WHL: Ams stand pat on trade deadline

Tri-City HeraldJanuary 10, 2013 

There were calls.

Incoming, not outgoing, on Bob Tory’s cell phone Thursday.

But in the end, there was a “thanks for calling,” as the Western Hockey League trade deadline came and went with the Tri-City Americans opting to keep their team intact.

“I had no desire to make any deals,” said Tory, the Americans’ general manager. “I wasn’t going to give up some of our younger players, which people were interested in. I wasn’t going to make our team weaker just to get draft picks.”

Tri-City, which has seven 17-year-olds on its roster who see significant ice time, has a good mix of veterans and younger players, in what could be called a rebuilding season after losing three players who had more than 100 points each last season.

“We are a young team that works hard,” Tory said. “We have a good group of kids who are committed on and off the ice. We have worked hard to develop the culture here. I didn’t want to disrupt that.”

The Americans (23-15-1-2, 49 points), coming off a 3-1 road win over Kamloops on Wednesday night, play tonight at Kelowna.

The Rockets (30-10-1-1, 62 points) lead the B.C. Division and have won 16 in a row at Prospera Place.

“For as young as our team is, our road record (13-8-1-0) is tremendous,” said Tory, whose team practiced in Kelowna on Thursday. The last time we were in Kamloops, we lost a heart breaker in the final seconds. Eric (Comrie) was stellar in net last night, our defense played as fine a game as they had all year and our penalty kill was good (allowed one goal on seven power plays).”

Notes: There were eight deals made Thursday in the final hours of trading in the WHL. Memorial Cup host Saskatoon was the major player, trading picks and players to try and make its team more competitive. The Blades gave Spokane a 2015 first-round bantam draft pick and a fifth-round in 2013 for forward Collin Valcourt, 19. The Blades also gave up a first-round bantam pick in 2013 to Brandon for overage forward Michael Ferland, and picked up forward Erik Benoit from Kootenay for a 2013 fourth-round pick. Saskatoon, which now has no first-round draft picks from 2013-15, then traded overage forward Adam Kambeitz to Seattle for a third-round pick in 2014. Seattle then dropped overage forward Brendan Rouse, who is expected to be picked up Vancouver. The Chiefs made a good deal of their own, picking up Brandon’s top scorer Alessio Bertaggia (16 goals, 18 assists) in return for Marek Kalus, Rhett Gardner and a pair of draft picks. Everett sent defenseman Nick Walters and forward Taylor Sanheim to Brandon for defenseman Ayrton Nikkel and a 2015 sixth-round pick.

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