Friday, January 11, 2008

Deadline Deal Doesn't Develop

  • Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton was busy on the phones, yet nothing materialized as the Western Hockey League trade deadline came and went. Hamilton told me he was in discussions in acquiring defenseman Trevor Glass from the Medicine Hat Tigers, but the 19 year-old was wooed away by the Spokane Chiefs. Hamilton says it would have been nice to add an older d-man or veteran forward if the Rockets get into injury trouble. You can hear the interview I had with Hamilton on the pre-game show at 6:30 Friday night.
  • The deal the Rockets made Wednesday with the Prince Albert Raiders is now null and void. The Rockets acquired the playing rights to 19 year-old Brent Ottmann, yet Ottmann has elected to stay with the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Ottmann would have been a second or third line forward, which would have been different from his role with the Hawks, where he is the go-to-guy as a first line forward.
  • I felt especially good for one Rocket following the conclusion of the WHL trade deadline. Goaltender Kristofer Westblom was rumored all season long as the player that would be moved to make way for 18 year-old Torrie Jung. Now that Westblom is staying, the Rockets have arguably the best tandem in the Western Conference. Westblom boosts playoff experience that few can hold a candle too. Westblom has WHL championship and Memorial Cup experience. The only other goaltender that can equal Westblom’s experience is Giants netminder Tyson Sexsmith.
  • The Rockets will be without Luke Schenn this weekend. Schenn won’t play in back-to-back games in Prince George, as the team gives him time to come back to earth after winning gold for Canada at the World Juniors. Schenn is expected to play Tuesday night when the Rockets wrap up a three game road trip in Kamloops.
  • James McEwan made the trip to Prince George for moral support. The Rockets captain has a cast-like covering on his left wrist after undergoing surgery after having two tendons cut in a fight with Vancouver Giants forward Garet Hunt. Be listening for an interview with McEwan Friday night to get his thoughts about his road to recovery.
  • Rockets forward Colin Long enters the weekend one point back of Mark Santorelli for the WHL points lead. Yet where would Long be had the Rockets not acquired Jamie Benn. Benn needs Long as much as Long needs Benn. If Long indeed wins the league scoring crown, or is given the team award at the end of the season as MVP, he will undoubtedly give a shout out to Benn for enabling him to excel in the offensive zone.


MG said...

It is interesting how you ask where Long would be without Benn. I think Benn would be fine and still one of the top rookies without Long. However, Long would not be where he is without Benn. to me Benn is a machine. He seems to always be working hard to score or make a play. Great guy to have playing for us.

More so, Mark Santorelli needs Oscar Moller. Even though he has put up some not bad numbers without him ( 4 points the other night I believe) over the long haul he needs Moller to remain at the top.

Regan Bartel said...

Agree with you mg. Benn plays hard, and has an edge to his game. Look how many goals Benn scored on that Eastern road trip before Christmas. Benn was a stud. The Rockets still feel he could be in better condition. With a solid workout plan this summer, Benn could be a 50 goal man in his 19 year-old season.

MG said...

I am a little surprised that the rockets didn't deal Almond or Macrae for another younger "Leavold" type player. Guys like Leavold, former Rocket Simon Fergeson and Cutter become such a strong part of the team and provde younger players with confidence just by being on the ice. I think we will need a player of this type next year.