The news Cam Cunning was leaving Kamloops was welcome. The location he was sent to made it even better. When the WHL trade deadline of Jan. 10 was approaching, Cunning -- the Flames' draft choice from a couple of years ago -- was anticipating he'd be on the move.
On a Blazers squad going nowhere, he figured he'd be jettisoned.
When word came he was en route to the Vancouver Giants, Cunning -- who hails from Powell River on Vancouver Island -- couldn't have been happier.
"I didn't think they'd trade me within our division but I'm pretty glad they did," said the left-winger Calgary selected 240th overall in 2003. "I'm really glad to be on this team."
After a strong start to the season, Cunning's scoring dried up. He potted 10 goals in the first 16 games but had only 14 in 39 contests before the Blazers dealt him to the Giants.
"It was getting a little frustrating," Cunning said of both the losing ways Kamloops was experiencing and his scoring funk. "Everything was going in at the beginning of the year."
He scored in his second game with the Giants, playing on the club's second line with Adam Courchaine and Matt Robinson.
The move to Vancouver isn't exactly a big climb up the standings. Granted, the Blazers are mired in last place in the B.C. Division but the Giants are only sitting third.
Remember, with Gilbert Brule as the rising star, Don Hay behind the bench and world juniors all-star goaltender Marek Schwarz between the pipes, the Giants were expected to contend for the WHL crown.
"I think we've got a good shot," said Cunning, whose older brother lives in Vancouver.
But there's a long-term plan for Cunning. The 6-ft. 1-in., 195-lb. left wing may be a longshot to make the NHL but he believes he's in a situation that will give him the best chance.
"I'm pretty excited," he said. "From what I've seen, Don Hay is a great coach and is going to help me get to the next step."
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MONSTER TALES: The Lowell Lock Monsters have won seven games in a row ... Goaltender Brent Krahn has won five straight, one short of the franchise record ... Chuck Kobasew, who has 23 tallies on the season, has scored four times in three games.
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WRANGLER ROUNDUP: Goaltender Sebastien Centomo was named ECHL netminder of the week after winning a pair of games, 3-0 and 4-3 over Peoria.
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JUNIOR JOLTS: With 17 goals on the season, Aki Seitsonen (118th overall, 2004) has surpassed his total from last season.
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COLLEGE CLIPS: By scoring Jan. 14, Eric Nystrom, the first rounder from 2002, snapped a 10-game goal drought.