Chynoweth testing the market as WHL trade deadline looms

Kootenay Ice general manager isn't willing to make any deals that won't benefit the club.

With the WHL trade deadline fast approaching, Kootenay Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth is still waiting for the right dance partner.

While other teams have made some deals down the stretch, Chynoweth isn’t ready to sign off on anything unless the right terms come along.

“There is some interest in some of our older players, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a deal done,” said Chynoweth. “There’s a lot of tire-kicking right now and we’re not going to make a deal for the sake of making a deal. We got to make the best deal for this organization moving forward.”

With a 2-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday, the Ice have climbed out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, as the Wheat Kings now occupy the basement.

The key to the Ice right now is their potential—the club will that much more dangerous as those younger players in all areas of the roster continue to develop.

Despite their youth, the Ice have been playing well as evidenced by their six consecutive wins, which has been possible because of noticeable improvement individually and as a team.

When the Vancouver Giants began to struggle right out of the gate, head coach Don Hay and general manager Scott Bonner blew up the roster in an effort to build for the future, dealing away star defence man David Musil to the Edmonton Oil Kings for Mason Gersteen and a first-round draft pick.

Vancouver also sent away Austin Vetterl to the Ice in exchange for a pair of prospects, and also dealt away Nathan Burns to Saskatoon for Travis McEvoy and two draft selections.

While the Ice were struggling at the same time, including a season-worst eight-game losing skid, Chynoweth kept things intact, but added Vetterl and Zach McPhee, giving up a draft pick to Everett.

While coming down the deadline stretch, other teams have been busy with some notable recent trades involving Kamloops picking up a veteran 20-year-old in Kale Kessy to bolster their roster, giving up Rob Trzonkowski and a draft pick to Vancouver.

Swift Current also added some youth to their roster, picking up Jay Merkley from Lethbridge in exchange for Josh Derko and a draft pick.

“I think the prices are high,” said Chynoweth, pointing to the two Vancouver deals that sent Musil to Edmonton and Burns to Saskatoon. “I think the prices are there, but you also have to find a willing partner.

“One of the things that doesn’t help, is sometimes you have a limited number of teams you can deal with and that has separated itself in the last few days.”

For his part, Ice defenceman Joey Leach knows there is always the possibility of getting moved on deadline day, but doesn’t allow those kind of thoughts to cloud the way he wants to play.

“Obviously that January 10th date is in your head, but you can’t worry about it because you got to go out and play the game, so I think we’ve proven that,” said Leach, a 20-year-old in his final year of eligibility. “…You can’t have it in your mind otherwise you can’t play the game.”

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read