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Saxon on the Storm: OHL trade deadline should be a quiet one for Guelph Storm

With 23 players eligible to return to the team next season, Storm GM Mike Kelly not feeling any pressure to make deals before Tuesday's deadline

Don't expect any big moves from the Guelph Storm before the Ontario Hockey League trade deadline arrives at noon on Tuesday.

While it is common practice for teams at the bottom of the standings to trade older players for younger players at the deadline to help build for a brighter future, that's not likely to happen with the Storm.

The reason is that with the exception of overage goaltender Liam Herbst, the rest of the Storm's roster is eligible to return next season.

You're not getting a rent-a-player out of Guelph, you're getting a player for this year and next. That drives the price up and it creates more reluctance for Guelph to part with a player.

"There's nothing that's driving us to trade any of our players," Storm General Manager Mike Kelly said.

"Anybody that is bringing me a deal, they've got to understand that they're talking about players who have got at least two years in the league.

"It might be cheaper for them to deal with a team that they know the player is not coming back next year rather than dealing with us."

Kelly said there is plenty of interest out there in making deals.

With two OHL teams in this year's Memorial Cup and an Eastern Conference that is wide open, there are plenty of teams looking to make additions to put or keep them in contention.

"I don't think we're being unreasonable. We have 23 players eligible to come back, so if a deal is going to be put forth on me it's got to make some sense."

There would be interest in Givani Smith of course, but he is an integral part of next year's team and it would take an extremely lucrative deal to pry him from Guelph at this point.

Veteran role players are there, but veteran role players usually only garner you draft picks, and the Storm has plenty of those. They would want good young players coming back to Guelph in any deal.

That being said, the Storm do have five 19 year old players on the team and only three would be eligible to dress as overagers next season.

But Kelly thinks addressing the overage situation can be done over the summer.

"I think there's going to be a market for overagers and you also get a better sense of what you're dealing with. Could Noah Carroll sign a contract with Carolina? Yes, he could.

"It's more difficult to deal with right now than it might be Aug. 1."

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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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