Good News / Bad News: OA Edition (UPDATED)

Posted: January 9, 2013 in 2012-13, Trade, Whalers
Tags: , , ,

I find it hard to believe that he (Heard) will be sent back to Plymouth. I could be proven wrong. I never said I was always right, but I think Lake Erie wants to keep him. –Whalers On The Moon – October 9th, 2012

Ok, so I was proven wrong. Heard did get sent back to Plymouth at the most unusual time in the season. Then again, with the NHL Lockout, this season has been far from ordinary.

Remember when I said at the half way point of the season that the Whalers needed a spark to get them going in the second half? That happened on New Years Day when Lake Erie reassigned Mitchell Heard back to Plymouth to finish out the season.

Great news for Whalers fans, but a bit of a bummer for Heard. However this is the spark that was needed for this team. The downside is that the Whalers now had too many OA’s on the roster. A problem that needed to be rectified by today.
rong sentiment among fans that the Whalers had depth in the defense that we could give up Levi.Everyone was wondering who was going to be the odd man out between Aleardi, Heard, Levi, and MacDonald. There was a st

It took until Monday afternoon to find out who was leaving the team.

Fan favorite Alex Aleardi was traded to the rival Windsor Spitfires in exchange for Zach Lorentz. To say the fan base was crushed would be an understatement. People have stated that they are not going to attend games anymore after this trade was announced. I can’t blame people for being emotional. He was one of my favorites to watch on the ice as well.

I get it, with Heard coming back, it made sense as the Whalers have a lot of depth up front, and it would be wise to keep the depth on the blue-line, especially with injuries as of late. Alex was a fantastic Whaler, fan favorite, and just a great kid to talk to, always smiling! I’ll miss his contributions on and off the ice. –Sean Baligian – Whalers On-Air Color Commentator


However crushed the fan base is, some logic needs to be added to the situation. Vellucci needed to get rid of one of the OA’s by Wednesday. Teams in the West that had an open OA spot were Windsor, Sarnia, and Kitchener. Other GMs know that we were in a bind as well and would love to get one of our OA’s for the best price possible.

Looking at it with that in mind, I have no doubt in my mind the Vellucci made the best deal he could for the Whalers organization. Aleardi going to Windsor is also not going to hurt us in the short term. Trading away a very skilled player

to a team higher in the standing then the Whalers would not have helped us at all. The Whalers are fighting for positioning in the playoffs while Windsor is fighting to be in the playoff picture.

Also, we don’t know for sure when Mitch Jones will be back, nor do we know when Crombeen will return. Trading away a defenseman could have hurt us more than we originally thought. From past experience Mike Vellucci does not care about making the popular decision, he cares about making the right decision for the team and the players involved.

As I finish typing this up, there is 25 hours until the OHL trade deadline. Aleardi might not be the only fan favorite to get dealt before to another team.


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