If you’ve made it this far you already know the Tips dominated the second and third periods in a 9-4 win over the visiting Victoria Royals. Matt Fonteyne, Bryce Kindopp and Patrick Bajkov were the three stars. Two of them were WHL stars of the night though in a slightly different order:
— The WHL (@TheWHL) January 8, 2018
But Sunday’s real news was the trade that sent Montana Onyebuchi and Orrin Centazzo (plus two unsigned prospects and two draft picks) to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for Garrett Pilon and Ondrej Vala.
I’d like to thank @blazerhockey for all the opportunities they have given me since the start of my WHL career. Great organization and I wish them and my teammates nothing but the best moving forward. I’m excited to getting things started with @WHLsilvertips
— Garrett Pilon (@gpilon41) January 8, 2018
This is the biggest move general manager Garry Davidson has made in my two-plus seasons on the beat. The past two seasons Davidson acquired a defenseman (Brycen Martin in 2015-16 and Aaron Irving last year) but nothing else. Both years the Tips fell to Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals.
But with Sunday’s deal the Tips acquired two legitimate “win now” pieces while addressing depth concerns on both offense and defense. In doing so Davidson gave up two young contributors and four unknown commodities.
The Tips now have the league’s top goaltender in Carter Hart (barring an M. Night Shyamalan-like twist in which Davidson flips him for a depth goalie and additional impact skaters), a trio of experienced, point-producing centers for three scoring lines, and a big, physical, experienced defenseman. Plus Kevin Davis (and Jake Christiansen).
Will it be enough? Perhaps, but Davidson indicated Sunday he hopes to continue to add. Whether or not he can remains to be seen.
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