keep Stajcer then it's only fair to turn over the starters position to Stajcer.

With Stajcer having a respectable 2.55 goals against and a 0.925 save percentage than the choice is clear if the goal is to win. Stajcer has the fifth best record among all OHL goalies so now it's time to put away the 50/50 rotation.

If not this will be a wasted season for Stajcer.

Our friend Neate Sager of Buzzingthenet may have said it best when he said about the Oshawa Generals

"Oshawa is gambling the reinforcements can pay off in a third or fourth playoff seed, by which time 17-year-old goalie Dan Altshuller might be ready to live up to his considerable potential."

We are hoping that the Oshawa Generals would have traded Christian Thomas thinking about next year rather than gambling this year. Right now the Generals sit in ninth place of the OHL's Eastern Conference.  And yes we will say that that conference is mostly wide open right now; that can change in a hurry.

Thomas can score 50 goals but if your defense is giving way 60 goals then you still are going to lose. And if I talked to Christian Thomas tomorrow the first thing I say is stay healthy and we will see you in Connecticut sooner not later.

Then we have the team's who moved people and and helped the prospects like Andrew Yogan. And a rule, we try to avoid the locker room rumors and gossip mainly because we're dealing with  teenage boys.(Army saying: Rumor Control is  99% BS)

Yogan's Peterborough Petes traded off one of their best players in Austin Watson and the only thing we know is something happened between team and player that was not good. But in this case we look at it as good for Yogan as somebody will get those minutes.

Yogan has been playing well and this might be the opportunity he needs. Yogan can score a bunch of points so here is you chance kid go for it.

Niagara (Ryan Strome) on the other hand is looking to go for it all giving up basically what amounts to an eight player deal for one guy trying to win the OHL's championship.   Niagara had four players who played for Canada on the World under 20 team added a 5th in 6'7defender Jamie Oleksiak.

On paper it looks like they gave up a lot but they really didn't we could talk about the rights to this guy a draft picks for those guys but still we don't think Niagara is going to be an OHL contender.

Plymouth on the other hand with JT Miller decided not to make any kind of any move and it is hard to argue when you have the second best record in the OHL.

 Out west in the WHL, the first that stood out was one that didn't cost the Edmonton Oil Kings a lot.  They added Henrik Samuelsson as in Son of Ulfie from Modo Sweden.  Samuelsson is a 6 foot two wide-body forward who might just move Michael St. Croix's point totals  to about 120

Memo to Henrik, lose the King Henrik nickname, someone else has long proven the name is rightfully his.
Dylan McIlrath ought be happy as his Moose Jaw Warriors added one of his best friends from Winnipeg in  James Henry who was the captain of the Vancouver Giants and then added still another captain Cam Braes of Lethbridge.

Moose Jaw knows that McIlrath will not be back next season so time to make the move as this just about turns the WHL Eastern Conference into a 2 team race between Moose Jaw and Edmonton.

Neither Kelowna, Red Deer or Spokane made any moves that improved their playoff chances or waved the white flag.

 (Stajcer- Aaron Bell of OHL Images)

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