NORTH SAANICH — Peninsula Panthers’ Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Brad Tippett and General Manager Pete Zubersky are a busy pair as the Dec. 1 Junior hockey trading deadline rapidly approaches.
The club has been playing much better hockey as of late and Tippett and Zubersky feel a tweak here or there could make a huge difference in the direction of the team over the last half of the regular season and into the playoffs.
“We have really been playing much better over the last five or six games,” explained Zubersky. “We have won only a few games over that span however, we feel that with a move or two we would be a much different club. Brad has some contacts in Regina and we have also been talking to some clubs in our league and we are close to making something happen.”
Junior B teams go down to 25 roster spots at midnight on Dec. 1.
Teams are then forced to go to a maximum of 23 players by midnight on Jan. 10 and although that date is important, it is only the first step in setting the lineup.
“We would like to make a move or two if possible before Thursday night (Dec. 1) and that would still leave us some wiggle room over the next six weeks,” said Zubersky. “The other clubs are feeling pressure to get something done before the deadline and I believe you will see some movement in the rosters right across our league.
“We have been through it many times and quite often it comes down to the final hour on Dec. 1 for deals to be completed.”
The Club lost, 4-1, Friday night (Nov. 25) against the Campbell River Storm and were dumped 6-4 by the Kerry Park Islanders on Saturday night. The Panthers outshot both opponents and Zubersky said deserved to come out of the weekend with two or three points after two solid efforts.
They will be back in action on Friday night when they travel to Saanich to take on the Braves and will then return home for their only Saturday night game of the season, the back end of a home-and-home with the Braves.
The puck drops on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.