Clippers won’t sweat trade deadline

While every BCHL team will be considering changes this week at the trade deadline, the Clippers can deal on their terms.

Nanaimo Clippers forward Nicolas Carrier takes a shot on goalie Guillaume Decelles at practice Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena.

Nanaimo Clippers forward Nicolas Carrier takes a shot on goalie Guillaume Decelles at practice Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena.

The scores and the standings show that the Nanaimo Clippers can beat anybody in the B.C. Hockey League.

So while every BCHL team will be considering changes this week at the trade deadline, the Clippers can deal on their terms, with a discerning eye.

Mike Vandekamp, the junior A club’s coach and general manager, said every trade deadline is busy and he expects Saturday (Jan. 10), and the days leading up to it, to be no different.

“We’ll have a look at what would make sense for our team, if anything, to make us better, but we also like the team that we have right here, too,” he said.

The Clippers will think about the deadline philosophically. At 26-11-0-1, they’re sitting pretty and haven’t shown a lot of areas of weakness. At the same time, they’ve put themselves in prime position, and want to make the most of their opportunity.

Vandekamp said a GM has to be cognizant of the team’s future, but at the same time, live in the present – and the present is promising.

“There’s no guarantee that we’re going to win everything, but you’ve got to give yourself every opportunity to do that, I guess,” he said.

Even without making any trades, the Clippers have been bolstering their roster, in a sense. Skilled forwards Sheldon Rempal and Jake Jackson returned to the lineup last week, and another first-liner, Devin Brosseau, is close, as is veteran checking forward Corey Renwick.

“I think our team’s coming together well…” said Brendan Taylor, team captain. “Maybe [Mike Vandekamp] thinks there’s a hole that needs to be filled, but I think our team’s strong and wherever we go after the trade deadline, we’ll be strong as well.”

Guillaume Decelles, Clippers goalie, said he hasn’t heard any trade deadline talk among the players.

“And I don’t think we need to talk about it. We just have to do our job, because everything is fine right now and everything’s going right,” Decelles said. “I don’t think anybody needs to worry about it. We just need to think about playing hockey.”

That focus has been a strength – after any tough losses or injuries, the Clippers been able to resume their winning ways.

“If there’s any movement or anything like that that we have to deal with, then we deal with it and then we deal with the chemistry afterwards and try and settle in down the stretch here,” Vandekamp said.

GAME ON … The Clippers visit the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday and host the Coquitlam Express on Saturday (Jan. 10) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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