So far it's all talk, no action on trade front

Matthew Gourlie
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Warriors listening to offers as trade deadline looms

The Moose Jaw Warriors are definitely in a position to be sellers at the WHL trade deadline next week.

Moose Jaw Warriors

They aren’t desperate to sell, however.

Warriors general manager Alan Millar said that there has been plenty of talk a week before the January 10th deadline, but so far no deals are imminent. That can change in a hurry if the right offer comes along.

“It’s not a secret that we’re not looking to get older,” said Millar whose team is 11 points out of a playoff spot. “We’re going to continue to look towards next year and the year after.”

Millar said the team doesn’t have an “organizational need” that they’re targeting. He said they’re after fair value for whoever they trade and if they’re not offered what they consider fair value, they’re not afraid to say no.

“We’re not going to move older guys because of where we’re at or because we feel we have to move them,” said Millar. “It’s going to have to be the right deal and the right return for us. We’re fine with picks. We like our young players. If there’s the right deal that keeps us competitive now and helps us in the future, we’ll look to make a deal like that. We’re not making moves for the sake of making moves because of where we are in the standings.”

Millar said he doesn’t feel any pressure to get something from players who won’t be back next season.

“I don’t see it as pressure,” said Millar. “I think it’s more trying to do what is in the best interests of the organization now and in the future. I don’t feel pressure to just do something for the sake of doing something. I don’t think there’s any pressure to make a deal without getting full value in return.

“If we’re going to move any older guys it’s about the right return and the right package.”

Warriors defenceman Travis Brown, along with Nick Walters from Lethbridge, are regarded as two of the bigger names who could be moved before the deadline. Both defencemen are 19 and likely to be playing in the minors next season.

Brown said he isn’t worrying about what he can’t control.

“Right now everyone is together here and we’re all playing for the Warriors, so we’re going to win games with the guys we have here right now,” said Brown. “As long as we keep winning, everything will be fine. That’s all that is in our minds right now.”

Millar was recently watching prospects at the Mac’s midget tournament in Calgary and has been on the west coast scouting WHL games.

He and the scouting staff have been watching tape and are continuing to keep an eye on players that may be involved in trades in the next week.

“These are important decisions,” said Millar. “There have been a lot of things that have been discussed and lots of games that have been watched in terms of getting ready for the 10th.”

Prince Albert made a pair of deals last weekend with Calgary and Saskatoon, Vancouver traded defenceman Blake Orban to Edmonton Thursday, Wednesday Swift Current added 20-year-old Nathan Burns from Saskatoon for a package that included Connor Sanvido, prospect Wyatt Sloboshan and picks and Spokane traded former Moose Jaw General Tyler King to Kootenay for Hudson Elynuik. Those moves have helped spur a little more urgency from the other contenders in the league.

“It’s a matter of continuing to listen on some fronts and if we have to continue to track some players over the weekend, we have that in mind as well,” said Millar.

“We’ll only do something if we get full value and it’s in the best interest of the Warriors hockey club.”

Organizations: Mac, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Calgary, Saskatoon, Lethbridge Vancouver Edmonton Swift Current Moose Jaw

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