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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Trading for Defence


By Fred Wallace

At the OHL Trade Deadline, I heard the Owen Sound Attack consumated two deals to add defencemen; one with Saginaw, the other with Niagara.

When I checked with the Attack, General Manager Dale DeGray confirmed the deals were in place, but in both cases, the players acquired elected to exercise " no trade " clauses and not come to Owen Sound.

So I reported that aspect, leaving the names out, and various people went wild.

Personally, I had no problems with any of it from a variety of angles.

First, by attempting to land defencemen, it illustrated an area where the Attack believed they needed to upgrade and I applaud them for making the attempt.

Anyone want to bet that Owen Sound's first selection in the Priority Selection this year will be a defender ?

Next, I had no problem with either of the two kids electing not to come to Owen Sound.

I didn't think it was a reflection on the organization, nor the city, but rather a reaction to where the club was in the standings.

In the case of the Saginaw player, he was only willing to go to his home town, in spite of his NHL rights holder explaining at length that Owen Sound would be a good fit for him in the short term, but definitely in the long term.

And in the Niagara scenario, an overage questioned why he'd want to go from an 8th place team in the East at the time, to an 8th place team in the West for the last few months of his OHL days.

Can you blame him ?

I don't and I'm not that worked up about the whole scenario because the simple equation for the Attack to work towards is to have a better team with a better standing and then watch the players, the parents and their agents come flocking.

I'm Fred Wallace



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