It was all quiet for the Red Deer Rebels as the Western Hockey League trade deadline came and went Monday.
Rebels head coach/vp of hockey operations Jesse Wallin spent most of the day on the phone but in the end there was nothing that jumped up and grabbed him.
“Anything that we may have been comfortable with didn’t come at a price we were comfortable with,” said Wallin. “We looked at every avenue out there in an effort to make the team better, but there’s wasn’t a fit.
“If we made a move it was not only to help us now, but in the long term as well and we weren’t prepared to meet the asking price.”
Teams were asking about the likes of Adam Kambeitz, Turner Elson and Daulton Siwak, according to Wallin.
“They are a big part of our team and will be down the road and we weren’t prepared to move them, especially when they were sideways moves.”
While the Rebels were quiet the biggest news of the day was the trade of world junior MVP Brayden Schenn from the Brandon Wheat Kings to the Saskatoon Blades.
Schenn, along with a third-round draft pick in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, went to the Blades for four draft picks — a first and a second round pick in the 2011 bantam draft, a first-round pick in 2012 and a first round pick in the 2012 Canadian Hockey League import draft — along with two prospects — defenceman Ayrton Nikkel and forward Tim McGauley. Both youngsters are 15 and the Blades top two picks in the 2010 bantam draft.
“Our team this year, in our minds, is a team that has an opportunity to win a WHL championship and to win a Memorial Cup,” Blades head coach-GM Lorne Molleken told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “With the addition of Schenn, who obviously was the top forward and the MVP at the world junior tournament, it gives us a better opportunity to achieve our goals.
“We’re extremely pleased and extremely excited.”
The other big trade came Sunday when the Swift Current Broncos shipped forward Cody Eakin, a teammate of Schenn’s on Team Canada at the world juniors, to the Kootenay Ice for five players and three draft picks — a first and second in the 2011 bantam draft and a third in 2012.
Both the Ice and Blades will be in the way as the Rebels look to win the WHL Eastern Conference title.
“Both teams added to their roster for sure, but we still feel we’re competitive and in the mix,” stressed Wallin. “When you look at it they’re adding one player and one player doesn’t win championship, it takes a team effort.
“Plus we can’t worry about the other guys we have to take care of ourselves and we believe in our group.”
Overall there were eight deals made Monday, including three by the Rebels rivals in the Central Division.
• The Calgary Hitmen sent 19-year-old defenceman Matt MacKenzie to the Tri-City Americans for a pair of 18-year-olds — forward Brooks Macek and defenceman Spencer Humphries — and a third round conditional pick in the 2012 draft.
• The Medicine Hat Tigers picked up forward Kellan Tochkin, 19, and rearguard Alex Theriau, 18, for forward Ryan Harrison, 18, and a second round pick in 2011.
• The Lethbridge Hurricanes traded forward Ryley Bennefield, 16, to the Portland Winterhawks for 15-year-old defenceman Branden Scheidl.
• Vancouver sent D Tanner Sohn, 19, to the Blades for a 10th round pick in the 2012 draft . . . D Mitch Spooner, 18, went from the Regina Pats to the Seattle Thunderbirds for a fifth round conditional pick in 2012 . . . Moose Jaw sent Slovak F Michal Hlinka, 17, and a third and sixth round pick in 2011 to Prince Albert for Danish F Sebastian Svendsen, 19 . . . Prince Alberta also traded D Ryan Button, 19, to Seattle for F Charles Wells, 19, and a first round pick in 2011 CHL i9mport draft.
• The Rebels play their next five games on the road, beginning Wednesday in Moose Jaw. They visit Brandon Friday, Regina Saturday and Swift Current Sunday. They’re off until Jan, 21 when they visit Medicine Hat and return home Jan, 22 against Moose Jaw.