Despite fielding plenty of phone calls, and staking out his computer and fax machine until late evening “just in case” something came up, Surrey Eagles coach Matt Erhart stood pat Tuesday as the trade deadline came and went.
“We didn’t make any moves. I made a lot of calls, but at the end of the day, the asking price was just too high,” said Erhart, who is also the team’s general manager.
“Any of the players we asked about, the other team always wanted one or two of our young players, and we really like our young guys, and weren’t willing to give up two guys with a future for one older player.”
Erhart did not get into specifics about which young players were most sought-after by other clubs, but said he wasn’t about to trade the team’s “World Junior ‘A’ Challenge guys,” – referring to forwards Brandon Morley and Michael Stenerson.
Under Erhart, the Eagles haven’t traditionally been a big player at the Jan. 10 deadline – Surrey made no deadline moves last season, either – instead choosing to make roster decisions before Christmas.
Since Nov. 30, the Eagles have added forwards Alex Hagen, Brayden Jaw and Trevor Cameron.
“We aren’t typically a team that makes a lot of deadline moves, and we don’t do a lot of trades with other leagues, either,” Erhart said.
The Eagles weren’t the only contending team to let the deadline pass without a major move; conference rivals Cowichan Valley and Coquitlam also did little Tuesday.
“I think most of us – Coquitlam and Cowichan, too – made our decisions earlier,” Erhart said, adding that only one team, the Victoria Grizzlies, really tore their team apart.
The Grizzlies, 10 points back of the Eagles in the BCHL Coastal Conference, traded away nearly all their top players for prospects and future considerations.
“Nobody else in our (conference) did much either, which is good,” Erhart said. “It means that the conference is still up for grabs.”
Erhart did make one addition in the last week, picking up 18-year-old defenceman Eric Chevrier, an Ontario native who recently left the University of New Hampshire without playing a game.
Chevrier, a friend of Eagles’ forward Sean McGovern, was supposed to join the Birds in the off-season, but UNH instead asked him to come to college a year earlier than planned.
“It didn’t really work out for him there, so he left just before Christmas,” said Erhart. “We’re happy to have him.”
To make room for Chevrier on the roster, the team released seldom-used fourth-liiner Brandon Scholten.