Team makes two major transactions

Nanaimo Clippers newcomer Ryan Stanimir skates during his debut with the team Wednesday at Frank Crane Arena in a game against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The Nanaimo Clippers swung their biggest deal of the season.

The B.C. Hockey League team acquired Ryan Stanimir from Alberta’s St. Albert Steel on Saturday in a cash transaction. To make room for the 20-year-old forward, the Shipmen dealt veteran defenceman Tyler Mah to Alberta’s Lloydminster Bobcats.

Stanimir was immediately inserted onto the Clippers’ top line Wednesday night alongside Brayden Jaw and Mike Domsodi.

The new winger scored 27 goals and 54 points and added 73 penalty minutes last season with the Williams Lake Timberwolves, then started 2010-11 with the Victoria Grizzlies.

Stanimir said the trade to St. Albert came out of the blue. He balked at moving to the AJHL and said he was “ectstatic” that Nanaimo traded for him.

“He brings an element of offence that we might have been deficient in,” said Bill Bestwick, Clippers general manager. “We know that he’s got good creativity.”

Bouncing from team to team is a little strange, Stanimir said. He scored a game-tying goal against the Clippers in Frank Crane Arena two weeks ago, and tomorrow (Oct. 15) he’ll play against the Grizz in Victoria.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder from West Vancouver said he brings a few different things to the Clippers lineup.

“I’m a guy who likes to cause a little energy out there, get in guys’ faces so obviously I’m not a well-liked guy throughout the league but I guess I’m a good guy to have on the team,” he said.

“I may not be the biggest guy but I like to play big and I put up offensive numbers when I have the chance.”

Even though the Clippers have had a tough start to the season, Stanimir sees lots of potential in his new team.

“We just beat a first-placed team in the Interior pretty handily tonight,” he said Wednesday. “I think the sky’s the limit for this team.”

ICE CHIPS … Bestwick said it was a difficult decision to trade away Mah, a former alternate captain. “It came down to numbers. It’s one of those unfortunate business decisions that we had to make. He’s a great kid and we’re happy to have had him in our uniform as long as we did,” Bestwick said … Stanimir will wear No. 24 with the Clippers, digits that had belonged to veteran Tristan Lowenberger. The 18-year-old checking forward had a re-evaluation this week of his lower-body injury and will have season-ending surgery.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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