Revolution Brings Out The Heavy Artilleryby Che Guevara | March 15, 2015, 6:40 PM ET
The party is on this evening in Havana! Fans are pouring into the Plaza de le Revolucion to celebrate the major moves made by GM Prozeller and AGM Darryl Sittler. The team made huge splash on trade deadline day by acquiring two major pieces that will help the team compete next season.
First the team acquired goaltender Jimmy Howard from the Amsterdam Admirals, then went out and got big time scorer Thomas Vanek from the Dublin Shamrocks. The Revolution will franchise Howard in order to keep him after this season and he is expected to be their starting goalie until prospects (Connor)Hellebuyck and (Jon) Gillies can come through the pipeline.
This is a huge move for the lowly Havana, after taking a backseat the last two years to rebuild it appears the future is now for the Revolution. This move looks to put Havana in a position to begin competing as soon as next season! "This is a statement to the whole league that Havana is serious about their future and they are ready to be taken seriously again!" proclaimed Vladimir Putin as the team media spokesman "Havana is destined to be a powerhouse in the World (Conference) and they took charge of their future and made it happen with force!"
These moves came at a cost though, Havana did part with several assets to kickstart their compete level. Departing are Nicklas Jensen, Nicklas Svedberg, Quinton Howden, Nick Cousins, Brian Lashoff and a variety of mid-late round picks. This may come as a surprise to some given GM Prozeller's supposed insistence on drafting and developing their own prospects, however the team is dealing from a position of major strength. "It's a numbers game" admitted GM Prozeller, "We have been right up against the 100 player limit and have been for some time, and its not like we have a ton of expendable guys like other teams, just floating in their prospect pool. Our guys were all 22 and younger most with the ability to make the big leagues. We had to make room for next years draft picks and potential UFA's, so we took this opportunity to convert quantity into quality, and that's no reflection on the guys we gave up. We valued these guys but there wasn't going to be room in our system for all of them, at some point you need to get some return and give those prospects a chance."
Player Development Coach Chris Chelios attested to the character of the outgoing players. "We really liked Nick Cousins, he was coming along nicely. I would bet he has a real future in this league! Same with Svedberg, he was a real gem. Wouldn't be surprised if he started for a team one day. All these guys were true professionals, and really enjoyed having them here. We wish them all the best with their new teams, and hopefully when they play us in the future they hold back just a little" Chelios laughed.
The truth was that Havana wasn't going to be able to fit these guys into their lineup. Jensen, wasn't going to break a top six role with Havana, and Cousins or Howden would have had trouble making the 4th line. It may very well give the players a chance to realize their full potential elsewhere along with the right move for this team. Provided of course that these moves translate into victories next season!
Havana made a couple other minor moves sending JS Giguere to Nova Scotia for a 6th round pick, so he could both enjoy a playoff push and retire with the team that meant a lot to him. "It was the right thing to do, and we are very happy that all this worked out for him. He is a great team player and fantastic guy all around. When GM Schneider reached out to us we had to say yes." added AGM Sittler. The team also flipped defenseman Jason Garrison acquired in the trade for Vanek to the Ottawa Slammers for forward Luke Glendening and a swap of picks.
It has been an eventful day in Havana and a long 48 hours for the management team who have taken several steps to best align the assets to get this team on the track to success. It will be a long summer for fans who are very anxious to see this team in the 2015/2016 season. To the future!
"Change your life today! Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay." ~ Simon de Beauvoir
¡Viva La Revolucion!