After a six game losing streak, back to back losses vs Salmon Arm and the BCHL card deadline this Thursday you knew the Vipers would pull off a deal or two and try and improve their hockey club.
Sunday the Vipers aquired the AJHL's second leading scorer, Ben Gamache who is the Okotoks leading scorer and captain. I really like this trade. The Vipers have a very young team and I think need some veteran experience and leadership if they want to compete with the league's top teams as well as make a good run in the playoffs. With already 45 pts in just 32 games Gamache is the proven goal scorer the Vipers have been needing over the last few years and especially this season. Its been since the 200708 season when Vernon had Hunter Bishop who led the team in scoring with (57-40-97) the last time the Vipers had a goal scorer.
I think now the team needs to go out and pick up atleast two veteran defenceman to bolster their blueline. The Vipers went with a young backend and it's showen at times this season. Vernon has alot of younger kids that they can afford to trade and aquire a few veteran d-men.
In order to aquire Ben Gamache the Vipers had to trade rookie forward, Connor Hartley and second year Viper forward, Marcus Basara. Hartley who was recruited by the Vipers collected just three assists this season. From training camp and into the season I didnt see a whole lot in Hartley, in most games the young rookie was unnoticable. Maybe a change playing for a new team and playing back home (Alberta) will be the best for the young kid. I wish Connor all the best with the Oilers. Im really going to miss Marcus Basara, from day one Basara was always a favorite, this kid has some quick wheels, and can be a playmaker at times. Basara's only problem is he just hasnt found the back of the net as often as I thought he would. On most night's Basara setup-created alot of the Vipers scoring opportunities but didnt score alot of goals. With just 18 goals so far in two seasons with the Vipers I think Vernon could afford to deal away a young kid like Basara for a proven goal scorer. I wish Marcus all the best with Okotoks.
With the Vipers still needing to sign Patrick McGillis and Luke Juha and add both players back to the Vipers roster, the Vipers still have one more player to trade so both McGillis and Juha can be re-signed. You can bet Jason Williamson isnt done tinkering with his lineup and we will see atleast one maybe two trades before the BCHL card deadline.