After some lively commentary, we return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.......
Following a less than eventful WHL trade deadline - for most WHL clubs, not just the Ice - the club returns to the ice tonight at WFP against the Tigers.
So the club didn't make the big deal for either of the best bargaining chips it had - Leach and/or Montgomery - and today made Leach the club's captain for the rest of the season.
Dealing Simpson to Lethbridge for a 5th round pick in the 2013 Draft and then Erik Benoit to Saskatoon for a 4th round pick would be all of the action for the Ice as the dance partners failed to materialize or dried up early on (Edmonton - filling it's open 20-spot with power forward Trevor Cheeks from Vancouver). Saskatoon opted for Calgary Flames Draft Pick and power forward Micheal Ferland, who notched 47 goals last year for Brandon and was sent back to the Wheaties from the ECHL Utah Grizzlies (3 games) and AHL Abbotsford Heat (7 games) with only an assist to show for it. They got a 1st round pick out of the Blades for him.
I'm not surprised that the Blades went for Ferland, who has the offensive upside on Montgomery but was surprised Edmonton didn't upgrade their roster with a D-man (Leach) instead of Cheeks. With D Martin Gernat (Oilers, 5th round last year) expected back from a shoulder injury that's kept him out of the lineup the entire season, perhaps they thought a forward was a better fit for their open 20-spot. However, with the scuttlebutt that D Griffin Reinhart might stick with the NY Islanders out of their short training camp - it's an outside chance, yes but with the Isles, you never know (read: Nino Niederreiter; John Tavares, Ryan Strome; perhaps). If he sticks that's going to leave a big hole in their repeat hopes on the blueline.
As for Benoit, it was news to me that he requested a trade earlier in the season (as per the Ice release) but he's getting a good shot at another appearance in the Memorial Cup.
Though, again, you'd think that both Leach and Montgomery would have even more interest with their championship and Memorial Cup experience.
Through Jeff Hollick's Twitter account we learned today that:
Scott Neidermayer is now an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks and that the Ice, in sore need of a D-man given what played out at the deadline, added D Landon Peel, 18, from the MJHL's Swan Valley Stampeders. Peel played 26 games over two seasons with the Regina Pats in 2010-11.
Twitter is a great source of instant information but be warned to be careful. For example, Drew Czerwonka tweeted on Tuesday that he was proud to be Cougar. I immediately thought the Prince George Cougars but no, upon further review, it was revealed that the former Ice captain had joined the University of Regina Cougars.
The Ice also tried to lure 20-year-old D Ryley Miller to the club to fill a need on the blueline prior to the deadline as he was dropped from the Brandon Wheat Kings lineup when Ferland was returned. Miller decided to stay in Manitoba and play for the Dauphin Kings of the MJHL. FYI, on the Kings roster is Cranbrook product Blake Kirkham and former Ice D-man Tyler Vanscourt.
Kootenay goes for seven tonight against the Tigers. Gametime is 7PM.