Off Season Trade Completed

The SICHL trade freeze hasn't been lifted yet but that hasn't stopped Acadia from making a deal.
by Marcel Cormier | September 2, 2014, 4:29 PM ET

The 2014 SICHL Entry Draft is less than two weeks away and one should expect a flury of trade action before the big weekend. However, teams aren't actually able to execute a swap until the SICHL offices open from taking the summer off and that isn't expected to happen for a few more days. 

Apparently that hasn't stopped the Acadia Golden Bears from completing a trade with an undisclosed SICHL club though as news has leaked that a goaltender is on the move.

Which goaltender is leaving the organization is unclear at this time although one can narrow it down by process of elimination.

Veteran Tomas Vokoun is headed to unrestricted free agency unless the Bears decide to bring him back as their franchise player but that seems pretty far fetched.

Obviously Braden Holtby is staying put as he's expected to be the starter for the Bears this year. The most likely scenario sees Holtby splitting time with Ben Scrivens, acquired from Havana before the trade deadline last year for the purpose of being the #2 guy this season.

Also in the mix for playing time will be Martin Jones who was an astute free agent signing by the Bears a handful of years ago and it would be very surprising to see the club move him before he had a chance to compete at the SICHL level. An offer would have to be quite substantial to convince Bears GM Guy Flaming to part with Jones at this point. 

Acadia does have a trio of other goalies who played professionally in their system last year; Jacob Markstrom, Dustin Tokarski and Nathan Lieuwen. The latter was a rookie and didn't play much so the organization likely wants to see him develop in the minors longer to better evaluate what they have.

Both Markstrom and Tokarski are in similar situations though. They are behind Holtby, Jones and Scrivens on the depth chart and unlikely to bump their way higher at least for a couple more years. From Acadia's perspective, it makes sense that their value to the organization might be higher as trade assets than farm team keepers.

Beyond all of those goalies the Bears have a deep stable of prospects between the pipes and sources suggest that today's rumored deal will not involve one of them.

The most reasonable expectation is that one of either Markstrom or Tokarski is on the way out. Markstrom was Acadia's 2nd round selection in 2008 while Tokarski was chosen the same year but in the 4th round. To date, Tokarski has appeared in 8 games with the Golden Bears while Markstrom has started just 1.

Bear Tracks

  • Acadia currently holds 11 picks for the 2014 Draft. The fewest the team has ever used at a SICHL draft was 13 way back in 2007.
  • Forward Peter Mueller has informed the Bears that he intends on spending a season playing in Europe but will return to the SICHL in 2015-16. Apparently the American-born forward is a dedicated fan of "The Sound Of Music" and is underatking a pilgrimage to Austria.
  • Acadia has only two impending UFA's from which to select a Franchise Player. As outlined above, Tomas Vokoun will not be that player which leaves only Tomas Kopecky as a candidate. In other words, expect the Bears to play the 2014-15 season without a franchise player.
  • The club's coffers are bulging with over $67M in the bank. Acadia Place has been locked tight since the SICHL conference finals and insiders believe that the team has added a couple thousand seats for the 2014-15 campaign.
  • The Bears will have their annual rookie camp after the draft and then open training camp after the free agency bonanza take place. It's expected that about 100 players will take part between the two sessions. 

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