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The trade deadline clock is ticking for the Guelph Storm

A pair of significant injuries have put the Guelph Storm in a precarious position just days before the OHL trade deadline

Help is on the way for the Guelph Storm, but whether it will be enough to push them into contender status remains to be seen.

Trade talks were happening Friday morning. When and if they come to fruition remains to be seen. If not Friday, then almost certainly will happen early next week.

The number and magnitude of deals will be interesting. Filling holes or trying to contend?

And let's not forget that higher end players also have no-trade clauses. Why would they want to come to a team that is not a legitimate contender? Why not just play out the string and get a jump on your professional career unless you are going to a team that's serious about contending?

Trade talks are happening all over the league and the Storm is in the thick of them, trying to get better and trying to replace two key cogs who suffered significant injuries four days apart.

Pavel Gogolev and Jack Hanley both suffered serious ankle injuries. Best case scenario has them both returning at the beginning of March. The regular season ends March 16..

That means just to stay where they were the Storm needs to replace a top six forward and a top four defenceman. Not to make them any better, just to stay where they were, which pretty much had them needing two or three players to be considered a serious contender.

London got better by adding Owen Sound overage Kevin Hancock. Saginaw got better by adding Mike McLeod. Owen Sound got worse by trading Hancock.

Any way you look at it, Guelph is in a fight for home ice advantage for the first round.

The schedule certainly doesn’t get much easier.

After Windsor Friday night they face a North Bay team Sunday that has won seven games in a row.

The following week it’s four games in seven days, three of those against teams ranked in the Canadian Hockey League top 10: Ottawa (3), London (4) and Niagara (9).

If the Storm can add a couple of key players AND get Gogolev and Hanley back for the playoffs, they’re a legit contender in the west. Not a favourite by any chance, but a legit threat.

But anything less than impact additions will be just treading water.


Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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