Which Island Team Won the Trade Deadline?
The four island teams all made something happen at the trade deadline, but who won? Let’s run down the action by team:
Victoria has once again added Jonathan Milhouse to the roster. He will bring more offense to a team that already has a lot of weapons. The great thing about this move is that the Grizzlies don’t have to give up anything off their current roster to bring Milhouse in. In a round-about deal with both Quesnel and Westside the Grizzlies have brought in high-scoring forward Trevor Hertz. He steps in and becomes the team’s leading scorer right away. To make it happen though Victoria gave up second-year centreman Cam Reid.
Overall, the Grizzlies come out ahead as Milhouse and Hertz are both eligible to return next year, while Reid is scheduled to attend university at New Hampshire next year. There’s no doubt that among Island teams Victoria has made the biggest improvement to their offense at the deadline. I can’t confirm this, but there may also be some other facets to the Hertz deal that would be realized in the offseason.
Cowichan Valley added the biggest piece on defense by acquiring Curtis Gedig from Merritt. They paid a steep price giving up Scott Jacklin and Jim Geerin, but Gedig is being watched closely by Central Scouting and could be a large piece of that defense corps long-term. The Capitals had the depth at forward to make Jacklin expendable and the fact they were willing to give up a veteran like Geerin suggests that they are happy with the way rookies Shane Taker, Matthew Johnston and Nicholas Wong are contributing right now. This is a bold move by Scott Robinson that could pay huge dividends.
The Clippers added Matt Betker to their forward group and they are hoping he can add offense to a group that sorely needs it. His six power-play goals immediately lead the team and their 13th ranked power play can use the help. It’s not a move with the same glitz as the Hertz or Gedig deals but Betker should add some depth to the attack.
I’m surprised that the Bulldogs didn’t move on some of their 20-year olds. The acquisition of Ethan Gardner should help this year and next but with other teams near Alberni Valley in the standings making a number of moves I thought the Bulldogs would follow suit.
To me it’s Victoria who is the big winner with their moves and Cowichan and Nanaimo in really a tie for second with their moves. The big thing you can’t assess yet is what the moves do for chemistry. We’ll surely find out during the stretch drive.
Dan Marshall, the radio voice of the Nanaimo Clippers, will be blogging the BCHL's Island Division during the 2008/09 season. Check back often for Dan's insights and the latest news from Vancouver Island.