The December 1st Hockey Canada roster deadline arrives tomorrow and it's one that's seen BCHL teams be relatively busy.
BCHL teams started with 35 cards on June 1st, on October 1st that was reduced to 30. At that point, teams with 22 players signed were left with only eight cards to sign any players acquired.
As of December 1st, the number is cut to 25 cards or less, which includes carded players plus available unused cards. The norm is for teams to end up with a 22 player roster and 3 cards, but occasionally teams will go with less than 22 players and then have more cards available for use leading up to the January 10th roster deadline.
For example, if a team has 28 cards remaining of the 35 they started with on June 1st, (including the 22 players on their roster) and it reduces to 25 tomorrow night, it makes sense to trade now, rather than after December 1st. The idea being that the team uses cards 23 through 28 instead of losing them. This is assuming the team wants to make some changes.
Last season, there were four trades in the week leading up to the deadline, including just one on December 1st. In 2013, 12 trades were made, while in 2012, eight trades were made. In 2011, there were seven and in 2010, there were 16 deals.
So far this season, there have been two deals made in the week leading up to the deadline, both involving the Victoria Grizzlies. First the Grizzlies acquired 19-year-old forward Jared Virtanen from the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for 18-year-old defenseman J.D. Falconer and future considerations. Then Victoria dealt 19-year-old forward Colby Livingstone to the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for future considerations.
It remains to be seen if things get busier in the hours leading up to the deadline - and with the final roster deadline just five weeks away.
The other aspect of the December 1st deadline is that teams within the BCHL have until 7 pm Pacific time to make any deals with each other while they have until 6 pm Pacific time to make deals with CJHL teams outside of BC.
Here's a look at the trades last season in the week leading up to the December 1st deadline:
- Salmon Arm acquired forward Branden Wagner (96) from Vernon for future considerations
- Prince George acquired forward Daniel Nachbaur (95) from Merritt for future considerations
- Prince George traded defenseman Valik Chichkin (94) to Camrose of the AJHL for future considerations
- Chilliwack acquired defenseman Bennett Morrison (96) from Salmon Arm for future considerations