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Flaming True To His Word

by Guy Flaming | January 19, 2008, 10:31 PM ET
A week after telling everyone who would listen that he was ready to make changes with his team Acadia General Manager Guy Flaming made good on his promise by sending underperforming winger Petr Sykora to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Sykora is the biggest name moving in the multi-asset deal but in the end the Bears will elcome two players they feel might be able to slip into the 20-man roster and contribute. The swap completed late Saturday night breaks down like this: To BRN: Petr Sykora, Ryan Russell, Codey Burki, Ryan McGinnis To ACA: Mike Van Ryn, Peter Schaefer, Jimmy Howard and BRN 6 & 7 picks in 2008. Blueliner Mike Van Ryn's arrival has at least temporarily pushed Jan Hejda back down to the farm but rumors persist that Flaming is shopping either Jason Smith or Mattias Ohlund if not both so the Czech's stay on the farm may be a short one. "In Van Ryn we add a blueliner that can move the puck or skate it out of our end, and that's something that has become an issue for some of our guys," said Flaming, "I think Schaefer will fit in well on our left side where we've had different guys playing out of position at time to fill the hole. The fact that Peter is signed for a long time and at what I call a reasonable price, that was a bonus." Netminder Jimmy Howard has played well in the AHL this year for the Grand Rapids Griffins and was named the league's Goaltender of the Month for December. "We have a pretty good stable of goalies in the system but they're like pitchers... you can never have enough good ones," winked Flaming. Heading to Brandon are 3 prospects who were all terrific junior players and if they can translate that play into their pro careers, could be solid players down the road. But it's the departure of Sykora that has some fans wondering what went wrong with the talented Czech. "Listen, we did everything we could this year to get him going; he played on all four lines and with a myriad of linemates but it just wasn't working for him," said head coach Rob Daum, "He had 9 points this year in 20 games after a year when he only had 28 for us... he needed to be better this year and he wasn't." By comparison, Van Ryn and Schaefer have 9 and 8 points this year respectively and that's a defenceman and a checker. Not to be lost in the trade is the addition of a couple more draft picks for the 2008 event, both late day 2 selections but it brings Acadia's number of picks to 15. Now are the Bears done with the wheeling and dealing? Don't bet on it. Outside of the Smith and Ohlund rumors, sources suggest that a minor deal involving a mid-20's player might be in the works as well. Bears Tracks: Rick DiPietro has 3 shutouts this year, second most in the SICHL... Power play is ranked 8th at 14.4% while the penalty kill is 19th at a lowly 85.1% effectiveness... Fortuantely for Acadia, they are the least penalized team in the league... tough guy David Koci is the only rookie in the league to have scored a shorthanded goal so far this year...

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