Thursday, November 08, 2007

Trading Day

Yes, I nap in the afternoon. I have no choice really with the schedule and work hours of 5am till... whenever I'm done. Apparently though, I was asleep at the switch today.

I awoke to a pair of major deals in the WHL both involving the Portland Winterhawks and their full out team fire sale. Five players out and seven when the dust settled. Congratulations Ken Hodge you have made a statement.

A seven player swap with Lethbridge started the day. It went like this: F Nick Hotson, 20, F Colton Sceviour, 18, and D Lucas Alexiuk, 18, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jacob Dietrich, 20, F Nick Dietrich, 18, D Ryan Kerr, 18, D Travis Bobbee, 17, and a fifth-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft.

Not sure about this deal and what prompted the Hurricanes to jump in. I think they get three good players. Hotson led the Hawks in scoring last season while Colton Sceviour has good offensive upside. Not sure on Alexiuk I won't lie. The Canes give 20 year-old Jacob Dietrich who had a measly three points in 20 games. I can hear fans saying already "yeah but he's a great kid". That's not enough to justify a 20 year-old spot. You have to add something besides being a "good team guy". A WHL coach once told me "You can fill Giants Stadium with good kids..."

Didn't see a lot of Nick Dietrich to form an opinion but I thought Kerr and Bobee were good depth defenseman to this point. They never stood out in the head to head meetings against the Broncos be it negative of positive.

Now to the other big deal of the day and I have to wonder out loud. Does Warriors General Manager Chad Lang think the year is 1987? He acquires even more toughness in muscle as if he's gearing up for all out war against the East division. Remember that arms race thing I was talking about? Makes you wonder what Regina's next move will be?

Here's the trade: The Winterhawks send a 5th round bantam pick, 20 year-old forward Frazier Mclaren and 17 year-old defenseman Ty Ariss. The Hawks get some talent in return in 20 year-old forward Keith Voytechek, 17 year-old forward Jason Grecica and 18 year-old d-man Travis Erhardt.

Poor Dave Hunchak. The coach of the Warriors is going to need the players to write their name and tape it on their helmet. Hi, my name is Keaton.

That's three big trades for the Warriors in a month. I'm losing track.

So getting back to the whole 1987 comment... let's take a look at some of the beef up front for the Warriors now.

Frazier Mclaren - 6'5 230 - tough as nails with some offensive touch
Ryley Grantham - 6'4 203 - one dimensional. Just try and disagree with me.
Terrance Dellorande - 6'1 205 - doesn't shy away from the rough stuff.

I'm not saying "1987" in a negative way. Whether it works at this day in age we'll see. If I owned a WHL team Chad Lang could apply for the G.M. job any day. So could you Kelly Mac, I don't want you feeling left out. I would however require you to be nice to all working members of the media. Not interested?

The move will more than likely pay off for the Warriors. Lang wouldn't have made the move if he didn't think so.


Interesting side note to the Ellerby/Calla trade. Heard this today on the street... Both Ellerby and new Blazer co-owner Shane Doan share the same agent - J.P. Barry. He's a heavy hitter in the agent world make no mistake. Ellerby was a healthy scratch last Blazers game vs Red Deer Tuesday night. Was that the last straw in Blazerville?

Ellerby has a ton of potential but didn't see eye-to-eye with Clark. Can he begin to live up to his potential in Moose Jaw? After all he is a 10th overall NHL pick and with that carries huge expectations. Expect him to get every opportunity to excel. Now it's basically up to him.



Anonymous said...

Hi There Jon,

I have found myself wandering towards your blog on a regular basis and really enjoy the posts. I appreciated your questioning of the toughness issue and MJ's desire to add what appears to be toughness to their lineup. It has been an interesting 2-3 years as we have witnessed the paradigm shift from the standard belief that you have to have a tough guy. I guess the one thing I will say is that you do need big bodies who can bang and crash to have an extended run in the playoffs. The fighting issue is still up in the air. Ultimately they are still kids and they still can be rattled by a team with 3-4 killers on the roster. I wouldn't want to try to make a run without at least 3 guys who can be energy guys that can also intimidate. Let's face it. As good as the Giants were the last few years, they were equally mean. If you want to play that way, then you have to back it up. They could. I am not sure if the goal of a WHL GM is to get tough in the fighting department. I think they want to be able to play mean and nasty when they need to. In order to do that, you need the 2-3 nuclear missiles on your roster and the rep. that you'll use them if the other team doesn't like getting owned physically. Winning formula to me.

Jon Keen said...

That's certainly a way to win, but Medicine Hat didn't have much of that last year and they won the WHL title.

Bendfeld was there guy. A middle of the road heavyweight. Dorsett was their superpest but other than that there wasn't much jam.

Speed kills too.

Anonymous said...

I agree about speed and I agree about Medicine Hat's tough guy being middle of the road. But, that is a highly gifted team that would feed you your lunch on the powerplay. But for a less than spectacular team looking to be world beaters, I'd take the thuggery approach to get deep into the playoffs.

Vancouver was a gifted team two years ago. But, the way they beat Moose Jaw was truly impacted by the fact that they were probably one of the meanest teams I have seen. McCardell folded his tent in that series along the wall.

Once again, give me an elite team with elite talent anyday. But, when you are less than elite, loading up with punishers can be really tough to play against.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I can't see our SC defence holding up to a punishing forecheck for 18-28 games. That's not a knock - just what I see. With the new rules, why not cut 3-4 junkyard dogs loose a night on a defence? The transition game has to be pretty special to play against a team like that. If it isn't, the d could end up looking like a MASH unit.

How do you counter it? By having 3-4 yourself. It's actually kind of a safety issue.