With just 22 days until the Vipers training camp most of the 16 teams in the BCHL have been pretty active some more then others announcing new recruits or making trades etc except for the Vipers. For a team missing the BCHL playoffs for the first time in ten years last year the Vernon Vipers have been one of the quietest teams in the league when it comes to making trades or announcing any new player signings etc.
In early spring the Vipers announced three new recruits (Michael Statchuk, Craig Martin & Landon Robin) who have committed to the club for this coming season, shortly after the Vipers named David Robinson & Jason Read new Assitant Coaches but since then the Vipers have been fairly quiet making just two trades wich were from last season. Defenceman Max Mowat was shipped to Trail as part of the future considerations deal in the Colton Cyr trade at last seasons trade deadline and then earlier this past week the Vipers sent defenceman Turner Lawson to Victoria as part of the future considerations trade in the Sean Robertson trade from last year. Other then this not much news has come out of the Vipers office this summer as several diehard fans are wondering what the team has done over the off season.
I for one think the Vipers lost in both trades from last season. I wasnt very pleased with Colton Cyr or Sean Robertson so when now having to give up two players off your roster from this season when both Cyr and Robertson wont be returning its hard to swollow. I know not every trade works out in favor for each team or GM but when the Vipers aquired two former captains last season and still missed the playoffs you have to say they lost on both deals.
I really liked Turner Lawson and was looking forward to seeing him as a 19 yr old this coming season. A Kelowna product who played with Vernon as an "AP" two years ago held his own last season, playing very well on the blueline and then jumping up front playing on the wing when the Vipers ran into injuries. A tough kid that isnt afraid to drop the mits or play physical will be a fan favorite in Victoria and hopefully has a sucsesfull career with the Grizzlies. All the best Turner!
With just 22 days to go before the Vipers training camp and exibition games Viper fans are starting to wonder what have the Vipers been doing all off season. You look at the Penticton Vees, winning the Royal Bank Cup this past May are expecting back just a handfull of returning players but have been one of the busiest teams this summer. Fred Harbinson has made five trades alone last week. The Vees who are already re-loading makes you wonder a team like the Vipers that missed the playoffs are doing? How come us fans havnt heard any news regaurding the team? Im not saying the Vipers have to announce something every day it is the summer for all but you have to keep the fans happy and interested and show the diehard fans last season was last season and they are doing whatever it takes to put together a winning team this season. It would be nice for us diehard fans to atleast hear some news regarding the hockey team, show us that you are signing new players, making trades etc trying to upgrade the team from last season.
I have questions about this years Vipers team. Who is going to replace Kirby Halcrow this season? It looks like Danny Todosychuk may return but is he your go to guy as a young 17 yr old? Can he lead the Vipers to a long playoff run this coming spring? I still think the Vipers made a mistake last season knowing Halcrow was finished his Jr career at the end of the season, this is when I would have brought in a 18 or 19 yr old goaltender as the teams backup, so that you have your #1 ready to go for the following season. I like the looks of the Vipers defence so far, but who is going to do the scoring this season? Who is going to replace Mike Zalewski, Darren Nowick or John Knisley? Looking at the players returning the Vipers have alot of 3rd & 4th liners but other then Aaron Hadley and Adam Tambellini who is going to score your goals? New recruit Craig Martin sure put up some big numbers in Jr B last season but what can he do at the Jr A level? I thought the Vipers would have pulled off a few trades over the off season, bringing in a few snipers or more veteran players that can score.
In the end it would be nice to hear from the Vipers on how the team is shaping up and looking for this coming season. Vernon fans are use to winning and watching winning teams, we also love our team and just want to be in the know with whats going on regarding this years roster-team. With just a few weeks until the season begins lets hope we start to hear some news regarding the team soon.