Rebels trade Landon Ferraro to Silvertips
The decision to trade Landon Ferraro wasn’t something the Red Deer Rebels brass threw together at the last moment.
It’s something that’s been in the works since the end of last season and was finally put together Monday.
Ferraro was shipped to the Everett Silvertips along with a conditional draft pick in the 2012 Western Hockey League bantam draft for 19-year-old centre Byron Froese and a third round pick in the 2012 draft.
“It’s been in the works since early spring, but it’s something we had to be patient with,” said Rebels vice-president of hockey operations and head coach Jesse Wallin.
“We had to get through the bantam draft and the import draft and see where we sat before we moved on.”
There was a definite rift develop between the Rebels and Ferraro last season, which made it obvious a parting of the ways would be the best for both parties.
“I can’t speak for Landon, but he did have certain issues that came out in his play and in the dressing room,” said Wallin.
“He was going in a different direction than our group and it was a time for a change. Those things happen.”
“I saw it coming . . . I wasn’t sure when or where I would end up, but I figured it would be with a team in the States,” he said.
“There were some issues and now looking back at it it was good for both the Rebels and myself to be moving forward. It was needed.”
Ferraro likes where he ended up.
It’s not only a solid organization, but closer to his family in the Vancouver area.
“My mom was excited as she’s only about two, two and a half hours from her door to Everett, so she can see more of my games.
“And as for myself the guys I talked to have nothing but good to say about the organization. It’s a fresh start with a good team.”
Ferraro goes to Everett after a disappointing season that saw him score 16 goals and 30 assists in 53 games with the Rebels. He suffered with a knee injury for most of the season, which was a reason for his drop in statistics from the 2008-09 season when he had 37 goals and 55 points in 68 games.
“Last year is one I want to put behind me,” he said. “But it’s also one I won’t forget. You need to learn from everything and take something out of everything.”
Ferraro’s knee is 100 per cent healthy this year.
“I attended the Detroit (rookie) camp and my physical test marks was better than last September,” he said.
“I’m feeling great and looking forward to this season. I want to get to camp and get off to a quick start and get my momentum back.”
But while he’s looking to move on, Ferraro, a native of Trail, B.C., insists he won’t forget his three years in Red Deer.
“We had a couple of issues last year, but I had three good years there and I appreciate everything the Rebels did for me. I had a lot of great memories in the city and the fans and people were great. I’ll always remember them.”
The 18-year-old Ferraro, who was the 32nd overall draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, indicated the Rebels fans will enjoy watching Froese, who was the 109th overall selection in 2009 by the Chicago Blackhawks.
“The Rebels got a really good player out of the deal,” he stressed.
Getting a top-end player for Ferraro was a must for Wallin.
“That was the key to the trade,” he said.
“We needed a player back who will help us now. We received a lot of calls from different teams putting different offers on the table, but we’re not at a point where we’ll give up a top-end player for prospects or draft picks.
“We needed someone who will help us now and Froese will do that.
“He’s a natural centre, which we like, and indications are he’ll make the people around him better.”
Froese, a native of Winkler, Man., who wasn’t drafted, stepped into the Silvertips lineup as a 17-year-old two years ago and scored 19 goals and 57 points in 72 games.
The six-foot-one, 180-pounder added 29 goals and 32 assists last season.
“He showed he can put up numbers at this level and has good size,” added Wallin. ‘He’s a two-way player who’s responsible at both ends of the rink, works hard and is a character kid and will fit in very, very well in the dressing room.
“From what I can see this is a deal that will help both teams. I know it’s good for us to get a guy, who wants to be a Rebel.”
Wallin contacted Froese early Monday and he was naturally surprised.
“He was taken back because there was no indication this would happen, but he sounded excited and looking forward to a fresh start and in a Canadian market.”