New Smokies goaltender James D'Andrea makes a save while with the AJHL's Calgary Canucks last season (photo Cole Christensen, Okotoks Western Wheel)
As alluded to yesterday, I chatted with Smokies head coach Bill Birks about the trades that see four new faces arrive in Trail's camp. To recap, the Smoke Eaters acquired goaltender James D'Andrea from AJHL Drumheller in exchange for defenseman Rajan Sidhu, as well as blueliners Tanner Hicks and Marley Keca and forward Taylor House for goaltender Matt Larose, defenseman Daniel DelBianco (and, according to this, the rights to former Smokies d-man Eric Walker who is studying at Northern Michigan University).
To listen to my conversation with Birks, click here.
To get back to the league-mandated 21-man roster, the Smoke Eaters have released forward Matt Bissett to the PIJHL's Ridge Meadows Flames. The 17 year-old put up two assists in 10 games in Trail, and coach Birks says he will get a lot more icetime with the Flames as well as play closer to his Pitt Meadows home.
According to the Smokies roster page, Bissett's #18 sweater has been assigned to House, while Hicks will wear #2, and Keca #7. I'll try to get some audio from the new players after practice today.
Local Hockey Tonight: Another three-game-in-three-day weekend begins in Fernie tonight (6:30 PT, Memorial Arena) for the Castlegar Rebels. I caught up with head coach Steve Junker this morning, hear his thoughts here. The Border Bruins host the Columbia Valley Rockies tonight in the other local KIJHL game (7:30, Grand Forks Arena). Selkirk College is back on home ice tonight as well against former Nitehawk Layne Stopanski and the Okanagan College Coyotes (7:30, Complex).