It was a busy day for Portage Terriers head coach and general manager Blake Spiller. The Terriers said good-bye to 5 players and brought 3 new ones in the process.
The Terriers started the day by trading defenseman Brett Magarrell to the Dauphin Kings along with two draft picks, a 3rd round and a 5th round in exchange for defenseman Aidan Brook and forward Rhett Perrin.
Spiller also sent veteran forward Brenden Holba and defenseman Ryley Cyca to Waywayseecappo for Jesiah Bennett and future considerations.
In order to get down to the maximum roster space, Spiller then sent forward Evan Lachimea to the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. Lachimea, from Thunder Bay, grew up in that area.
Forward Austin McLean has also decided to play Junior B in Pilot Butte.
Spiller notes, "With the uncertainty, it is always a difficult time of year, especially for players, their families, and billet families. We really enjoyed having Holba and McLean with us for 3 years, and they along with Magarrell had the opportunity to experience playing in a national tournament last season. Both Lachimea and Cyca are young players who are going to good situations. All these players represented our team and community with integrity and we wish them all the very best in their future."
Spiller also shared some of the strengths of the players brought in recently.
"With the additions of Fishley (acquired January 6th from Swan Valley) and Brook, we feel we addressed the need for some size and experience on the back end. Both guys were captains of their previous team."
"Bennett is a big forward who skates well and will be expected to bring physical play and chip in offensively. Perrin understands the game, a solid all-around player will bring grit and a solid work ethic."
Brook and Bennett have both spent time in the WHL, with Brook playing with Medicine Hat and Prince George and Bennett spending a season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, and then 2 games last season with the Prince Albert Raiders before joining the Winkler Flyers.
Rhett Perrin just made the jump to Junior "A" this season after finishing last season with Moose Jaw at the U18 level.
The Terriers on social media and their website have extended thanks to the 5 players they traded away for their dedication and hard work. The team is next on the ice Friday night for a home game against the Winnipeg Freeze. The hope is some, if not all of the new players will be in the lineup for that game.