The Smokies were indeed active on deadline day, even if details on the deal didn't filter down until late yesterday evening. Forward Clayton Chessa moves on to Nanaimo in a three-team swap that also involves the Vernon Vipers. Trail receives future considerations while the Vipers pick up fellow overager Colton Cyr.
Chessa was Trail's leading scorer with 13-11-24, and observing this team night in, night out was one player I can definitely say came with his work boots every night. Perhaps fittingly, his final action in a Smoke Eaters uniform was a diving pokecheck to clear a puck out of Trail's zone in the final seconds of Saturday's 3-2 win over Victoria.
Chessa told me via Twitter he figures the move west will be good for him, as he joins a Nanaimo team trying to claw their way back into the Coastal Conference playoff picture currently sitting 6 points behind the Coquitlam Express (who visit Friday). He is slated to make his Clippers debut tonight in his hometown of Surrey.
The full release from the team is here, and an interview I completed with Trail head coach/GM Bill Birks earlier today is available here.
All the best in Nanaimo Clayton, it's been a pleasure watching you play.