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Old 01-16-2010, 07:55 PM
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Default IceDogs Trade Deadline Review

IceDogs Trade Deadline Review
By: TV Cogeco Niagara
January 14th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

Ask any guy who has been in a shopping mall an hour before closing time on December 24TH and he will tell you that deadlines create urgency. And urgency equals action. This certainly seems to be what it takes to get OHL General Managers moving. From January 4TH to Noon January 11TH there were exactly 21 OHL Trades, involving all but three teams. The only teams to take a pass on the proceedings were Mississauga, Brampton and Owen Sound. And for all we know, they probably tried to put something together.

Every year we all get caught up in the drama and suspense that happens immediately after the New Year. And every year, I come away a little let down. When all is said and done, how many of these deals will be truly significant in the short term. The general belief seems to be that this year will belong to Windsor in the West and Barrie in the East. And this Deadline did little to change my mind.

The frenzy leading up to the 11TH did create a lot of fan buzz. Chat rooms and blogs were buzzing about the more than abundant rumours about how this deal or that deal could improve the fortunes of their team. The media, myself included spent countless hours speculating what might or might not occur. Deals were put together and deals fell apart. Just ask Steve Spott and Marty Williamson. The two of them engaged in some last minute verbal sparring through the media over if and or when they had a deal for Mavric Parks in exchange for draft picks. But in the end, both seemed (publically at least) to get what they were after.

Now the endless analysis over who won and lost in these exchanges begins in earnest. Make no mistake, it will continue endlessly. In the end, how did the Niagara Ice Dogs fare? Well, that depends on whether you were hoping for immediate help in the form of veteran players who might get you into the post season, or whether you believed that they should deal for the future.

January 4TH, Dave Brown moved Jay Gilbert to Plymouth for a 4TH Rounder in 2011. Jay had become a serviceable defenseman. He was getting increased ice time this season under Mike McCourt. But he left the Team and demanded that he be traded. The fact was that Jay was not going to be moved for a top line player who could dramatically change the Ice Dogs fortunes by mid-March. Dave Brown in my opinion got fair value for Jay and at the same time added piece of the puzzle that can be translated into future value. Probably on the trade market.

As for Chris DeSousa, he too had left the team demanding a trade. At 19 years of age, it was now or never in terms of getting something for him. Once the Deadline passed, his value would significantly decline. And Alex Pietrangelo will definitely not be in the league next year. While he could definitely make some impact on the Team's fortunes, he would never be of more value than now on the trade block.

Ryan Strome replaces Lucas Lessio who is now playing Tier II for the St.Mike's Buzzers. Simon Gronvaldt will certainly add some much needed experience on the young Niagara defence. And with him, came the Import Numbers game and so Petteri Simila was the odd man out. Especially given the solid play this season of Mark Visentin.

What that leaves us all with is a season where Niagara will be life and death to make the playoffs. The hope lies in the bevy of draft picks assembled over the next several years by Dave Brown. Especially for this upcoming Draft when the Team has two first rounders and two second rounders. The pressure now would seem to rest with Brown and his team of scouts to make the right selections and trades.

If you went into this Trade Deadline believing that the Dogs should go for the playoffs by making one or two big deals, then you probably came away disappointed. However, if like me, you believe that trader Dave needed to look to the future, then you probably are pretty satisfied with how this all went down.

At least for now!
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