By Josh Lockhart
Thursday was the KIJHL’s version of the NHL trade deadline, with several teams making ‘deadline’ moves. The Kimberley Dynamiters, however, made their lone roster move two days prior when they sent Chad MciLwain to division rival Golden Rockets.
In December the Dynamiters added Castlegar Rebels captain, Kole Halvorson, to the lineup. That transaction put the Dynamiters one player over the maximum player limit that would need to be corrected by the roster deadline on January 10.
Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said that even with that date looming, that there was no impact on the demeanor of the players.
“We didn’t want to move anybody, but of course we had to. We like to keep eight defencemen with the playoff grind. It left us with having to chose a forward. Chad was the odd man out, he definitely could have stayed, played and contributed.”
The towering 6’3” forward, MciLwain, who even scored a hat-trick with the team, was moved to the Golden Rockets for a player development fee to get the Dynamiters roster in compliance with the roster limit.
“Chad has been here since day one.” Stuart recalled. “He is an outstanding young man, he is very respectful and polite, and a great teammate; a very coachable kid.
“We presented him with a list, there was a lot of interest in him in the province. We let him choose where he wanted to go because he has earned that right from the coaching staff, and we felt that was only fair to let him go where he wanted to.”
MciLwain was 14th in Nitros scoring with eight goals and nine assists, and now sits seventh with the Golden Rockets.
“Chad is a very good player and he is going to help Golden”
To further complicate things the Rockets will most likely be the Nitros first round opponent in the playoffs.
For Stuart though, he says that he doesn’t believe one player can be a team in a playoff series.
Now that the roster moves are done, Stuart is very happy and confident with the 23 players that he has. But he added, “we’ve gotta crank up our game. We need to start playing with more urgency with the playoffs coming up.
“A little bit of complacency crept into our team last weekend against Fernie. We need to hammer home the fact that nothing is going to be easy.”
MATCH STICKS: The Creston Valley Thunder Cats sent their captain, Tyler Witzke, to the Fernie Ghostriders in exchange for Kory Zinck, a player development fee, and future considerations.