When centre Peter Tsimikalis left the 67's earlier in the season and demanded a trade, Ottawa fans worried that coach and GM Brian Kilrea would have trouble getting fair value for a player wanting out. But Kilrea managed ... and then some.
He completed a deal in December that shipped the disgruntled Tsimikalis to the Oshawa Generals for winger Chris Hulit, a decent player in his own right.
But Kilrea insisted on one other item before he would agree to the deal.
Because Hulit was 19 and Tsmikalis was 18, Kilrea requested the teams flip spots at the CHL European Import Draft to make up for the age difference.
The Generals agreed, and it became part of the deal. A huge part.
Oshawa will finish last in the OHL. And because it's Ontario's turn to pick first at the European draft, the Generals would have chosen first.
That pick now belongs to Ottawa, which means the 67's could get the top European import next season if they convince the player to cross the Atlantic.
"At least we can now plan on looking ahead and finding out the guy who does want to come," said Kilrea.
If they get the right guy, the No. 1 pick from Europe could be a league star, like Pavel Brendl with the Calgary Hitmen or Ladislav Nagy with the Halifax Mooseheads.
Both players had 70-goal seasons for their teams during the late '90s.
TAKE A PILL, FOLK: Hats off to goal judge Wayne Skemer for showing integrity during Friday's 3-3 tie between the 67's and Petes at the Civic Centre. Skemer was at the centre of a controversy after the 67's thought they had scored the go-ahead goal in the third period. Mark Mancari ripped a shot from the neutral zone that hit the back of the net underneath the crossbar and quickly bounced back out. Skemer did not turn on the goal light, and play continued until referee Joe Park halted play. A replay shown on the video scoreboard clearly showed the puck went in. When consulted above the play, Skemer told Park he didn't see the puck go in. Video replays are not used in the OHL. Skemer took a load of heat from fans after the incident. Lots of petty name calling, and apparently, a few idiots spat in his direction. Shameful.
THE KANATA 67'S: If the 67's manage to finish fourth in the Eastern Conference and get home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, they'd likely begin the post-season with a home game Friday at the Corel Centre. The Home and Garden Show has the Civic Centre booked next weekend, which means the 67's needed to find an alternate site.
CLOSE TO THE CLINCHING: Top-ranked Nepean can wrap up its first-round CJHL playoff series with a win today at home against Kanata. The Raiders lead the series 3-1 heading into this afternoon's fifth game (2:30 p.m.) at the Steve Yzerman Arena. Brockville and Hawkesbury can also win their first-round series with wins today over Pembroke and Gloucester, respectively.