It turns out Kyle Beach was available after all.
The Tips traded their star winger along with defenseman Mike Alexander to Lethbridge in exchange for 18-year-old forward Daniel Iwanski, 16-year-old defenseman Alex Theriau and a first-round pick in this year’s bantam draft. Theriau was Lethbridge’s first rounder in 2007.
More later …
—- UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.
Whew! That’s quite the deal the Tips pulled off today, I’ve got to say the biggest in franchise history.
Here’s how it breaks down. Everett gives up an 18-year-old first-round NHL draft pick in Beach, plus an experienced 19-year-old top-four defenseman in Alexander. In return the Tips get an 18-year-old forward in Iwanski who may have more ability than he’s shown so far, plus a pair of first-round bantam picks (Theriau was taken sixth overall in 2007).
So Lethbridge, a team with high expectations coming into the season that has not met those so far, gets two pieces who can help salvage their season. Meanwhile, Everett gets younger and starts to look really well positioned for the 2010-11 season.
My sense of the trade is that the Tips weren’t shopping Beach and that Beach didn’t want to leave. But the combination of Beach’s inconsistency, his on-ice antics, and the fact that he may be in the NHL next season made Everett general manager Doug Soetaert willing to listen to offers. Lethbridge stepped up with an offer too good to refuse and the deal was done.
I also don’t think this trade gets done in its current configuration if the Tips aren’t confident Shayne Brown will be back soon. Everett would have been hard-pressed to give up Alexander if the Tips didn’t have Brown to step in and provide another veteran defensive presence.
How you feel about this trade from Everett’s perspective depends on how you feel about Beach. He has the ability to be a difference maker, but since this point last season he hasn’t shown that often enough, and when he’s not being a difference maker some of his antics can start to wear thin. But if you figure Alexander and Iwanski cancel one another out, the Tips basically got two first-round picks for Beach. That’s a good return regardless of which Beach shows up in Lethbridge.
And I think the Hurricanes have a good chance of getting the good Kyle Beach. He’ll be able to play with another elite offensive talent in Zach Boychuk, which I think will help big time. And perhaps he needs a change of scenery to get him firing at full speed again.
Talking to Beach about the trade he was genuinely emotional about leaving Everett (as was Alexander). He almost teared up talking about what he was leaving behind. I know not everyone in Everett is a big fan of Beach, but he really seems to appreciate the city and fans and organization.
And I know I’m going to miss him. At his best he’s something special to watch, and if nothing else he was an endless source of material for me.
The Beach trade unfortunately relegated another important piece of news to little more than a footnote. Everett made a decision on its goaltending situation as the Tips will move forward with newly-acquired 18-year-old ThomasHeemskerk and 16-year-old Kent Simpson. Everett will try to trade 19-year-old Shayne Barrie, but if that doesn’t happen he will be reassigned to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
This move, along with the trade of Beach and Alexander, suddenly brings clarity to next season’s roster. Before Everett had six 19-year-olds along with Beach, who might not have been back as a 19-year-old. Now the Tips have just four 19-year-olds vying for next season’s three overage spots, and are in no danger of losing anyone else to the pros. Beyond this season’s overagers Everett won’t be losing much next season.