The Castlegar Rebels have made some major changes to the lineup for the upcoming season with two veterans heading to Nelson in exchange for three players… well, two now.
Jamie Vlanich and Travis Wellman will suit up for Nelson after being traded for centre Dallon Stoddart, forward James Sorrey and defenceman Seth Schmidt.
Part of that trade, made last week after negotiations that took over a month, lasted only about 24 hours as Sorrey was promptly traded for 6’5″, 200-pound centreman Kyle Moore from Princeton.
Braydon Horcoff was also included as part of the deal for Moore.
Rebels coach Jesse Dorrans, who has taken the helm after a championship winning season under former coach Steve Junker, was blunt in his assessment of the departure of Vlanich and Wellman.
“They didn’t want to come back, so I don’t want them,” said Dorrans.
“Vlanich told me right at the beginning that he was looking for a change of scenery at the end of the year; then Travis Wellman, in the exit meetings, told us he was planning to go to the University of Calgary, so we kind of moved on and figured that’s what he was doing. But about two weeks ago, he let it be known that he wants to play for the Cyclone Taylor Cup and wanted to get traded to Nelson.”
Asked if there were any hard feelings, Dorrans said absolutely not.
“They did everything we asked of them last year and they totally contributed and helped us win a championship,” said Dorrans. “I carry the mentality that if a kid asks to be traded, and lets those thoughts creep into his head, he’s outta’ here. If they’re going to have those kinds of thoughts, that the grass is greener, then maybe they need to go see if it is greener.”
Fans won’t have to wait long to see how each side fares in the deal: the Leafs and Rebels are set to square off on Friday, Sept. 13 in Castlegar at 7 p.m.
Dorrans said he was looking forward to seeing what Stoddart, Moore and Schmidt would add to the team dynamics.
“They all kind of bring something different,” he said. “Seth Schmidt is a great young defenceman and had a great rookie season in our league. As a second year player, we’re hoping he can only continue to get better.”
Bringing the team back into championship form again is a key focus and something Dorrans expects the left-shooting centre Stoddart will help with.
“That’s where Dallon Stoddart fits into the equation; he’s a veteran guy who’s been in the league a few years,” he said. “He’s a 20-year-old and we’re going to lean on him for some leadership qualities. A few of our guys know him quite well and they’re excited that he’s coming.”
Dorrans said that Sorrey was a kid the team “really wanted to get” but an opportunity to address one of the issues with the club being perhaps a little on the smaller side, was too much of an opportunity to pass on.
The trade deadline for the KIJHL isn’t until January 10; the Castlegar News will keep you posted of any new developments as the team rounds into shape.