Rebels trade captain to Saskatoon
With a deadline looming, Red Deer Rebels general manager Brent Sutter got his homework done a little early on Monday.
Sutter, facing a 3 p.m. Wednesday deadline for reducing the number of the club’s overage players from four to three, sent fifth-year forward and team captain Adam Kambeitz to the Saskatoon Blades in return for 17-year-old forward Christian Stockl and a third-round pick in the 2014 WHL bantam draft.
The move leaves the Rebels with forwards Turner Elson and Charles Inglis and defenceman Brandon Underwood as the squad’s 20-year-olds for the remainder of the season.
“Adam has been with our organization since he was 16-year-olds and has been our team captain since 2011. This is a tough trade to make because of what he’s done for this team,” said Sutter.
“But this is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“This trade fits the direction I want this team to go in. We added a ‘95-born forward to a group of young players who we think are very good players. We also added more skill to our team today.”
Stockl rang up 68 points — including 36 goals — in 38 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild last season. He scored one goal in five games with the Blades this season.
“He’s a rookie in this league and he has great potential and that’s what excites me about him,” said Sutter.
“And with Adam, it a great situation for him that he can finish his junior career by playing in a Memorial Cup. This was just the right thing to do for all parties involved, and it’s supposed to be that way with trades.”
The Blades are the host club for the 2013 Memorial Cup tournament and have struggled out of the gate this fall, winning just two of seven games. Clearly, Blades GM/head coach Lorne Molleken felt he needed another leader in the dressing room.
“I talked to Adam and obviously he took the news hard. But he also understands that we had to get down to three 20-year-olds,” said Sutter, who added that the Blades expressed interest in Kambeitz when the Rebels acquired Underwood two weeks ago.
“This is something that has been going on for a bit and at the end of the day I had to separate myself from the team for a few days to really think it through,” said Sutter.
“This was the right thing to do for everybody, for Adam, for the Blades and first and foremost for our hockey team moving forward.”
Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin said Kambeitz will be missed.
“Adam was pretty emotional today. He’s a Red Deer Rebel through and through,” said Wallin. “He’s been a big part of our team and a big part of our dressing room. He’s pretty attached.
“But he sees the opportunity in this move, he sees that it’s the right thing to do. Adam is a heart and soul player who will certainly help (the Blades).”
Kambeitz stayed with the Rebels on Sunday night at Swift Current. A member of the Blades organization will drive him to Saskatoon today.
As Sutter noted, the third-round bantam draft pick coming over to the Rebels in the deal replaces the third-round selection in 2014 that he recently sent to Vancouver in return for forward Matt Bellerive.