The Pack is all in

By: Stew Kernan - Pack Mentality

 | Jan 15, 2014 - 1:53 PM |
I think it’s safe to say the Wolves were expected to make a move or two at the OHL trade deadline. The only question was how serious they were about becoming a contender, which was answered a week ago when the Pack pulled off a pair of blockbuster deals.

Heading to the deadline, the consensus was the Wolves were missing a couple of pieces to be competitive for an Eastern Conference championship, a crack at a league title and ultimately a shot at the Memorial Cup.

Yes, they were in the midst of an incredible run not seen in years, but to get to the next level more was needed.

First, they picked up defenceman Trevor Carrick from the Mississauga Steelheads, probably the most coveted blueliner available. Not only is Carrick considered a shutdown defenceman, but he is also one of the top offensive d-men in the league.

Carrick will be expected to log plenty of minutes as the power-play quarterback.

Next was the deal with the Kitchener Rangers that saw the Wolves acquire Radek Faksa. Here, you have a very skilled forward who is also tough in his own end.
Wolves fans got a glimpse of what these two players bring to the table last weekend.

However, to make these deals happen, the Wolves did something they have resisted in the past — they mortgaged the future for a shot at winning right now and that’s something the fans have demanded for years.

The Wolves gave up defenceman Stefan LeBlanc — a player who will be one of the best defenceman in the OHL in the near future — to get Carrick from Mississauga.

To get Faska from Kitchener, the team gave up Dominik Kubalic, a real fan favourite.

A big part of both deals was the draft picks that were included. The Wolves parted with five second-round picks, again showing the organization is willing to sacrifice assets to stock the shelves for the future.

Head Coach Paul Fixter summed up the deals in an interesting way. He said it was the players — by playing great hockey — that forced management to go for it. With the Wolves playing at a high level, the talent infusion could give them the tools to take a serious run at a championship.

Only time will tell if the trades will have the desired impact, but at least we can say they Wolves are going for it.

And that’s something we haven’t been able to say in recent memory.

Stew Kernan is the radio and television voice of the Sudbury Wolves, and the News Director at KiSS 105.3 and Q92.

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