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Seattle Signs Matthew Wedman

Today, Seattle announced the signing of Matthew Wedman to a standard player agreement. He played last season for the South Side Athletic Club.

Wedman was a 2nd round selection in the 2014 Bantam Draft and getting a player signed this early is a tad unusual but it is also a great sign that he is committed to playing in Seattle and that the Thunderbirds feel he has a good shot to be a part of the team next year as a 16 year old.

Wedman is the brother of Cole and Dan. Cole played for Spokane and Dan is a Cornell commit.

Russ Farwell described Wedman as a Center and even though most kids play Center at some point in their youth, this seems to be an indication that they see him eventually playing there for Seattle.


Unknown said...

Ok... So like most of us I have been keeping tabs on what the potential roster will look like next season and here is where I am at... Granted I know there is a lot of discussion/debate regarding the 20's (especially involving Kozun), but then again we all seem to have differing opinions on it.

Right now for me I have my three 20's as:
Hickman (the only one I think we all can agree on)
Wardley (I honestly would prefer Henry, but with the rest of the team I do understand the desire to have a physical presence who can fight)

Yes... This means that I do not keep Kozun, but that is a discussion for another time.

In terms of 16 year old's, i think we are looking at 1 more than last year:
Wedman (as I agree with this early signing makes him a good bet to make the team)

This would would make the team look as follows:

Name Age
Calvin Spencer 18
Scott Ensor 18
Justin Hickman 20
Ryan Gropp 18
Mathew Barzal 17
Sam McKechnie 20
Keegan Kolesar 17
Kaden Elder 16
Nolan Volcan 16
Lane Pederson 17
Donovan Neuls 17
Alexander True 17
Florian Baltram 17
Matthew Wedman 16

Jarret Smith 19
Kevin Wolf? 18
Shea Theodore 19
Ethan Bear 17
Jared Hauf 19
Luke Osterman 17
Sahvan Khaira 16
Evan Wardley 20

Danny Mumaugh 18
Logan Flodell 17

I put a question mark next to Wolf because he is one of the few guys I am not sure about as a result of his lack of previous playing time as a 17 year old.

Regardless, if this roster holds true, it would mean our average team age is only 17.66 (very young).

Now I know there will be question marks next off-season next to all of our 18 year old's (especially Bear, Gropp, and Barzal), but there will only be 4 players who I can say with certainty will be gone... Our three 20's and Theo (probably to the AHL).

This would leave us with basically our entire team (pending we don't lose any 18's to the NHL) and room to pick up 1 more 20 (pending a miracle that Theo stays).

Now if we can get Fabbro to commit for the following season, that would be really nice...

But either way, as I have been saying since the end of last season (and more and more people are starting to agree), while this upcoming season is going to be fun... The REAL fun is going to be in the 2015-2016 season and I can't wait!!!!


Thunnex said...

Cross Wedman off... he's a 15 year old.

Sorry... I probably wasn't super clear when I said "next year" I meant 2015-16.

Unknown said...

Oh your right.... They had a misprint on the T-Birds Bantam draft page.... It says that both him and Tyszka were born in 98'... My mistake. Ok, cross him off... But that still leave 3 other 16's.

Anonymous said...

I hope it wont be a struggle getting Tyszka to sign. I hate seeing the 2nd rounder sign and not see yet another BC 1st rounder take his time to sign!.. Gropp(delayed signing until he was 17), Barzal(weighed his options until the last minute), Fabbro(not coming) and now Tyszka(possibly weighing options???)... stop taking BC boys in the first round!!haha... too scarey waiting for them to possibly sign

Anonymous said...

not to mention 98 born Spencer Hunter(Chilliwack Chiefs) and 98 born Jagger Williamson(Vernon Vipers) both drafted in the "Fabbro Draft" already committing to Junior A also... Damn you BC boys!!haha

Anonymous said...

I would put a question mark next to Osterman as well since he isn't signed.

Anonymous said...

Somehow we need to pick up a good 95 born forward. Someone who can score 20 goals, 40 points, and remain defensively accountable. With Henry and Kozun on the block that should be possible for us! It should be someone who can play as a 20 in 2015 16, and won't get taken by the ahl. Someone who plays like Luke Lockhart or a higher scoring Chris Cloud.

Unknown said...

I 100% agree... Right now we are only looking at two 2's hanging around from this season to next in Smith and Hauf. Even if by some miracle Theo does get kept down here, I don't think we should have more than two 20's on defense (two is a healthy number, all three is lopsided). Since we currently don't have any 19 year old forwards on the team, I think it would be a HUGE pick up to get at least one.... Honestly I wouldn't mind picking up a couple. If we can snag two or three seasoned 19's who can help protect the abundance of 16's and 17's, I think that would go a long way this season. Plus, I think it could give all the 19's a little more motivation this season... Other than Theo, if we have more than three 19's who would be looking to remain on the team next year, they may try harder to "prove themselves" as worthy 20's to keep around... And maybe not, but it is nice to think about.

Mr Tell13 said...

@Tyler smith (and anon 12:27)
So who are you guys giving up with Kozun to get the 95 with 20goals? its not going to be cheap (unless we get another lethbridge, but I doubt it will happen this year)
and that would mean to trade Kozun in the Eastern Conf, unless you want to motivate a guy to beat you 4-6 time this season AND possibly meet him in the 1st round of play-offs.
(not saying its not possible, just extremely difficult and I don't know who would be available)

Unknown said...

Well I'm still in the mindset that we Do Not keep Kozun anyways... It's not that I have anything against him, but all it will do is put us in a goaltender bind next season when it really matters.

Say we keep Kozun; who do we keep as his back up? An 18 year old Mumaugh? Is it really fair to let an 18 year old goalie ride the bench for another year when he already had previous hopes for a starting job (or at least platooning) before Kozun? Or the 17 year old Flodell who has absolutely no experience?

We can't keep three goalies on the roster as that would be way to unfair for Flodell this season (as I think we all can agree that Flodell would always be the one watching from the stands)

And then what about next season (when I argue that it really counts)?

Say we kept Mumaugh... Now we have a 19 year old goalie with whatever we can find off the market to back him up. Normally I wouldn't complain about being in this position, but I don't think Mumaugh has proved himself to be that goalie yet (which I will get back to in a minute).

Now on the other hand say we keep Flodell. Now next year we are stuck with an 18 year old starting goalie who (if things work out with Kozun) has less than 20 games on his resume (with another big question mark regarding who will be behind him... if we don't decide to go fishing for another 19/20 year old goalie instead). Even if Kozun flounders and gives us his previous sub - .900 save percentage (which even we saw out of him for a short period of time), resulting in Flodell getting 30+ games... There are still too many question marks.

Instead I think we keep Mumaugh as the starter and have Flodell as the backup. Getting back to what I said regarding Mumaugh not proving himself yet... I think this is the season where we give him that chance. I would argue (and if people want to fight me on this I would be happy to hear them) that while we might be better than last year (despite having a younger team), this is still not "our year". Don't get me wrong, I am still more excited than ever for the start of the hockey season, but I still wouldn't put my money on them getting past the 3rd round (and even bringing up the 3rd round is a little generous... but lets see them prove me wrong). As a result, this should be the year where we really test the waters with Mumaugh and see if he is capable of being the "go-to" goaltender we need him to be.

Say it works out... Then what some people would call a "risky" decision of getting rid of Kozun will be forgotten very quickly.

But now say it doesn't work out. At least now we know and don't have to struggle through this headache next season when it counts the most. Sure if it doesn't work out it may cost us some games this season, but then at least we will have more time to correct the problem. I think we all can agree that even with an "sub-par" goaltender this team will make the playoffs, so it's not like we have to worry about blowing so many games we miss that. Plus then we have some trade value in a young Flodell (because I think Mumaugh will at least prove himself to be a decent backup at the very least).

So yes, after this long rant I would agree that it wont be the easiest thing trying to find decent talent in the 95 year pool, but we need to find someone to come in and fill the roster as we are going to be fairly shorthanded come World Junior time. And say the 19's don't work out... At least it will be no real skin off our backs once it really counts heading into the 2015 - 2016 season.

(And on a side note... I really would not be surprised at all to see us trade away some draft pick to fill in our roster. I'm usually not a huge fan of this, but if this team is really serious about putting together a run, these are the types of decisions that need to be made)

Anonymous said...

Flodell is said to be the goalie of the future, the one with the upside. So the question is which tandem do you go with? Kozun-Flodell or Mumaugh-Flodell. If you go Mumaugh-Flodell you potentially have that combo for two seasons. If you go Kozun-Flodell, you'll need a goalie in 2015-16 to back up Flodell. What do the T-birds have among their prospects in the way of young goalies outside Flodell? I guess we'll see who shows up at training camp. Personally, I like the idea of the 2 years of continuity of the Mumaugh-Flodell combo. But, it just seems to me if you have to trade one of Mumaugh-Kozun, that an 18 year old goalie with potentially 3 more years in the league will get you a bigger return then a 20 year old entering his final season. Could a package of Mumaugh and one of our extra 20 yr old forwards/defensemen and maybe a draft pick get a high scoring 19 year old forward in return?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a guess as to what it would cost us to get Brayden Point?

Sid said...

In order to get Point you would need to get rid of a centre and a high pick. If they were going to make a run at something this year they would want Kozun,not giving up Point.
As far as Wolf goes he was never given a chance to develop with the depth at D.This would be the year to play him and develop him for the following season,if you have not noticed we will not be that big and the size might help.
In my opinion we will finish between 6 and 9 depending on what style we play

Mr Tell13 said...

@ Tyler smith
I see where you are coming from and it makes sense. I only disagree with the idea for one reason. in general I tend to like to go with the younger, long term option....but..
I think that with the upcoming season (and I think the tbird organisation would never say that publicly) there is a need and a perfect window to make a deep run this year. I think that going with a Mumaugh-Flodell tandem, there is too much of a risk to take a step back. Year in and year out in the WHL, the top 10 teams have a #1 goalie that is 19 or 20 and as much as Mumaugh has been decent at times and really good at times, I don't think we can pin a 2 series+ on this duo.

What we have a right now is a really nice opportunity. PORT should drop a peg or so, Spo and tri will be competitive, but about the same as last year. On the tbirds side, its Theodore's last year, where he should be considered as the best d-men in the western conference. 3 players will want to have a big impact for the draft (Barzal, Gropp and Bear). The whole defense will probably peak, with a good mix of experience and a couple of younger guys.
If they make it the the WHL finals this year, I would be ok to see a step back the year after. Partly because I am worried that it will happen anyway if Barzal gets picked by a REALLY bad team looking for an attendance draw.

Unknown said...

That is a fair point. I think right now it is too early to speculate where Bear, Gropp, and Barzal will be for their 18 year old seasons...

For Barzal I think there is a 60/40 chance right now that he will be gone next year and it really comes down to his play this season. If he lives up to the hype and gets drafted high, I think there is a good chance he is gone.

As for Bear and Gropp, I think there is a decent chance they will each be back (but will be in the same boat as Theodore). While I expect them to both be mid-late 1st round draft picks, I think they will both be drafted by "better" teams, and therefore be harder pressed to make their rosters as 18 year old's (though this is also subject to change based on their play this year).

As for right now we have 2-3 roster spots for sure open. While I expect them to fill 1 or 2 during training camp, would it be too much to ask (if the team hasn't made up their mind by the start of the season) to keep all 3 goalies on the roster? I think Flodell knows he is going to be a permanent back-up this season regardless of who else is in front of him, so he shouldn't mind. Then for the first 20 or so games of the season, split the playing time for both Mumaugh and Kozun right down the middle. Then we can get a real judge on who is the better choice to keep.

Yes, Kozun showed that he can be lights out when he first came to Seattle last season, but after that he posted numbers similar to what Mumaugh posted the first half of the season. And Mumaugh is also another year older which can help him as well.

That way, if after the first 20-30 games of the season we decide that Kozun is in fact our guy for the remainder of the year, we should hopefully have built up a little bit of trade stock for Mumaugh before we send him off.

I just don't want to rush into any conclusions with Kozun. A lot of people are looking at a very small serving sample when talking about how "great" he is. Yes, he came to Seattle with a bang, but can we expect that to continue? Maybe we can, but I don't want to be left having to chase other goalies if it busts.

All I am saying is that I don't want to see Seattle trade away Mumaugh on account of Kozun, have Kozun result in a bust, and then watch Mumaugh have a successful 19 and 20 year old season with whomever we trade him too.

Anonymous said...

They may keep 3 goalies until the 20 yr old deadline, but that is only 5-6 games into the season (approx. mid October). No way they keep 3 for 20 games. For one, if they keep Kozun that long, they have to dump another 20 at the overage deadline, so if later they decide Kozun is the odd man out, you've already dumped a pretty good 20 yr old forward or d-man option PLUS now you're down a 20 yr old goalie as well. Secondly, other teams have already decided on their 20s by then. So, if you decided to trade Kozun after 20 games, you're options to fill your 20 yr old void are pretty slim. The team acquiring Kozun could be getting him to replace another 20 yr old goalie, which you've just determined, you don't need. At the least, they are dumping their least desirable 20 yr old forward or d-man. Third, this is Flodell's draft year. Spending the first two months of it on the bench, not playing is not optimal. 20 games in is mid-November. You really want Flodell going two months without playing a game? I think you'd tick off Flodell, his family and his agent. Scouts can't evaluate what they don't see. That strategy would be "How Not to Win Over Recruits 101". Finally, if you decided after 20 games to trade Mumaugh, other teams know now that you aren't gonna carry 3 goalies all season and need to get rid of one. The other teams also already have 2 goalies, so they're not desperate. The trade value lessens, especially since you've just determined that Mumaugh is your 3rd option in goal. His trade value is highest now, before the season starts.

Unknown said...

Those are good points. I guess the decision will have to be made during training camp/ preseason... I just hope we make the right one.

Anonymous said...

I am really torn on the goalie situation. Mumaugh is a really a great kid and has a great attitude but can he carry us to the playoffs and beyond? It will be a tough choice for Coach K and Russ and what direction they want to go with on the goalies.

Anonymous said...

As near as I can tell there are two distinct camps here. Those who say trade Kozun and those who say keep him. Those who want to keep him see this year as THE year and those who want to deal him see next year as THE year. I find myself thinking that next year is going to be the year despite losing Theodore and possibly losing Barzal. Although that really depends on what happens this season.

But what management needs to do is not make decisions based on hunches. They need to look at risk versus reward. The way I see it this year will not be the year we make a push for a championship. But let's assume I am wrong, if this year is THE year and we trade Kozun, we can still deal Mumaugh or Flodell at the deadline to pick up a talented 19 or 20 year old tender for a deep playoff run. Similar to what we did with Myles to get Kozun last season.

If on the other hand, we trade Mumaugh or Flodell at the start of the season, there are four possibilities: one is that Kozun plays really well and the team around him plays really well, in which case maybe we make a push for a championship.

The second possibility is that Kozun plays well but the team around him just doesn't have it together. In which case we wasted a potential starting goalie for 2015-16 and probably don't finish any better than last year. If this happens then Kozun probably gets traded at the deadline because he is worth something. Maybe we even pick up a nice prospect for next year this way.

The third possibility is that Kozun plays poorly but the team plays well in which case maybe we go out and get someone to replace him at the deadline. Keep in mind though that a 20 year old goaltender who isn't good enough to stay in Seattle probably won't be worth anything in trade value. So in that situation we go out and spend a fortune on a good starting goalie, and again in 2015-16 we have either Flodell or Mumaugh as a first time starting goalie.

The fourth possibility is that the team plays like crap and Kozun plays like crap too. In that case we probably end up keeping him as a backup to our younger guy simply because he would have no trade value and the the team around him wouldn't be ready anyway.

So in my mind trading Kozun makes sense as a lower risk move. But I am happy to hear opposing opinions!

Anonymous said...

While it's not impossible I don't think we are going to lose Barzal to the NHL immediately after he is drafted. I'm in the player development mode for this season gearing up for a bigger push for a championship the following year. I say trade Kozun and get the most we can for our attractive overages this season. Keep Hickman, Mak and Yak and develop our young D in the bottom pairing so that they are more ready for the 15-16 season. We will still have a chance to do some damage this year and Mumaugh and Flodell will get the experience they need to make a deep run. It's going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with above post. I think this upcoming season a lot of fans that think it will be a "push" type year will be disappointed. It will be the following year in 2015/16 that the team makes a serious threat. There is no way Mathew Barzal will make a direct jump to NHL after his draft year. He will be back in Seattle for his 18 year old season. I strongly feel that year him and Gropp will be amongst the scoring leaders in the league. It's too bad this upcoming season will be Shea Theodore's last with the Tbirds(has signed a contract, will be with Anaheim's AHL team in 2015/16 season). That's why it would have been HUGE to have signed Dante Fabbro. Theo could have mentored him all year and Fabbro and Bear would be 2 unreal dmen in 2015/16 season. I think this upcoming season will be a good season, not a GREAT season. This team will have a lot of youth and the experience will be huge in preparation of 2015/16 season. They drafted those young Euro's for a reason, to give them experience this upcoming season and then be ready for 2015...I strongly think Kozun will be traded(possibly to PA Raiders if they get both Morrissey and Draisaitl back from NHL and they will make a push) and Seattle will prepare hard for that 2015 season. We will see some deals that send some 20 year olds soon to teams for 18 year olds and then next offseason, Russ will make some bold moves in order to make Tbirds a Championship caliber team in 2015.

Kodi said...

Here's a question:

If the team looks like it is going to end up being in 6th place or less by the trade deadline do you think the team should look at moving Theo for a kings ransom (it would mostly be high picks and/or high prospects as contenders don't give up talent) to use as trade material for the 2015/2016 season?

I would I just don't think Russ would as he didn't pull the trigger on Hickey, O'Brien, Scott, etc which I believe helped contribute to the multi year playoff drought (bad drafting didn't help either).

Anonymous said...

Well, hopefully he's learned something from those prior decisions. I like having Theo on the team as much as anyone but keeping him past the trade deadline in a year where we are not realistically challenging for a trip to at least the Western Conf Finals would be crazy. Turning him into more assets to either use, trade or both is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

If t-birds are in the 7th-8th place area, Id definitely look at trading Theo for a kings ransom. But the key is getting players in return that will help out huge in 2015. Maybe a good young 17 year old dman(would be 18 for 2015 season), prospects and picks. Cause remember the team that would trade for Theo wont want to give up any main pieces of their team that are 18 or 19 because a team obviously trading for Theo would be making a push next season. Will be real interesting to see!!!

Kodi said...

You won't get a good 17 or 18 year old though, heck you'd be lucky to get a good 16 year old because the team would need those good players for the run they are on.

The best bet is like the previous year's first round pick (if they are decent) and a bunch of high future picks. Then you would have to look at trading those picks for a good older player from a different team during the off season.

Anonymous said...

When the talk of "next year" stop with this team? We have all seen that this organization has not clue how to build for a legitimate run.
Middle of the pack is the best you are going to get. No sense whatsoever in putting all your eggs in one basket. Those eggs,hopes and dreams will only get broken.
We have seen this time and time again. This year (Barzal,Groop,Theodore et al) was suppose to be "the year" two years ago.

Anonymous said...

No I think T-Birds could easily get a good young player in return plus prospects if you traded Theodore to a championship caliber team. Look at Portland, they have a good young dman Keona Tiexeira that just finished his 16 year old season. I am sure Winterhawks would gladly give him up plus more for Theodore. Portland will have 1 last season to make a push, they will have Petan and Bjorkstrand returned for one more year and look for them to make a major push for a championship. I strongly feel they will go all in this season and take advantage of having Petan and Bjork for the season. They will be 1,2 in WHL scoring. I honestly cant see Tbirds dealing Theodore to the Hawks, but I guarantee if guys like Morrissey, Draisaitl(PA Raiders) and Lazar(Oilkings) get returned from NHL camps, atleast 1 of them will be dealt to Portland. There is no way they don't make 1 last push. If Theo was to get traded, I could see him possibly going to a team like the Hitmen. They will have a strong team and may want to make a push

Anonymous said...

I think there is every opportunity for the Birds to make a run this season. The US division is not going to be as tough as it was last season. I think they can finish 2nd-4th in the west and at least get past the first round.

Anonymous said...

Theyll roll with what they got, hopefully be able to trade a couple 20 year olds for younger guys or picks and build experience with this team before the 2015 season starts. Only predicament next season will be the goalie situation and what 20 year olds theyll keep

Mr Tell13 said...

to your original question, I think that Russ becomes a seller ONLY if he feels like the team is not going to make the playoffs. And he feels his team can always make the playoff. (and that idea is highly subjective ....but he can afford that position)
And I understand the idea: "look at what we got from Noebels", "we should of traded Calvin"
- the Noebels trade was a fluke, Portland paid WAY too much for a guy that scored 10 goals for then in reg season and that had a good showing with the top line in the playoff. The tbirds literally did not lose any scoring on that trade AND got 2 first round picks...
Even if the tbirds are between 6 and 8, they are a much better team with Theo on the ice. And I am getting curious to see if he improves his defense (that already was much improved last year), how much more valuable he will be to Seattle.

@anon 9:14
Dude, the season has not started yet. At least wait until they lose 3 in a row before you start railing against anyone. Isn't there a baseball team that lost a few games to the Mets that you should complain about instead?

Unknown said...

@ Anon. July 24, 2014 at 7:49 PM

As of right now (assuming the certainty of Theo moving at least to the AHL next year), our 20 year old situation is going to be one of the easiest decisions to make.

Now I'm assuming that we will pick up a couple 19's between now and the end of the season(to help protect the young roster we have)... But if we don't, the only 19's we will have this year who will turn into 20's next year are Smith and Hauf. That means if nothing changes (although based on past experience assume it will), we would actually head into the 15-16 season with one 20 spot open... And honestly I wouldn't mind being in the buyers seat for a change as compared to the past (and right now with our 20's) where we have been the sellers.

But the real question is do you pick up some 19's this season (to protect our young roster like I said up above), or do you ride out the season with what you have and go into the off-season with only 2 guaranteed returning 20's and jump into the buying market then?

The pros for getting a couple 19's during this season (on top of protection) is the competition you create between your 19's for a spot next year (I believe I made this comment in an earlier post). With only having Smith and Hauf guaranteed to be coming back as 20's (pending injury or something crazy), their is a (small) chance they might become complacent. Bringing in 2 other 19's would create a little more competition because they would know at least one person isn't coming back. Now if we are able to trade some of our 20's for 19's in return I would be all over this as it would almost be a free trade (since we would have to dump the player we give up anyways)... The problem is I think there are few (if any) teams who would be willing to do this, which leads to my pros for waiting...

If you wait and decide not to pick up anymore 19's and ride into the off-season with Smith and Hauf, you can become that buyer I was talking about up above, and you should be able to find someone for relatively cheap. Their are bound to be a number of teams who have too many 19's on their roster this year (like us last year) who are looking to move players and you should be able to find someone worth getting while only trading away some mid-level draft picks (rounds 3-6) and/or a player who didn't do what you where hoping to see from them this year.

The great thing about the way this team is set up is you have enough young offensive talent who you know can score that you don't need to find a 20 who will give you 70+ points. In fact, with two 20's on defense, I would be more interested in finding a "big body" who you can use to replace Hickman and/or (if you keep him this year) McKechnie.

Points out of a 20 year old would be nice (as I'm expecting at least 50 from Hickman as he gave us 46 last season), but I think with what we will have to work with, a shut down player would be much more important.

Jon said...

Here is the flaw I see in most people out there. Tyler, in one part of your post, you say we should be able to trade a 20 for a 19 for this season. But then later you saw that if we don't, we should be able to get a good 20 for a 3-6 round pick.

So what is the price of a 20 year old player? Is it a usable 19 year old, is it a mid level bantam pick.

Kodi said...

I love discussions like this where there really isn't a right or wrong =]

Couple things:

You can't assume that both Hauf and Smith will be back for a 20 year old season. It's very possible with continued improvement one or both COULD sign a 2-way or 3-way deal and end up in either the ECHL or AHL next season.

The second point is the same as above if you pick up one or more 19's as who's to say that they will stay around in the WHL as well.

We haven't been sellers (20's) for a very long time and even with all the kids in camp this summer the job for picking our 20's could be easy (or harder depending how you look at it) if some end up sticking like Hicks or Wardley could very possibly do.

Unknown said...

I've gone back through all my comments and I don't see where I said that we could trade some 20's for some 19's. I had made a comment earlier that we should consider picking up some 19's, but I never proposed how we do it.

All I'm saying now is if we could pull it off (trading 20's for 19's) we should pull the trigger... Because it would almost be like a "free" player, but I don't think we could get so lucky.

I don't know what the price for a 20 year old next season is, but I think it varies depending on what time during this year you do it...I think the longer you wait, the cheaper it will get.

Anonymous said...

When will Russ start dealing all the 19's from last year?

Unknown said...

Well I'm no expert on this, so I could be wrong (and if someone knows better please correct me)... But based on assumptions that I have gathered from observations I have made over the years, I wouldn't assume much to happen until during or slightly after training camp / pre-season.

Lets look at who he could move first... Trook is for sure gone to the AHL next year (at least from what I have read), with our two picks in the Euro draft we can say with 100% certainty that Lipsbergs and Delnov are gone (in fact I believe Lips has already signed a deal in the KHL), Honey is too big of a question mark that I'm not sure Russ will want to gamble on him (and if we don't keep him, I don't suspect other teams will want to gamble on him either), and Maxwell has already said he will not be returning to hockey no matter what.

This leaves McKechnie, Hickman, Yakubowski, Henry, Wardley, and Kozun. Six players. That means no matter what combo we get, there are only three players which need to be moved/traded.

And as no one (even in this conversation which involves more knowledgeable fans than you could find in general discussions elsewhere) can come to an agreement on two of the three spots (and possibly all three if Hickman makes the AHL team), I'm sure Russ doesn't have his three set in stone either. I think he might have an idea who he wants now, but that could all change with what he sees at training camp and pre-season.

With that said, I'm assuming a lot of other teams are in similar situations and therefore won't decide who they want to keep/trade until closer to the start of the regular season either.

Anonymous said...

Just my opinion but I don't need to see Wardley or Henry back next season. Not because I think they are bad players but because I don't think they are significantly better than the guys they'd be taking ice time from.

If he's healthy why would you not gamble on Honey? Of all those 19's he's the guy that is most capable of putting up a monster over age season. That's the guy I want wearing the "C" if Hickman goes to the AHL.

The three guys I'd pick for over age spots would be Honey, Hickman and Kozun. If Hickman isn't coming back I'd take Mac.

Anonymous said...

Honey didn't play after he was he was hurt in early October. Basically missed an entire season with the dreaded upper body injury which is WHL code for concussion. I wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole. Too big a gamble. I'd keep Hickman, Kozun and Henry.

Anonymous said...

Branden Troock missed the better part of two seasons with concussion issues, he was fine last season. It was prefaced with "if he's healthy..."

Unknown said...

From what I read and heard Troock didn't have a concussion, it sounded more like a pinched nerve in his neck that they had trouble diagnosing and giving him concussion like symptoms.

I guess whether you have Honey back depends on where you think the team might go this year. I think he is a lot more talented than most of their other F options. I like Yak's fire, but I don't think he showed much offense and you'd have the fire and more production in Hickman. I love the way McKechnie fore checks, but he didn't show much of a offense touch last year, even when he had chances. I really love the way Honey plays and works on the PP, but I guess it comes down to his health and only his inner circle and the T-birds are going to know what that is. I'd be inclined to keep Honey, Hickman and Henry as the 20s. I think Honey and Hickman would be very good 2 way defenders and I think Henry is an easy choice over Wardley. I think if you can find the right situation, Kozun would have some decent trade value.

Anyone know when the T-bird training camp is? I'm itching to get my hockey fix.

Anonymous said...

My guess would be that T-birds training camp will be at ShoWare Center just like it has been the last 4 years.

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