Wednesday, 8 February 2017

'The Trade' - Part I

Over the next couple of days, we’re going to resurrect Joe’s 3-part series of “The Trade”. We introduced this a few months back, as the first real “trade tree” involving the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club. Without further adieu: ***** It was a trade that shocked the entire WHL. Everyone knew the Lethbridge Hurricanes were going to be a good team, and they started the 1996-1997 season on absolute fire. But they wanted to shore things up, and on January 24th, GM Bryan Maxwell pulled off one whopper of a deal. The Canes picked up 1st overall NHL draft pick Chris Phillips, sniper Shane Willis, goaltender Blaine Russell and defenseman Dylan Kemp from Prince Albert Raiders for forwards Cam Severson and David Cameron, defenseman Richard Seeley, prospect Ross Lupaschuk and a 2nd round bantam draft pick. We all know what happened after that. As I alluded to last week, I love history, so one of the things I enjoy is going back and looking at what happened after a deal to each of the players. Call it the "6 Degrees of Trade Separation." It's like how you can connect the Barry Pederson-Cam Neely trade to end up with Milan Lucic. There is a bit of a caveat that comes with this though. I'm not entirely sure if I have all of the information, because it's hard to track down trade information from before the internet. There is no website that lists players and draft picks involved in trades over the years, like what you can do with the NHL on HockeyDB. So I'm kinda of patching things together and extrapolating a little bit through old newspaper clippings, random websites, and a few points of contact (including our very own Dylan Purcell). So here you go: Chris Phillips - Some people were shocked he was moved in the first place because he could have potentially come back to the WHL after the Canes won the league championship. Alas, he didn't. But the Ottawa Senators were pretty pleased with how his career turned out. Shane Willis - He ended up tearing up the league the following year for the Hurricanes, scoring 58 goals and 112 points in 64 games. He bounced around in his career afterwards, including time with the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning, hanging up his skates in the AHL in 2009. Blaine Russell - This kid was integral to the Canes run, but left right afterwards for a career in the AHL and ECHL. He was an Anaheim Mighty Ducks draft pick, but never saw time in the show, ending his hockey career in 2004. Dylan Kemp - The Buffalo Sabres took a waiver on Kemp in the 9th round of the 1997 Entry Draft, but he didn't play much hockey after the trade. He ended up being traded to Saskatoon the following season for Vladislav Klochkov. As for the guys the Raiders got: Cam Severson - The future Anaheim Duck enforcer only spent about a year in PA before being shipped off to Spokane for Marc Brown and Justin Kelly. Brown ended up second in Raider scoring in '98-'99 before a few years in the AHL, then going overseas. We'll get to Kelly in a second. David Cameron - Cameron spent a year and a half with the Raiders before being shipped off to Saskatoon with the aforementioned Justin Kelly for Garrett Prosofsky. Cameron bounced around the minors for a bit before he finished his hockey career with the 4-year stint with the Manitoba Bisons. Kelly led the Blades in scoring in '01-'02 before he lived out of a suitcase across the world for the rest of his career. And Prosofsky, a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, spent a couple of years in PA before being sent to Portland for James Demone. Interestingly enough, Demone spent a couple of years with the U. of L. Pronghorns and is now a member of the Lethbridge Police Service. Richard Seeley - The LA Kings draft pick spent the rest of his junior career in Prince Albert. He then bounced around the AHL then headed overseas. He's now the head coach of the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL, where he spent three years when the team was in the AHL. Ross Lupaschuk - Yet another guy who ended up spending a lot of time traveling around the world. Lupaschuk's career actually included another major trade. Prince Albert sent him and Craig Brunel to Red Deer for Regan Darby, Brent Hobday, Scott McQueen and Steve MacIntyre. He ended up helping the Rebels win the WHL championship in 2000-2001 before playing 3 games in the NHL and a bunch more across the world. Of note on the return: Hobday played a few years with David Cameron at the U. of M., while MacIntyre fought his way to 91 games in the NHL with Edmonton, Florida and Pittsburgh. 2nd Round Draft Pick - this pick turned into Riley Cote. He had himself a solid four-year career with the Raiders, and found himself in the NHL in Toronto's system before being shipped to Philadelphia, where he fought pretty much anyone who asked. Cote is now a coach with the Flyers farm team in Lehigh Valley Phantoms. And believe it or not, I've been able to connect a current high-profile Hurricane to this entire trade. Guess who was an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels when they acquired Ross Lupaschuk and Craig Brunel? That's right. GM Peter Anholt, who served with the Rebels from 1998-2000, just missing out on their drive to the WHL championship. So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed this little retrospective. And this is only part one! And if you’d like, here’s a little write-up on the trade from the ‘Canes themselves.

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