Rebels boost blueline

With one eye on his diminishing cast of forwards, Red Deer Rebels vice-president of hockey operations/head coach Jesse Wallin cut a deal with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Monday.

Brad Haber

Brad Haber

With one eye on his diminishing cast of forwards, Red Deer Rebels vice-president of hockey operations/head coach Jesse Wallin cut a deal with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Monday.

Coming over from the T-Birds, in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2010 Western Hockey League bantam draft, is 19-year-old defenceman Brad Haber, who will be in the Rebels lineup for tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting with the Regina Pats at the Centrium.

“He’s a veteran guy with some experience, kind of a fifth or sixth defenceman who’s a decent skater,” said Wallin. “We’ll get a good look at him over the next few weeks with guys out of the lineup.”

Most importantly, Haber also possesses a measure of versatility and will likely be used up front with the absence of three — and soon four — key Red Deer forwards. Andrej Kudrna will join Team Slovakia today for the upcoming world junior championship, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be with Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Challenge after Christmas and centres Nathan Green and Landon Ferraro are out with injuries.

The six-foot-three, 193-pound Haber scored three goals and added three assists in 26 games with Seattle this season. He appeared in 12 games with the T-Birds as a 17-year-old and scored once, and last season had two goals and 12 points in 59 games.

Basically, the product of Aldergrove, B.C., is in Red Deer on a trial basis. If he is no longer on the roster on Jan. 10, the Rebels will not surrender the draft pick.

If he earns a permanent position with the Rebels and can fill in adequately until the likes of Green and Ferraro return, Haber will provide the Rebels with a seventh defenceman once Nick Bell (ankle) comes off the shelf. Bell, who’s been out since October, could be ready for game action by mid-January.

“He (Bell) is ahead of schedule and we’re hoping he can start skating after the (Christmas) break,” said Wallin. “He wasn’t expected to be back on the ice until the middle of January.”

The Pats, meanwhile, are minus outstanding forward Jordan Eberle and top-notch defenceman Colten Teubert, both attending the Team Canada final selection camp. Eberle and Teubert won gold with Canada in the 2009 world junior championship in Ottawa.

However, the Pats still possess several forwards who demand attention, including Jordan Weal, Matt Strueby and the recently-acquired Carter Ashton and former Rebel Cass Mappin.

“No question, every game is a tough game, as we’ve said all along. There are no easy games in this league; anybody can beat anybody on any given night,” said Wallin. “We have to make sure we’re prepared to come and give a really good effort.”

The Rebels will play a home-and-home with the Edmonton Oil Kings — Friday in the provincial capital and Saturday at the Centrium — before embarking on a six-day Christmas break. The players will be back in Red Deer on Dec. 26 for an evening practice and will host the Lethbridge Hurricanes the following night.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The interchange at Highway 2 and McKenzie Road at the south end of Gasoline Alley is being redesigned with two roundabouts. Detours will be in place at either end of the overpass during construction, which is expected to begin this month and finish in October. (Graphic from Red Deer County)
Roudabouts coming to McKenzie Road overpass at Gasoline Alley

Project expected to improve traffic flow at busy intersections

A federal strategy to preserve threatened trout could conflict with provincial coal leases in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. (Contributed photo by Jeff Lund).
Federal regulations could save Alberta’s bull trout by shutting down mining plans, says biologist

Ottawa’s new strategy identifies a 30-metre protected area along rivers and streams

(Contributed image)
Wolf Creek Public Schools will not participate in curriculum pilot

Central Alberta school jurisdiction joins others across Alberta

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. A second COVID-19 vaccine is being investigated for possible links to blood clots, though the syndrome appears to be extremely rare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rogelio V. Solis
Vaccine-induced blood clots under more scrutiny as Canada reports first case

Vaccine-induced blood clots under more scrutiny as Canada reports first case

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez take a selfie as they arrive at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2020. VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will showcase Lopez. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Selena Gomez and J.Lo headline vax concert for poor nations

NEW YORK — Backed by an international concert hosted by Selena Gomez… Continue reading

A vial of the vaccine by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Federal health officials in the U.S. said early Tuesday they were urging a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six serious blood clots, and officials in Washington state and around the country quickly complied. (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media)
How J&J and AstraZeneca differ from the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has hit a stumbling block in… Continue reading

An emergency response worker carries an air monitoring device at the site of a crude oil spill at a Trans Mountain Pipeline pump station in Abbotsford, on Sunday, June 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Failed fitting caused 190,000-litre spill at Trans Mountain site in B.C.: TSB

VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board report says the failure of a… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

OTTAWA — Indigenous leaders and legal experts are pushing federal lawmakers to… Continue reading

Visitors to a roadside memorial pay their respects in Portapique, N.S., on Friday, April 24, 2020. The Canadian Red Cross confirmed today it has collected $6.2 million in donations to help the families in rural Nova Scotia affected by the mass shooting last spring that claimed 22 lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Red Cross collects $6.2 million for families affected by Nova Scotia mass shooting

HALIFAX — Canadians and people from around the world donated $6.2 million… Continue reading

Hindu devotees wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus stand in a queue to offer prayers inside a temple dedicated to goddess Kali in Jammu, India, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. New infections have surged in the past month and India has now reported over 13.6 million cases — pushing its toll past Brazil, and making it second only to the United States. In the past 24 hours, over 160,000 new infections have been detected and experts fear that the worst is yet to come. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Johnson & Johnson delays shot rollout in Europe

BERLIN — Johnson & Johnson says it is delaying the rollout of… Continue reading

Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers wait in line to sign up for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine site, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Sunset Park neighborhood of New York. The mobile vaccination effort includes two buses equipped with four to six vaccinators each, delivering the COVID-19 vaccine directly to communities most in need. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose… Continue reading

Most Read