Benoit traded to Saskatoon on deadline day

Ice send 19-year-old to the Blades for a fourth-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft on the final day of deal-making.

Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill holds court at centre ice during a practice on Thursday at Western Financial Place. Kootenay forward Erik Benoit was absent

Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill holds court at centre ice during a practice on Thursday at Western Financial Place. Kootenay forward Erik Benoit was absent

Erik Benoit’s time with the Kootenay Ice is over, as the 19-year-old was dealt to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday.

Benoit had requested a trade a few months ago, but got injured as general manager Jeff Chynoweth hunted around for an appropriate deal that would see a good return for the team.

However, with deadline approaching, he found a dance partner with the Saskatoon Blades, who were looking for veteran players as they host the Memorial Cup tournament this year.

“Erik had requested a trade, which caught us completely off guard, we’ve known about it for a while and I’ve tried to accommodate his request, with the bottom line of always looking after the team first,” said Chynoweth. “It took awhile, Erik was hurt and then everything ramped up as we got closer to the trade deadline.

“Ideally we would’ve liked to have got a player in return, but we didn’t have many options—meaning many suitors—at this late stage of the game, so we took what was the best deal and it gives Erik an opportunity to play in the Memorial Cup again and his experience is something that Saskatoon really wanted.”

Benoit came undrafted to the Ice three years ago, cracking the roster as a 17-year-old.  The Calgary native played a career total of 151 regular season games, with tallying 59 points.

That leaves the Ice with five defencemen and 14 forwards, however, Jeff Hubic dropped down to the defensive corps in Thursday’s practice to cover the absence of Mike Simpson, who was dealt to the Hurricanes on Wednesday.

“Obviously, things can change here over the next seven hours, but as of right now, he’s going to play defence tomorrow [Friday],” said Ice head coach Ryan McGill. “He played there right before Christmas, and I think he was okay with that.

“Obviously, we like his effectiveness up front with the way he has been playing up front, but at the same time, I think his versatility allows us to put him back there. It might take him a little while to get acclimatized, but certainly he’ll fill in a good spot for us.”

For his part, Hubic is just happy to fill whatever role the coaches need him to.

“I’m used to it by now,” said Hubic, who filled the same role last year as well. “Bouncing back and forth, it’s kind of a day-to-day thing at this point, because there’s different kinds of injuries and different situations, so I’m just happy to be playing.”

Chynoweth admits he’s still in the hunt for a defenceman before a midnight deadline—either a 20-year-old that was released from another WHL club or a player in any of the Junior A leagues across Western Canada.

“”I did file on Ryley Miller, who Brandon released this week and he told me that he’s going to Dauphin, Manitoba (MJHL), and I also spoke to Ryan Dech, who played in Edmonton last year and is playing with Todd Johnson at the University of Regina about possibly coming in, but he’s going to stay at the U of R, which I respect,” said Chynoweth.

“I’ve been trying to find a defenceman and now I’m scouring all the tier two leagues in Western Canada trying to come up with another defenceman.”

Deadline day can be tough on some players, especially the veterans like Joey Leach and Brock Montgomery, as the two overagers would have been valuable additions to other WHL clubs.

“Me and Leach, we have something special with the team that we can do and prove ourselves to the young group,” said Montgomery.

“I know, for myself, I haven’t slept very well the past few days, but you never really know what’s going to happen.”

Chynoweth said there wasn’t much of any horse-trading for his oldest pair of WHL veterans.

“Nothing materialized in the last two days, even remotely offered for either of the players, which is surprising to me,” said Chynoweth. “It doesn’t upset me to keep them both, they’re quality players and quality individuals and I think their experience and leadership will be invaluable as we play 20 of our final 30 games on the road.”

Just Posted

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

City council deferred moving forward on a proposed development in Wildstone, requesting a meeting with the developer to get clarification on project details. Photo submitted.
Cranbrook city council debates proposed Wildstone development

Cranbrook city council held off on moving forward with a proposed apartment… Continue reading

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

Cranbrook Arts will finally open the doors to their brand new gallery space on Friday, June 18th, 2021 at 4pm. To see what is behind these doors, be sure to check out the exhibit, Kootenay's Best, running until Labour Day weekend. (Cranbrook Arts file)
Cranbrook Arts’ inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best, opens this Friday

The exhibit features over 50 Kootenay-based artists and will run until Labour Day Weekend

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read