Credit Cowichan Valley Capitals GM Bob Beatty for pulling off a terrific trade Tuesday that will certainly improve his club in a bid for a playoff run this season. Cowichan Valley acquired veteran forwards Haydn Hopkins and Mitch Skapski from Salmon Arm in exchange for 18 year-old forwards Ryan Hogg and Trevor Ayre along with future considerations. At first glance this is a clear win for the Capitals but those future considerations will certainly tip the scales at least even come the summer. But even with this deal, I can’t say the Capitals “won” the BCHL’s trade deadline.
The Trail Smoke Eaters are on pace to make the post-season for the first time in recent memory and got a big boost on the blue line acquiring veteran Carter Cochrane from Salmon Arm in exchange for futures. But no, the Smokies didn’t win the day either.
The Nanaimo Clippers also made a deal with Salmon Arm acquiring veteran forward Josh Blanchard for future considerations. This adds to the addition of a pair of skaters from the USHL last week in defenceman Marcus Joseph and forward Ben Taylor. But no, the Clippers didn’t make the best moves on deadline day.
It may not pay dividends until next season, but in my humble opinion Troy Mick and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks vastly outperformed any other team over the past several days leading up to Hockey Canada’s roster deadline.
The Silverbacks still sit in a playoff position, two points back of Merritt for fifth in the Interior. Given the league’s expanded post-season format which has all but 3 of the BCHL’s 17 teams “earning” a playoff berth, the Silverbacks are likely to still be playing into March. The Apes are five points ahead of the Surrey Eagles who hold down fifth place in the Mainland. Should the Eagles surpass whoever ends up in sixth in the Interior they will crossover into a playoff berth but nevertheless, even if Salmon Arm is in the post-season Troy Mick did the smart thing and prepared for next year.
Far too many GM’s thought they needed to make a splash and/or make a playoff run, even if it’s a foolhardy venture. The smart play for many would have been to do what Mick did and that’s stockpile players and assets for the future when a realistic run may be possible. Shortsighted moves rarely pay off and the vision the Silverbacks showed Tuesday should be commended.