Friday, 10 February 2017

'The Trade' - Part III

I've never been a big fan of making a bunch of moves to make a run for a championship. It has the potential to mess with team chemistry and backfire. Anyone else remember the years when the Rangers, Red Wings, Avalanche and others would try to stock up at the deadline in hopes of putting themselves "over the top", then end up not winning the Stanley Cup? That's one thing I wondered about when looking back on the '96-'97 Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club and that massive deal which allowed them to get Chris Phillips and Shane Willis. GM Bryan Maxwell said in our chat last week that it wasn't really a factor for him, as he knew he was getting a couple of really good pieces (and admittedly the third good piece was Blaine Russell). The interesting thing to me was that Maxwell didn't pull the trigger on many deals outside of that during the season. And believe it or not, two of the deals happened to be with the team they would end up playing in the WHL Championship series: Seattle Thunderbirds. The first was to get their 20-year-old situation sorted out: Randy Perry was sent to the Thunderbirds just six games into the regular season. From what I was able to gauge through online searches, Perry was traded for future considerations. What those future considerations were is unclear right now. Perry ended up being a good performer for the Thunderbirds in their playoff run, before heading out on a solid minor-league career. The second was a one-for-one deal where the Hurricanes acquired defenseman Shane Belter from the Thunderbirds for forward Dave Taylor. This deal actually worked out really well for the Canes, as they sent Belter to Kamloops Blazers the following season for future captain Thomas Scantlebury (who spent his whole career in Lethbridge), while Taylor ended up in Moose Jaw Warriors, then spent part of his last season in the WHL back with the Hurricanes. The interesting thing with these two trades is that I'm not overly clear on what the full return was, like if other draft picks or future considerations were included in either of the deals. What I can tell you is that during the 1997 WHL Bantam Draft, a couple of picks did change hands: - 3rd round, 48th overall - originally Seattle's pick, the Hurricanes used it to grab forward Scott Edwards. Edwards didn't play in the WHL, but had a couple of seasons with the U. of S. Huskies. - 4th round, 72nd overall - originally Lethbridge's pick, the Thunderbirds used it to grab forward David Allman. His career didn't turn into much, as doesn't even have him listed anywhere. The Hurricanes did engineer one other move in the '96-'97 season and that was with a not-so-regular bed-fellow. The Canes sent forward Mike Bayrack to Medicine Hat Tigers. I found an article from the Prince George Citizen, that stated Bayrack was part of a three-team deal involving Portland, where Bayrack thought he was going to the Winterhawks, ended up in Medicine Hat, where he'd be playing against the Canes, which he didn't like. So before too long, he ended up in Prince George Cougars Hockey Club. Bayrack ended up having himself a pretty good career at a few different stops around the world. Again, the one challenge in dissecting that deal is coming up with the pieces for that deal involving the Canes, Tigers and Winterhawks. I believe one of the draft picks moved ended up being Nathan Marenko, but again, can't really confirm it. Bottom line: all of the deals worked out for the Hurricanes. Thanks so much to all for tuning in and reading these blogs. It's been a blast to work on them. If you have a trade you'd like me to dissect, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter, and we could make it part of an upcoming episode. (NOTE: please make it a little more recent, as getting old info is hard to do hahaha!)

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