Friday, January 11, 2013

And now.... a playoff push or lottery ticket?

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.


ELL said...

The downside of only attending every second game as some has to look after the kids is you can miss an exciting one. I thought I saw the best game of the season when they played Edmonton. However last nights game vs Medicine Hat sounds very high on the entertainment scale.

Anonymous said...

Back to the poor attendance discussion...trying to figure that out. We travel to several games away as well as at home, and ticket prices don't seem to be any different. Plus parking in Edmonton/Calgary etc. is a lot more than $2 and I am sure $2 won't break anybody. However, I think sometimes babysitting costs do...We can't figure out why the ICE don't do more promo nights (the one where the schools come is awesome and the crowd is loud) They need to make it easy for kids to come to the game - what works well in our rink at home - kids come in free if they bring both parents or one parent. Now they don't have to get a babysitter! Not everyone can afford to come to the game together and then pay a babysitter. When there is a hockey tournament in town, they should also give the players all free tickets. Then their parents will come with them and fill the seats and the kids wil make noise. The seats are empty anyway, what is the harm? When our kids were small and we went to larger centers for tournaments, we always were given some sort of tourney package that had WHL tickets in it and we ALL went to those games, the kids thought it was great. Comes down to it, make it easy for kids to come and their parents will come!

Anonymous said...

Watched Blades game on Shaw last night. They went from looking lost first half of the game to looking like a team that will compete very well at MC. Who will come out of East/West to meet for title in WHL Jefff? I think a Portland Edmonton final is in the makings again. Great to see the ice win again last night. Kind of a reverse of last season when they won early and couldn't win a game in the second half. Its never over until its over. Go Ice!

Locksmith Bromley said...

The only way is to go to ALL the games

Anonymous said...
Read the exchange regarding relocations and small market attendace challenged teams.
We're screwed!

Velda said...

This is cool!