Friday, January 11, 2013

Shaking up things

Shane McColgan (Saskatoon Blades)
It was a super active trade deadline day in the CHL but only one New York Islander prospect moved but one New York Ranger prospect saw his team make big moves. The CHL had thought about changing their trade deadline day because of the NHL opening their own trading camps as soon as this weekend.

Not knowing put teams into tough choices but the CHL leagues decided to keep their trade deadlines as they were and there was more movement than any NHL trade deadline days. Most teams went for strengthening their teams while a couple waved the white flags and sold off their best stars.

The team that did the most was Shane McColgan's Saskatoon Blades as the 2013 hosts of the Memorial Cup went out and reshaped their roster for the playoff run. The Blades added left-winger Michael Ferland from the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Ferland is a 20 year old Calgary Flames prospect who with the Wheat Kings was a productive power forward. The Blades gave up their 2013 1st round pick to get Ferland.

The Blades also added left-winger Collin Valcourt from the Spokane Chiefs giving up their 1st round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and a 5th round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

Finally the Blades added left-winger Erik Benoit from the Kootenay Ice for a 4th round pick in 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The Blades are currently 6th in the WHL's Eastern Conference standings and adding these 3 players will help the Blades at both ends.

Will it help the Blades win the Memorial Cup, in all honestly no because if not for being the hosts the Blades would not even get close to winning an WHL championship.

It is interesting to note that defending WHL champion the Edmonton Oil Kings made only 2 deals one sending a player away while adding 20 yr old Trevor Cheek from Vancouver.

The best team in the WHL right now is the Portland Winterhawks and while they could possibly lose Ty Rattie and Tyler Wotherspoon and they didn't make a single deal. Part of why was that because of the sanctions imposed earlier in the season, the Winterhawks really could not afford to part with much.

Of course when you are on a 13 game winning streak, have the 1st and 3rd leading scorers as well as the number 1 goalie in the WHL then there is really not much of a need to make a move is there?

Game Action

Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) made his debut with the Barrie Colts and it came with mixed results for the forward. Barrie needed the shootout to defeat the Mississauga Steelheads 5-4.

Barrie rallied from down 3-1 to tie the game on Theoret's 1st point as a Colt which was the only assist on the goal that tied the game at 3-3. That goal came at 14:58 of the second period but Theoret also took a boarding call at 19:04 of the same period to give the Steelheads a power play.

Mississauga would cash in that power player at 19:30 to take a 4-3 lead into the 3rd period. Theoret got bailed out by his new teammates who tied the game and then won via the shootout.

For the game Theoret was 0-1-1 +1 with the 2 PIMs and while it was Theoret's first point as a Colt; it raised Theoret's season numbers to 18-25-43.

Theoret's old team the Niagara IceDogs faced the Owen Sound Attack without Ryan Strome (reporting to the Islandder training camp) and they too needed a shootout to earn a 3-2 shootout win. The IceDogs still had Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) and Graham had a night like his former teammate Theoret did.

Graham took an interference call at 10:00 of the 1st period which Owen Sound cashed in to tie the game at 1-1. Owen Sound would eventually take a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period but a Niagara power play gave Graham a chance to redeem himself.

Graham is taking over as the power play quarterback for the IceDogs so thanks to an Owen Sound penalty, Graham took a shot that was tipped in to tie the game and send it to overtime. Graham is now 2-15-17 on the season.

Enjoy the highlights courtesy of TVCogecoOntario.

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) one has to wonder what he thinks about North Americans after 2 losing seasons in Peterborough especially this season. The Petes fired their GM and then their coach; the team captain demanded a trade, another player refused to report after being traded to the Petes and then traded away the team's leading scorer.

To say life in Peterborough was easy for Ceresnak would be a huge lie and one has to wonder how his development might have been on a hockey team not a teen-age soap opera.

One thing we will see over the 2nd half of the season will be how Ceresnak responds to his new coach and his new role as the lead defender for the Petes. Against the Kitchener Rangers, Ceresnak was scoreless as well as a -2 but the Petes found a way to defeat the Rangers 3-2 also via the shootout.

The Petes find themselves as unbeaten in their last 4 games (3-0-0-1) so who knows what will happen.

Who wants top watch some hockey?

Hey we got some hockey for you on Friday night as the NHL prepares to open training camps. First we start with the Red Deer Rebels visiting Shane McColgan and his Saskatoon Blades on the NHL Network (USA) starting at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT.

Over on the NBC Sports Network they have a doubleheader starting at 7:30/4:30 with Union at Princeton. That game is followed by Nebraska-Omaha against Islander prospect Scott Mayfield's Denver Pioneers.

If you can get the Big Ten Network then starting at 9 PM/6 PM you can catch 2012 New York Ranger 1st round pick Brady Skjei and his number 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers take on Alaska-Anchorage.

I will be at the Portland Winterhawks vs Brenden Kichton's Spokane Chiefs game so if anyone catches any of the games and wants to report what happened then I will be happy to post what you say.

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