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by Pat Booth | March 31, 2014, 10:31 PM ET

The Ottawa Slammers have made it clear from day one their intention is to compete for a cup. The single minded pursuit of this goal is reminiscent of Napoleons obsession with conquering Europe. It is therefore unsurprising the great general has a good deal of quotes that can be applied to the Slammers.


“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”


It appears GM Booth has taken these words to heart. Despite the teams recent good play, GM Booth was still unhappy with the play of Jonas Hiller and with the goaltender an impending UFA he has quietly been looking for a suitable replacement so as not to upset the team.


“With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything”


The Slammers were in a tight spot looking for an upgrade on Hiller, with most teams unwilling to move netminders that were signed beyond this season. Knowing St. Louis was willing to make changes in net GM Booth proposed an audacious move to help his team. Instead of getting one goalie to satisfy his needs, get 2. He reached out to GM Gallagher with his bold proposal not knowing if it would be well recieved.


“Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide”


GM Gallagher replied much to his surprise in an open manner. It was time to make a decision for GM Booth and with his quest in mind a huge trade was carefully crafted, and proposed in an effort to fill as many holes in the line-up with just one deal.


“Let the path be open to talent”  

Coming to the Slammers are goaltenders Brian Elliott and Antti Niemi, centre Mike Richards and Defensemen Joni Pitkanen. Niemi is one of the best rated goaltenders in the SICHL, a UFA at seasons end he replaces Jonas Hiller. Brian Elliot is a goaltender who has finally broken out, after a rough start in the SICHL he has been incredible and will be the Slammers starter next season and for the next 3 years at least. The Slammers have been looking for a #2 center for many seasons finally acquiring one in Mike Richards completes the Slammers forward ranks and allows them to run GM Booths ideal of 3 scoring lines. With 2 defensemen leaving Joni Pitkanen adds valuable veteran two-way puckmoving ability to the Slammers back-end.



“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny”


The Slammers acquired the players they needed to fill all their perceived holes, but it was not without cost. Jonas Hiller was likely going to be the Slammers next Franchise Player, Michael Grabner was brought in on an offer sheet as a top 6 winger and was living up to his potential. Marc Staal was expected to be a top pairing D but injuries have hampered him, he could break out as a top player. Kevin Shattenkirk was the most valuable Slammers asset departing, He will be a top pairing puckmoving D, GM Gallagher highly coveted the young player.


The Slammers season has been one of bold moves, they like Napoleon are pursuing their goal with a totaility of will. Will the moves prove to be Austerlitz or Waterloo for GM Booth? I close with one final quote that is written at above the Slammers dressing room door  

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat”


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