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Leafs skipper looks to retool Heritage City roster with mid-season deals

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
December 3rd, 2015

Hey Leaf Nation relax, all is well says coach and GM Dave McLellan.

However, this was before the Green and White were shellacked 9-zip by of all teams, rival Castlegar Rebels Wednesday night in the Sunflower City.

“We’re going in direction I thought we would at this time of the season having all rookie defencemen,” McLellan told The Nelson Daily before heading off to the Sunflower City Wednesday.

“It’s the little things that are hurting us right now and we have to find a way to start scoring.”

“But it’s important to win at the right time be ready for playoffs,” McLellan adds.

Having lost eight of 11 before Wednesday, McLellan was busy working the phones before Tuesday’s December 1st BC Hockey roster deadline.

“We were (busy),” McLellan confessed.

As of December 1st, Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams had cut to 25 cards or less, which includes carded players plus available unused cards.

McLellan used the deadline to acquire three players — a goalie, forward and defenceman.

The Leafs traded with Princeton Posse to get 6’4” netminder Zakery Babin.

McLellan then reached out to Columbia Valley Rockies to land forward Malcolm Fenelon before scoring defenceman Zach Morey from defending KIJHL champion Kimberley Dynamiters.

All three deals were made for future considerations.

McLellan also traded for forward Kelton Nelson and landed local defenceman Cole Arcuri in November.

The Leafs released defenceman Ren Mason and goalie Joe Barton to make room for the new players.

“Zak is a goalie I’m familiar with in Surrey so I was really glad to add him going forward,” McLellan said.

Morey, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound native of Calgary, Alta., spent the bulk of the 2014-15 campaign with the Revelstoke Grizzlies, registering three goals and nine points in 29 games.

In 14 games with Kimberley, Morey, who finished up last season with the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL, registered two assists.

Fenelon scored eight goals and had eight assists in 32 games with Columbia Valley.

The acquisitions leave the Leafs, which just passed the midway part of the season with a 13-13-0-0-1 record, with a roster of 23 players with two remaining cards.

However, McLellan said the Leafs continue to be plagued with injuries having made the recent trip to the East Kootenay with a depleted lineup with Austin Lindsay, Andy Fitzpatrick, Max Daerendinger and Dash Thompson all out with injuries.

“We’re just trying to make it through to Christmas and then get players back to begin to make a push after the break,” McLellan said.

Leaf Nation can only hope Christmas is kind to the Green and White.

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