Hard-nosed defenceman traded away

Former Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Mike Puddifant fires a slapshot during a game earlier this season at Frank Crane Arena.

The B.C. Hockey League’s December roster freeze forced one Nanaimo Clippers defenceman out into the cold.

Mike Puddifant was dealt to the Prince George Spruce Kings on Tuesday in a cash transaction.

“It’s a numbers game. We have nine defencemen as a result of all the injuries and everything we’ve gone through,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers general manager. “We’re overloaded in that position so we have to get our roster numbers down.”

Puddifant spent a full calendar year with the Shipmen but a series of injuries limited him to 23 regular-season games and seven playoff games during that time.

The 19-year-old stay-at-home blueliner wasn’t happy about being traded, Bestwick said, and the players were a little downcast at practice Tuesday.

“We’re taking it a little bit hard now, but we’ll be all right,” said Charles-Andre Pelletier, Clippers goalie.

Team captain Colton Cyr said sometimes trades come as a shock but he said it’s a part of hockey. The team’s focus, he said, will be on getting ready to win a game Wednesday (Dec. 1) against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

“At the bottom line it’s about our team and what we’ve got to do and obviously we need those two points,” Cyr said.

ICE CHIPS … Bestwick said he is interested in acquiring a forward before the roster freeze tomorrow (Dec. 1). “We’ll see what happens,” said the GM … The Clippers and Bulldogs play Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com