NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers made two gigantic deadline deals last week and as the PNR went to press, the Club might not be done. The deadline was at midnight on Tuesday.
Last week the Club moved two veterans who were tied for lead as the Panthers’ top scorers. Michael Sproule, 19, was dispatched to the Saanich Braves and a day later 20-year-old Josh Poland saw his postal code change as he was moved to the Kerry Park Islanders in a complicated three-team transaction.
In return for Sproule, the Panthers reeled in 18-year-old defenceman Gavin Yee, a youngster who resides only two minutes from the Panorama Recreation Centre where the Panthers play their home games. For Poland who was the team’s captain, the Panthers will receive future considerations in the form of players at season’s end and these players will be coming from the Campbell River Storm.
“The Sproule deal was a one-for-one move for Gavin Yee and we are pretty happy about it,” said General Manager Pete Zubersky. “We were looking to add a defenceman who could play in our top two and Yee certainly fills that void. The Braves were looking for a top-two centre and Sproule should give them just that.”
“The deal for Poland had a few more moving parts. The Storm were trying to get a goaltender out of Kerry Park and needed an extra piece to make it happen. They wanted Poland and so we worked out an arrangement with the Storm that will see a couple players come this way at the end of the season.”
With the move the Panthers will count on their younger core group to take on larger roles.
“We think the move did two things,” said Zubersky. “It will allow the younger kids to develop more as they see more ice and it should get some key assets here for the next couple of seasons when we believe we should have a pretty special group.
“It’s always tough to see guys leave and we wish both of them the best of luck in the future and thank them for the time they spent with the organization.”
The Panthers and their new D-man hit the ice Friday night when they host the Campbell River Storm. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.