The Trade Deadline – Acquisitions
The Hamilton Bulldogs cruised into the 2017 OHL trade deadline under the leadership of a rookie General Manager who had a vision improving the team’s chances of success for years to come. Steve Staios needs to be given a lot of credit for the fact that he is a decisive man.
Hard choices needed to be made between which 19 year old roster players would be wearing Bulldogs uniforms in the fall of 2017. Plenty of observers were thinking that Staios, in concert with the coaching staff and scouts, would likely use the playoff push and hopefully long playoff run to determine who would help the Bulldogs the best in what one way or another will be a Memorial Cup season.
We can now say with confidence that Steve Staios is not a man who procrastinates.
Hamilton gained new faces at each position since the Christmas Break. The Kitchener Rangers sent goaltender Dawson Carty (story), who filled the final over-age position for the Bulldogs. Carty’s presence on the team gives the Bulldogs playoff experience, as well as internal competition to push Kaden Fulcher. There is a lot to like about this trade, as depth in between the pipes is something that is essential for a long playoff run. Carty grew up in Burlington, and was a childhood neighbour of Bulldogs alumni Stephen Harper. This trade helps the organization build the narrative that local youth can build towards a successful hockey career at home (Harper, Saigeon, Nurse, Webb all local products).
Stephen Templeton (story) joins the Bulldogs via North Bay, although he never suited up for the Battalion. The veteran defender won the the 2015 Memorial Cup as a rookie with the Oshawa Generals, and brings some playoff experience to Hamilton’s blueline. Templeton is also a local product, growing up in Waterdown, again, building the local story for the marketing department. Templeton is always going to be associated with his grandfather’s legacy, although I’ll bet he wants people to remember him for his own personal game.
Ben Garagan (story) grew up in North Bay, but played minor midget on a weak North York team, acting as their offensive catalyst. He was a bit of an unexpected addition to the Sudbury Wolves roster as an underage rookie last year, considering he was a 5th round pick. Garagan was able to stick in the OHL thanks to a successful 2015 pre-season, and his ability to match the speed of the game. Underused on the Wolves roster, Garagan will likely start in Hamilton competing with Nurse and Jackson for ice time in the bottom 6. His face-off percentage is quite low, so there is a good chance Hamilton will push him too the wing. The largest benefit of this trade is that Hamilton can control Garagan’s rights for the next 3 seasons if he plays in his overage season.
TRADE DEADLINE SERIES
- Hamilton at the Trade Deadline – Departures
Feature Image: Photo: Jeff Green / CBC