(The Fitzgerald triplets - newest members of the Victoria Grizzlies)
In a BCHL off-season that's seen its share of big transactions with names like Derek Huisman, Austin Plevy, Braxton Bilous, Brady Rouleau, Cody Michelle, Grant Nicholson, Alex Holland, D.J. Jones and more change addresses, the deal that went down today definitely ranks among the biggest.
As mentioned in my previous post, Victoria acquired D David London (93) from Brooks as a piece to a doozy of a trade and this is a big one.
Grizzlies GM & Head Coach Bill Bestwick, who recruited F Gerry Fitzgerald (93), F Myles Fitzgerald (93) and F Leo Fitzgerald (93) into the BCHL prior to the 2010-11 when he was with the Clippers, is now reunited with the triplets after acquiring them from Prince George.
In exchange, the Spruce Kings receive the aforementioned London plus F Coltyn Hansen (92), F Cam Lawson (93) and future considerations.
Some will look at the point difference of the trade and think that Prince George comes out on the short end, but considering the tailspin that the Grizzlies were in last season, the point totals that Hansen and Lawson put up are very respectable and I think it's safe to say that in a prominent role on a stronger team, they would have posted even better numbers. Plus, London is a solid, veteran defenceman and the futures will help the Spruce Kings in the form of a player to be named later or cash that could be used in a potential deal down the road.
The attributes of the Fitzgeralds are well documented. They are small, but don't shy away from the dirty areas and have great speed, vision and passing ability. That said, they are stepping into a pressure cooker in Victoria and are expected to put up strong offensive numbers on a team that tries to redeem itself with a new regime after a last place finish in 2011-12. Myles, Gerry and Leo's stats from last year put them first, second and tied for third among returnees for the Grizzlies. As 19 year olds in their third BCHL season, I would think that they are ready for a big uptick in their production.
All told, I think this is the type of "hockey" trade that could work out well for both teams.
To Victoria Grizzlies:
F Myles Fitzgerald (93) F Gerry Fitzgerald (93) F Leo Fitzgerald (93) To Prince George Spruce Kings:
F Cam Lawson (93) F Coltyn Hansen (92) D David London (93) + Future Considerations
Here's the release on the trade from the Grizzlies website:
GRIZZLIES BRING TRIPLE THREAT TO VICTORIA
The Victoria Grizzlies Junior “A” Hockey Club are pleased to announce the acquisition of Myles Fitzgerald, Leo Fitzgerald and Gerry Fitzgerald in a multi player deal with the Prince George Spruce Kings.
August 08, 2012 Victoria Grizzlies -
The Fitzgerald triplets enter their third season in the BCHL.
Going to Prince George are the recently acquired David London, and veteran Grizzlies forwards Cam
Lawson and Coltyn Hansen.
Head Coach and General Manager Bill Bestwick described the trade as, “an exciting and significant move in the rebuilding of our roster for the upcoming season.”
The Fitzgerald’s are no strangers to Bestwick and Island Junior Hockey supporters as all three entered the BCHL under his guidance with the Nanaimo Clippers during the 2010-2011 season.
Individually each Fitzgerald is a top player in the BCHL and collectively they are dynamic, skilled players that compete and entertain during every single shift,” stated Bestwick.
Upon learning of his new teammates, recently appointed Grizzlies Captain Zach Urban said, “This is great news and I am very excited to play with them. Game in game out they were the hardest line to play against last year, I hated playing against them.”
In their first two BCHL seasons the Fitzgerald’s have combined for 77 goals and 104 assists during 169 games played. “These guys love the game and are as durable as any players in the BCHL. I expect them to generate offense and reach a point a game status or more,” said Bestwick.
The Victoria Grizzlies organization wish to express their sincere appreciation to Cam and Coltyn for their contribution to the Grizzlies Hockey Club and wish all three departing players much success in Prince George.
The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club begins training camp August 20 at Bear Mountain Arena with exhibition games at home Aug. 24 against the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Aug. 28 in Sooke against the Nanaimo Clippers, Aug. 29 in Port Alberni to take on the Bulldogs, and then back at home Sept. 2 at Bear Mountain Arena for the final pre-season match-up against the Powell River Kings.
For information on season ticket packages and exhibition game tickets, visit www.victoriagrizzlies.com or call 250-385-1555.
For more information contact:
Bill Bestwick, General Manager & Head Coach
Victoria Grizzlies - Main Office