In an effort to motivate an underachieving Trail Smoke Eaters team

Trail Smoke Eaters make moves

With just five wins in 24 games the Trail Smoke Eaters are shaking things up.

With just five wins in 24 games the Trail Smoke Eaters are shaking things up.

After four games as head coach, Nick Deschenes is wasting no time putting his stamp on things as the team traded two of its top players this week. Going west are forwards Brendan Lamont and defenceman Curtis Toneff; Lamont, 19, to the Penticton Vees for future considerations, and Toneff, 20, who led all Smokie d-men in scoring with four goals and nine assists, to the West Kelowna Warriors for 18-year-old defenceman Dylan Bowen.

“I still think every move we make is going to better our club,” said Deschenes. “There needs to be some changes because a little bit of the mentality from before I jumped on board is still kind of lingering and things need to be shooken up a little bit.”

Lamont counted five goals and added six assists in 24 games. He had a good start to the season, but his production slowed over the last month with just one point in seven games, and one goal in his last 17. For personal reasons, he requested a move closer to home in Langley.

“We’re looking out for his best interests and that was the primary motivation for the deal,” said Deschenes. “I liked him as a player, we had him slotted to keep moving forward and developing him . . . but hope he’s more comfortable there, and it might help his game as well.”

The Vees also were likely looking to add a forward to fill in for Josh Blanshard who will be out of the Penticton lineup with a lower body injury for at least two months.

With an open roster spot, the Smokies are in discussions with last year Smokie forward Luke Sandler, who is looking to return to the BCHL after spending the beginning of the season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL – just not to Trail.

“He is looking to come back to the BCHL and that allows us some flexibility there to get him carded and get him maybe moved to another team.”

According to Deschenes, the 20-year-old Chicago native would like to be moved to a contending team to finish out his junior career.

Similarly in Toneff’s case. With the West Kelowna Warriors in striking distance of top spot in the Interior division, the addition of a solid defenceman with good leadership qualities and an offensive bent could be the difference between first and fifth in the tight division.

“It’s going to be better opportunity for him,” said Deschenes. “He’s definitely one of the players I wasn’t keen on making this kind of deal, but it came up and it’s going to benefit the team long term and help us build for the future.”

While recent transactions suggest the Smoke Eaters have thrown in the playoff towel, Deschenes believes the trade for the younger Bowen will make the team more competitive in the long run.

“I’m confident in the program we are putting in place and have in place and are building towards and bringing in a player of that quality . . . it’s going to make our club better.”

Trail hosts the Nanaimo Clippers on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will play Salmon Arm on Saturday at the same time at the Cominco Arena.

Just Posted

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to editor@trailtimes.ca

Storm the Stairs and Trail Kidney Walk this weekend

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Sept. 20 to Sept. 26

Kootenay Robusters end 18th paddling season

Women of Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Christina Lake and Grand Forks came together in 2001

Military exercises may be audible in Trail

The exercises will be conducted in the Trail area from Thursday to Sunday

Council rollover inspires crop of hopeful politicians

Fourteen people vying for six council seats

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read