It’s Your Move: QMJHL Maritimes Division Trade Period Analysis

The Maritimes Division is never short on storylines, especially with the dreaded QMJHL Trade Period on the horizon.

With so many scouts and front office staff in attendance last weekend at the Monctonian Challenge, there’s no question trade talks occurred. You see it’s ironic that showcase tournaments are scheduled where they are because they provide the perfect opportunity for teams to start or finalize trades.

Obviously, it’s extremely early in the process or late for some. There’s no question trades have been finalized and it’s just a matter of the trade period opening for them to become official.

It seems like every year those teams within the Maritimes Division have something brewing.

Moose Crossing

Clearly the Halifax Mooseheads will be adding during this year’s trade period and they will be looking to cross the threshold into becoming a championship contender.

The Herd have been banged up for the bulk of the season and are just getting healthy at the right time. Cam Russell and his scouting staff won’t do anything drastic or mind blowing, but they will strategically add pieces that will solidify their chances for a long playoff run. There’s no question the Mooseheads could be the team that no one wants to face come playoff time. They’re deep, skilled and definitely have an element of grit in their lineup. They can beat you in a lot of different ways.

Russell knows how to build a champion, the Halifax Mooseheads have the team to do that if they acquire the right pieces.

Soaring High

The Cape Breton Eagles might not being too high right now, but they are on a perfect trajectory. This young talented team have proved they won’t back down which is exactly what you want to build when constructing a championship caliber team of the future. The Eagles definitely have some assets they could move for draft picks and young prospects. Sylvain Couturier isn’t going to do anything crazy, and there’s no question they are probably evaluating all of their veterans for potential overage positions next year. That’s a double edged sword, because overagers are critical for any team especially one in a rebuild. The Eagles brain trust have done everything the right way and will continue to do that moving forward. In a few short years, stories are going to be written about the Cape Breton Eagles and their championship caliber team! In a few short years the Eagles will be soaring.

Best Bang for Your Buck

Trevor Georgie and his scouting staff will no doubt be searching for their best bang for their buck. The real question is are they and the Port City ready for a long brutal second half?

The Sea Dogs have quality assets to potentially move, but those assets are old or shall we say experienced. Clearly they all have Memorial Cup experience which is invaluable, but Georgie needs to find a market for them which is incredibly difficult seeing that other organizations won’t want to blow things up by rocking the boat and changing their overager situation. We all know the names of their assets it’s not difficult to determine that, the real question remains can Georgie pull the trigger on the best deals possible for the best return.

There’s no question Georgie has the reputation for sticking to his guns, but in a rebuild there’s always some give and take when making the best deals for the organization moving forward. Championship caliber teams will be zeroing in on certain Sea Dogs and it’s clear who I would target, but it’s going to be very interesting to observe which deals and how many Georgie can make.

If he pulls the trigger on a substantial amount the Dogs will no doubt be quite thin when it comes to the second half of the season.

On an Island

Jim Hulton’s Charlottetown Islanders are exactly where they want to be. Hulton and his staff have done a terrific job and are hovering around the .500 mark on the season with a very young core group of talent which is also injected with quality free agent pick ups. There’s no question the Isles have the biggest and best asset in the QMJHL in Franky Lapenna. It wouldn’t surprise me that Hulton already has a deal in place for his stud netminder which no doubt will fetch an extremely high return. The Islanders need help between the pipes for the second half so look for them to acquire a netminder in return or via the free agent market.

Hulton and the Islanders do things the right way and they will continue to make all the right moves to build another championship caliber team in the years to come.

Offload and Go

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan are no doubt more than ready to offload, let’s hope they don’t go. With so much uncertainty surrounding the future of the team, it’s clear that there are bigger fish to fry than just the trade period. It’s hard to think about the Titan not being around, but with all the going’s on in the last year or two the prospect of losing a team in the Maritimes Division is always in the back of people’s minds. Nevertheless, let’s try to keep our focus on the ice. Clearly the Titan have amazing assets to move during the trade period and those assets will clearly fetch an amazing rebuilding return for Gordie Dwyer’s hockey club.

Dwyer is a great hockey mind and will definitely acquire the absolute best return he can. Dwyer’s ability to measure the pulse of his team and other talent around the league will no doubt pay dividends for the Titan moving forward.

Wildtown Breakdown

What are the Moncton Wildcats?Where are the Moncron Wildcats?

Well it’s clear that the Wildcats know their identity. They are a hard working team that needs to score by committee to win hockey games.

The Cats have drafted and developed quite well over the last number of years but they are lacking top tier offensive talent. They are missing a game breaking offensive threat or two. Ritchie Thibeau’s hockey club needs ultra skilled scoring forwards which as we all know don’t grow on trees.

Obviously, the Cats have been punching above their weight for the bulk of the season, because of their depth and blue collar mentality. As of late they have struggled generating sustained offensive pressure due in large part to aforementioned lack of offensive game breaking talent.

The question a lot of people that follow the Cats have been asking other than what are the Cats? is what moves are they going to make or what assets do they have?

There’s no question the Cats have a log jam when it comes depth in their line up in both the forward and defensive group. They aren’t in a position to off load major assets because quite frankly they don’t have any that will bring in substantial return. Right now it’s a status quo approach for the Cats which only adds complexity to their situation. Their diehard fan base wants a championship caliber team at a snap of a finger, but that can’t always happen, it takes time. You see the Cats are stuck in between things right now. There’s no question Thibeau and

his staff will make calculated and strategic moves during the trade period. It’s all about patience, it’s all about acquiring an ultra talented game breaking forward through the draft. The Cats are all set on their backend, which they will no doubt tweak this trade period. They are all set between the pipes. It’s all about offensive talent now. If results are slow to pour in some people in Wildtown might go a little wild.

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