The Nanaimo Clippers made two more trades, and they’ve created roster space to add impact players.
The team dealt defenceman David Iacono to the Aurora Tigers and forward Greg Trichilo to the Woodstock Slammers, receiving future considerations from both Ontario teams.
Iacono, from Newmarket, Ont., had personal family reasons for wishing to play close to home, said Mike Vandekamp, the Clippers’ general manager. The GM was asked if he will now try to find another power-play pointman, one of the roles Iacono filled when healthy.
“Just a good all-around player. I don’t think we want to get too specific with needs…” Vandekamp said. “We just need a good player back there. We definitely need another defenceman, the best guy we can find.”
As for Trichilo, he just wasn’t making quite enough of a contribution to warrant a 20-year-old import roster card, said the GM.
The two transactions came Saturday, four days after the Clippers traded Luke Gordon and Jesse Neher to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for Matthew Grant.
Grant made his Clippers debut on the weekend, picking up an assist in Saturday’s 4-3 home loss against the Powell River Kings.
“He’s going to be a real good asset for us,” Vandekamp said. “He’s got good size, good speed, offensive ability.”
Gordon and Neher, meanwhile, both scored goals for their new team on the weekend, though the Caps lost both those games.
“Luke and Jesse are great kids who have worked hard during their time here,” Vandekamp said. “We were just not getting a lot of production out of them and we’ve got to be very focused on this year. We weren’t in a position to have a tremendous amount of patience this year.”
The Clippers made the moves leading up to a Dec. 1 deadline that reduced the number of player cards to 25. Since the Clips whittled down their roster to 19, they now have six cards to utilize leading up to the Jan. 11 trade deadline.
“Mike made a conscious decision on [Dec. 1] to open up those cards,” said Ken Wagner, Clippers owner. “We have lots of spots for additions that are going to help us get better. For the [Western Canada Cup] we want to have a very competitive team.”