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Is Seattle getting closer to contention?


The trade deadline for the S35 VHL campaign will be remembered as one of the more quiet days in VHL history. Maybe it was the general managers believing in their respected teams as we hit the halfway mark of the season. Maybe it’s because of the new site. It looked as if the trade deadline would be just another ordinary day in the VHL. Until Seattle decided it was time to shake things up. It all started at 11:36 am EST, when Mike Szatkowski, general manager of the Riga Reign, announced that he had finalized a deal with the Seattle Bears. Riga would send rookie defenseman Edwin Encarnacion to the Bears in exchange for prospect Brennan McQueen. While it wasn’t a huge, ground breaking deal, I was still a little surprise, seeing as many believed there would be no trades. Riga believed that it could find defenseman in the upcoming VHL drafts and wanted to upgrade his offensive core. Meanwhile, Seattle’s general manager, Greg Harbinson, was looking to fill a void in his defense when prospect Gabrial Johnson failed to make the jump to the new site. There were a lot of rumors floating around as to why Greg would trade forward prospect in order to obtain another defenseman. It was known Seattle was already set at defense and was in need of all the offensive help they could get. But VHL general managers have their reasons and it was obvious that both Greg and Mike had motives to complete this deal. So all in all, it was really just a prospect for a prospect between two of the bottom teams in the league, so no big deal. But, it would be the final trade of the day that really made an impact in the VHL universe.




With about 30 minutes until the end of the S35 VHL trade deadline, a lot of us were probably thinking that this would be the only trade to take place on Remembrance Day. Until, at 6:34 EST, Seattle once again showed up in the trade section of the forum. This time, the trade was between the Bears and the HC Davos Dynamo. Davos general manager and your friendly VHL dictator, Victor Alfredsson, announced that he had finally finalized a deal with the Bears. In a trade that shocked almost everyone but the general managers themselves, the Bears decided it was time to cut ties with center Sergey Brovalenko and shipped him off to the Dynamo. Seattle received former Bear Keiji Toriyama, Chris McZehrl, Vladimir Bodnar, and two third round picks in S36 in return for the Bears’ top offensive weapon. Once again, it came as a surprise and yet once again, both parties had their reasons to make this deal happen. Seattle, who will more than likely miss the playoffs yet again in S35, decided it wanted to get something in return for the aging Brovalenko. Kesler, Brovalenko’s agent, had announced many times this season that he planned to test free agency as he usually does come the end of his contract. With the Bears still sitting in the always competitive North American Conference, the organization wasn’t sure that he would resign. So Greg decided to get something in return for Brovalenko, rather than be left high and dry if he didn’t come back. As for Victor, his Dynamo were sitting in the final playoff spot in the European Conference. Davos was looking to add an experienced center to a very young offensive core and Brovalenko was the perfect fit.



"Iron" Greg Harbinson has hope his young offense will blossum in S36


Now the question on my mind is which direction is Seattle taking? Yes Brovalenko was a great player, but at the same time, who’s to say he wouldn’t jump ship after another disappointing season in Seattle? Plenty of teams were looking like legit Continental Cup contenders next season and Seattle wasn’t quite there yet. As for McQueen, that was a whole different story. Jamie had previously left the Bears hanging in S32, when she retired promising goaltender Mack Hudson way to early. Why risk this happening again when the Bears are so close to contention?  She didn’t seem too fond with Seattle and with the core of young forwards the Bears have, it didn’t seem like a terrible idea to ship her off to a team she might enjoy playing for while adding another defensive piece. (Now she might have been content with the Bears, these are just my views and opinions) But all in all, Greg is a great general manager and has proven in the past that he knows what he is doing. In no way, shape, or form do I disagree with what he did and as long as everything works out as planned, believe these moves weren’t too bad after all.  The Bears will have a top four pick in this upcoming draft, meaning the player they select will more than likely be able to step in and make an impact as soon as next season. Sebastian Ball Jr., Giygas, and Mikey Blade are making strides in creating a very formidable offense. Plus, there are plenty of bigger names who could possibly be testing free agency and would be a great addition to the Bears' young and promising roster. And who knows, maybe Seattle has a trick or two up their sleeves. All in all, Seattle hasn’t really taken a step back with these trades and if they did, it was a minor one at that. Expect that Seattle not only can capture a playoff spot in S36, but ends up making some noise when they get there.

Edited by sball66
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Content: 3/3 - It'll be interesting to see how these trades work out for the Bears. I know Greg wasn't the GM the whole time, but unless I'm forgetting something, Seattle hasn't really done too much lately. However, it does seem like they have a nice core in place now which will also add a high draft pick in this upcoming entry draft. I think there's definitely a chance to see Seattle in playoff contention next year.


Grammar: 2/2 - Just a couple little things.


would trade forward = would trade a forward

way to early. = way too early.


Appearance: 1/1 - Solid.


Overall: 6/6

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Content: 3/3 - Thanks for Brovy. At the very least, we'll have fun for the rest of the season!
Grammar: 2/2 - Team Better Than Pittsburgh got them already.
Appearance: 1/1 - +1 for Ditka.
Overall: 6/6 - Don't try to open doorknobs during a fire, they're usually red-hot.
FINAL: 6/6
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