By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: April 13th, 2012

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Posted: October 26th, 2010

The Erie Otters have acquired overage center Phil Varone from London for a second-round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection and a 2011 third-round pick originally held by Windsor.

Varone, who turns 20 Dec. 4, has been a consistent point producer in his five-year OHL career (50 goals, 172 points in 209 games) when he has been healthy. He missed half of the 2009-10 season with a shoulder injury. He missed several games this season with a knee injury suffered against the Otters on Oct. 2.

But he was a healthy scratch the past few games for the Knights, presumably to avoid injury while Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, and Knights GM Mark Hunter negotiated a deal the past few days.

He’s expected to arrive in Erie late tonight and play in Wednesday’s game against Plymouth at Tullio Arena.

Sherry Bassin (Contributed/Erie Otters)

“He is very healthy,” Bassin said of Varone, who joins fellow overagers Mitch Gaulton, Anthony Luciani and Shawn Szydlowski on the roster. OHL rules allow teams to dress a maximum of three OAs per game. Yet teams can carry more than three 0n the roster until the January trade deadline.

Luciani, a 38-goal scorer, remains out with a wrist injury. With his return date undetermined, and forward Andrew Yogan (shoulder surgery) out until at least Christmas break, Bassin wanted to solidify his offense.

“We had an opportunity to get a good player. We weren’t going to let it go by,” said Bassin, who was interested in acquiring a top center to strengthen the team’s top two lines. “I loved the way he played when he was in midgets. I loved the way he has played all his career. He plays with his heart. He’s a smart player.”

Bassin was comfortable trading from a slew of picks he has stockpiled the past few seasons. Even without the third-round pick in the 2011 draft, he has a pick apiece in the first, second and fourth rounds and two apiece in the fifth and sixth rounds.

- Victor Fernandes

- Victor Fernandes

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