Kyle Wharton got his wish yesterday. Wanting the chance to use his offensive skills and play a wide-open style of hockey, the 67's defenceman was dealt to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds yesterday in exchange for rugged blueliner David Jarram.
67's GM/coach Brian Kilrea declared last night he isn't finished wheeling and dealing, and there's talk the Wharton deal could be expanded with more players moved between Ottawa and the Soo as early as next Monday.
"We move the puck up and down here. That's our style," said Kilrea. "This was a mutual agreement. Kyle felt that if there was a chance he could go to a team where he could use his offensive skills, he'd be open to the idea.
"He's the kind of guy who likes to jump up into the play. I just told him that if I cold work anything out I would. We felt with (Jarram) we were getting a physical player who could step in and help us right away."
The 18-year-old Wharton, a Stittsville native, had one goal and 12 assists for 13 points in 29 games. A second-round pick (59th overall) of Columbus, he had been troubled by a lack of consistency.
The 67's were expecting big things from Wharton this season after a strong performance in the playoffs last year. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and Kilrea is hopeful the trade will be a wakeup call to some players.
"I'm sure there will be some guys looking around the room wondering if they're going to be next -- especially when you trade a guy as talented as Kyle Wharton," said Kilrea. "This might be a wakeup call for some guys.
"We'd like to do some more things to help this hockey club. What we're looking for right now is consistency. If I can find a way to strengthen this team, then I'm going to make more changes. Other things could happen."