But high-profile forwards, such as Windsor RW Zack Kassian , don’t appear to be in the mix.
“The price is going to be pretty expensive,” said Dave Brown, assistant manager of hockey operations. “We’ve got a real good hockey team. We want to make them better if we can with a trade. But we also have to be careful that we don’t cut off our nose to spite our face.”
That presumably also should take Sudbury LW Marcus Foligno, who like Kassian has been a hot topic of trade rumors, off the Otters’ list.
Instead, the Otters seem interested in second-tier forwards that could complement a frontline that includes five potent scorers (Mike Cazzola, Anthony Luciani, Greg McKegg, Shawn Szydlowski and Phil Varone) and should add a sixth in Andrew Yogan next month. He continues to rehabilitate from shoulder surgery.
“We’re looking to do more trades that are fair and equitable for both sides than a trade where it’s a complete dump,” Brown said. “We’re more on the kind of player that fits what our needs are. We’re looking for a well-rounded player to help take us deep into the playoffs.”
Brown also said he doesn’t envision the Otters attempting to acquire Barrie’s Dalton Prout, an overage defenseman that also has been the subject of trade rumors. The Otters already have the league limit of three OAs – Luciani, Szydlowski and Varone.
“It’s not a fit for our hockey club,” Brown said. “Our overage guys, they all contribute to our team on a regular basis.”
For now, the trade market remains quiet – a normal occurrence until after the annual IIHF World Junior Championship. The tournament concluded Wednesday. Club officials want to make a deal “to try to make our team better,” Brown said. “Does that mean I can guarantee that we’re going to make a deal? I can’t promise that. We’re going to do everything we can to make this push because we believe in these guys. I think they believe in themselves. I want to go on a long playoff run with these guys.”
- Victor Fernandes