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SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Calgary Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio will injest more caffeine in the next six days than a college student cramming for final exams. Kisio's big test arrives Monday with the WHL trade deadline.

"There's some guys to be had out there," Kisio said. "Whether we decide if the price is too high will be another question. If we do something, it will be what's right for our hockey team now and won't hurt us too much down the road."

Calgary's head honcho has made major moves at the deadline, including a quartet of deals at the wire last year when he swapped goaltenders with Spokane, bringing in overager Barry Brust.

The previous season, he picked up 20-year-old Joel Martin. The year before, the Hitmen rode into the playoffs with overager Sebastien Laplante and Brent Krahn.

There's an obvious trend here: Kisio wants a veteran between the pipes for the playoffs.

Current starter Scott Bowles didn't help his cause by letting in a soft game-winner Sunday against Medicine Hat. Bowles could be the odd man out if Kisio goes shopping for another puckstopper.

And his name may be Dustin Slade, who was sent home last month by the Regina Pats to await a deal.

The Pats ran out of patience with the talented but volatile Slade, who has already suited up for three teams with previous stops in Kamloops and Brandon.

The 18-year-old was part of a major deadline deal last season that allowed the Wheat Kings to acquire WHL MVP and top goaltender Josh Harding. Kisio has held talks with Pats GM Brent Parker but said there are no deals on the table.

"We've been talking but they've been waiting," Kisio said.

Slade's puckstopping skills aside, the Pats are hardly dealing from a position of strength. He hasn't played a game since blowing his top in a Dec. 4 game against Prince Albert.

Slade has also been in trouble before. He was suspended twice last season, including a four-game playoff ban for touching off a brawl with Moose Jaw.

With no team running away from the pack and no team completely out of it, there may be fewer deals at this year's deadline.

"It's a different year," Kisio said. "Even Moose Jaw probably feels like they can catch Regina now so they've changed their thought pattern a little bit."


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