The price was steep, no doubt about it, but to acquire a sniper of Tom Kuhnackl's quality and ability you pay a premium.
Arguably, the Ice Dogs made their most impactful trade for a bonafide player on Wednesday with the addition of 39 goal marksmen Tom Kuhnackl. Now I acknowledge that there may be those who quibble with my statement considering the blockbuster trade bringing in Ryan Strome. My argument is that Strome had not yet developed into the elite level player that he is now when the Ice Dogs traded for him.
Kuhnackl is a player owho could also potentially spend another year in the league, and that sets him apart from the dividend paying trade involving Darren Archibald last year. Furthermore the Ice Dogs boast a top six quality of forward that few possess in the league right now. Coach Marty Williamson has the luxury of mixing and matching Strome, Freddie Hamilton, David Pacan, Andrew Aggozino, Alex Friesen and Kuhnackl in both his regular lines and his power play.
The cost for the Ice Dogs was three 2nd round draft picks, Jaroslav Pavelka, Phil DiGuesseppe and a 1st round import pick. The Ice Dogs also picked up Windsor's 2nd round import pick. While it would appear to be a mortgaging of the future, the Ice Dogs do possess a surplus of picks stockpiled for just these purposes. DiGuesseppe, currently plying his trade with Michigan, was never a part of the Ice Dogs future and Pavelka had not been the right fit in net during his short tenure.
All in all to add a forward of Kuhnackl's quality while not sacrificing anyone off the current roster gets a Clark hale and hearty seal of approval
QUICK SIDE NOTES
1. Kuhnackl has excellent blood lines too. Father Erich, a robust 6'5, is widely regarded as West Germany's best hockey player, once potting 83 goals in a 48 game season in German hockey. He also was a member of the 1976 bronze medal winning West German hockey team
2. Far be it for me to offer up a criticism of something related to the Ice Dogs, but I have to question the criteria in choosing the stars of the game. In Oshawa's 5-3 victory over Niagara, the stars went as follows 1. Steven Shipley (1 goal) 2. Tom Kuhnackl (1 assist) 3. Kevin Baillie (42 saves) Boone Jenner's 1 goal and an assist and +2 and Nicklas Jensen's +3 got overlooked. Now to give Shipley a star is perfectly acceptable, but to me the stars should be 1. Baillie 2. Jenner 3. Shipley. To give a losing team two stars and the number one star smacks a wee bit of home town cheer leading not seen since the likes of Bring it On (dated reference #1)
3. Congratulations to Dougie Hamilton, named defenceman of the month for October in the OHL. Looks like the Hamilton family has to break out the hammer and nails and add another shelf in the awards room.
4. Kuhnackl skated on a line with Joel Wigle and Steven Shipley in his first game, a mild surprise considering those who saw automatically in the top six. Marty Williamson opted for balance it appears.
5. Luke Mercer fell awkwardly into the boards in the first period and did not return to the game. On the replay it looked bad and here's hoping the young defenseman is not out long term
Next up for us on TV Cogeco and the OHL Action Pack are the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday. Game time with Ed, Al and I is 7 pm