By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Anyone who has driven through Owen Sound in recent days knows there's construction and road maintenance at almost every turn.
Furthermore, the pending 10th Street bridge alteration in the city has raised the anxiety level to new heights, and that project hasn't even started.
But truthfully, a bigger mode of construction is underway at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre, home of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.
Through the CHL Import Draft, recent signings of both Priority Selections and free agents plus trades, the Attack conceivably added 6, mostly young, forwards to the roster bringing their total, by my count, to 16
With Goure, Burroughs, Machachek, Straub, Nizhnikov & Samanski expected to suit up come Fall, that leaves about 10 guys trying to cram into 6 spots; and that's ruling out potential future arrivals which would make the mixture even more complex.
The real trick in this scenario, as I see it, is bridging the age gap up front and bolstering the numbers on the back end.
Again by my count, I've got eight 19 year olds + a potential overage in the mix for a position at forward. In a year in which I expect Owen Sound to develop more so than contend, that number is too high in my view.
And on the blue line, I see 6 returning defenders, all decently spread out through the age brackets. But what I don't see are newcomers nor depth guys...... Not yet, anyway.
I'm sure General Manager Dale DeGray & the Attack have a course of action in place. However, managing and manipulating the surplus and deficits on the existing Owen Sound roster at this moment might be as challenging as any road work or bridge alteration in the city.
I'm Fred Wallace