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Column: Smyl selling at BCHL trade deadline
The Chilliwack Chiefs made several dramatic team-altering trades this week leading up to today’s trade deadline.
As of my writing this, gone are leading scorer and captain Austin Plevy, along with 20-year-old defensemen Cooper Rush and Shay Laurent. In return the Chiefs received two younger players, 19-year-old defenseman Caleb Thompson and 18-year-old forward Mason Boh.
In all three deals the Chiefs also received future considerations, meaning we won’t know the full extent of the returns until after each team’s season ends.
These are without a doubt the types of trades that Chiefs general manager Harvey Smyl had to make.
I’m stating the obvious here and not applying any sort of unneeded stamp of approval. You have to evaluate your team honestly and make moves that you think are best. If that means making some tough decisions then so be it.
Don’t forget, one year ago the Chiefs were on the opposite side of deals like these, acquiring Phil Zielonka from Coquitlam for a package that turned out to be Garrett Forster, Ben Israel and Laurent.
The Surrey Eagles were in the same situation last season, acquiring Adam Tambellini from the Vernon Vipers for a package of prospects at the trade deadline. It propelled them to a league championship.
This season the Vipers are a serious contender for the league title. The Eagles made a trio of moves this week, sending out two of their leading scorers in exchange for younger players and future considerations. There are peaks and valleys in junior hockey. If managed properly the valleys can be quickly turned into peaks.
I don’t think we should dismiss the idea of seeing playoff hockey in Chilliwack this season. I know none of the Chiefs players or hockey staff are writing off the season. They need to make up 11 points over the last 17 games of the season to make the playoffs.
They play Surrey, the team they need to catch four more times this season.
It won’t be easy but I’m really looking forward to watching them try.
This weekend the Chiefs meet the Langley Rivermen in a home and home set beginning Friday in Langley.
The two teams meet Saturday in Chilliwack on the Chiefs annual SPCA Night.
There will be several ways fans can support the Chilliwack SPCA including the 50/50, the always popular Tennis Ball Toss in the second intermission or visiting their booth to try your luck at Plinko.
These two teams played a very entertaining game here last weekend, a game won by the Rivermen in overtime.