It might not always be pretty - the Ice might have the best 1-2-2 in the league - but you can't argue with the results.
The Kootenay Ice leapfrogged the Brandon Wheat Kings and moved into 11th in the Eastern Conference standings with a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings Tuesday night at WFP.
Mackenzie Skapski and Laurent Brossoit put on a goaltending clinic on the night with each stopping 30+ shots as the Ice notched their 6th straight win.
Much speculation on the night as many wondered if it was the last game in an Ice uniform for D Joey Leach and F Brock Montgomery. Both, especially Leach, played well in the club's sixth straight win.
With the Thursday WHL trade deadline set to hit at 3PM Mountain Time Thursday the Ice raised a few eyebrows when they dealt 18-year-old D-man Mike Simpson to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a 5th round pick in the 2013 Draft. Simpson, a big (6'4" 208lbs) stay-at-home D-man found himself in a fight for ice-time with 17-year-old Tanner Faith and D Matt Thomas, also 17, even though the club only had 6 D-men on the roster.
Jeff Hubic, now a forward but who started with the club as a blueliner, could be converted back to the blueline to give the club six but the transaction make this interesting as the deadline approaches tomorrow.
The aforementioned Leach and Montgomery make the most attractive assets on the block but don't expect both of them to go. And another wrinkle, if no deal is made for either player, do the Ice add say, 20-year-old D-man Ryley Miller who was released by the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday as the club had to get down to three overage players - Nick Buonassisi, Tyler Yaworski and Micheal Ferland, who was returned from the pro ranks. Miller played 241 games in the WHL notching 37 points in five seasons with a whopping 537 PIMS. If you're looking for some toughness on the blueline to add for nothing, Miller's the guy. He's not afraid to chuck 'em.
Some deals today limit the available spots for a 20 around the league though as the Oil Kings filled their spot by acquiring F Trevor Cheek from the Vancouver Giants for a 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft, which isn't cheap but thought to be cheaper than the asking price for Leach or Montgomery, which is thought to command a player and a pick in return.
I believe only Red Deer have a 20-year-old spot open in the league.
The move by the Ice opens up a spot for a 20-year-old or a prospect to be brought up on the blueline, or Hubic will move back. Otherwise something should happen tomorrow.