The Guelph Storm would appear to be buyers at the trade deadline, albeit somewhat frugal ones.
The Storm downed the Mississauga Steelheads 6-4 at the Sleeman Centre Saturday afternoon in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game, their second win in as many nights.
They close out the first half of the regular season Sunday night in Oshawa before breaking for Christmas until Dec. 28.
The OHL trade deadline is Jan. 10 and Storm general manager/coach George Burnett indicated that Friday's deal sending Ryan Merkley to the Peterborough Petes might not be the last one the team makes.
"We have an older group, so I think to suggest that we're going to be moving a bunch of guys would be wrong. We'd certainly need to add an experienced defenceman to our group and we'd love to be able to do that," Burnett said after Saturday's win.
"I'm guessing that there will be lots of discussions. We're trying to prove that we're a strong team to be adding and the last couple of days have helped a little bit in terms of separation, but everybody in the middle of the pack seems to be winning," Burnett said.
"There's lots of discussion," Burnett said, adding that deals rarely get done quickly, but rather tend to be the fruits of lengthy back-and-forths.
"Lots of guys call when you have a bad weekend. You've got a lot more friends around the league when they're trying to steal something from you."
Storm veteran Nate Schnarr said the players have to do their part to convince management that the team is worth adding to.
"Obviously I want to be a competitive team. We've got to make it obvious to management that we believe we have a group in there that can compete every game and can compete against every team in the league," Schnarr said.
"It's up to us at the end of the day. We have to show that we have a competitive enough team. because if we're not showing the right things then it's tough for them to believe that we can add."
Schnarr said the team held a team meeting Friday after Ryan Merkley was traded and Tag Bertuzzi left the building.
"We called a team meeting and settle everybody down. It was key just to get emotions in check, obviously. It's part of the game and it happens.
It was a back and forth affair at the Sleeman Centre Saturday, with the lead changing hands three times before Cedric Ralph put the Storm up 5-4 with just 27 seconds remaining in the second period.
Schnarr iced it with an empty netter.
Barret Kirwin had two goals and an assist to lead the Storm. Liam Hawel and Owen Lalonde had the other goals.
Guelph started the game two players short and finished it four short, with call-up Matt Papais suffering an ankle injury and Cam Hillis leaving after a knee-on-knee collision.
The Storm will have Isaac Ratcliffe back from his world junior team tryout on Sunday as well as Daniil Chayka, fresh off playing for Russia at the Four Nation's Cup.