Kisio hunting for sniper

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

What can Kelly Kisio possibly do for an encore?

After dealing for world junior gold-medal goaltender Justin Pogge at last year's WHL trade deadline, the Hitmen GM knows he'll be hard-pressed to produce the same kind of results at the trade table over the next two days.

Then again, he doesn't need to.

"I don't think we're going to match what happened last year," Kisio said of the trade deadline which arrives tomorrow at 3 p.m. "That trade worked out pretty well for us.

"But I don't think we have to bring in something like that. We have a pretty good hockey team right now. We might tweak it a little bit but that's about it."

For once, Kisio isn't shopping for a goaltender. Prior to the brilliant six-player swap that brought Pogge to Calgary from Prince George, he also added goaltenders Barry Brust and Joel Martin at the 2004 and 2003 deadlines, respectively.

Not having to find a playoff-calibre 'tender is a load off Kisio's mind. When everyone in the league knows you want one, the price goes up.

"It makes it terrible," he said. "(Other GMs) know you can't win without a goalie, so they're going to make you pay for it.

"This year, we don't have to find one. But they know you're always looking for something. If you're looking for scoring, you're going to pay for that, too."

That's exactly what Kisio's trying to find. The Hitmen, who have surrendered the fewest goals in the league, are obviously solid on the blueline and between the pipes.

But, with the exception of Swede Freddie Pettersson, there isn't a pure offensive weapon in the lineup.

The club has relied on a balanced scoring attack -- the top six scorers on the team have 24-27 points apiece -- but the addition of a sniper could push the Hitmen over the top.

However, with no team out of the playoff chase, there are more buyers than sellers.

"I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "I'm hoping we can get something done but it's tight this year.

"Everybody's in the hunt and nobody wants to sell anybody off, so it's a real tough go right now.

"Most of the teams are keeping their guys to try and make the playoffs."

Calgary is 30-10-1-0 on the season, good for second place in the WHL, although Kisio insists he won't give up young talent for a shot at the Memorial Cup.

Not when the Hitmen are expected to be even better in '06-07.

"This is going to be a real good hockey team again next year and you don't want to screw that up," Kisio said.

"If we get something done, we'll do it for the right reason. If not, we'll go with what we've got."

COMING IN: D Shaden Moore has decided to play for the Hitmen. The club picked up the overager after he was recently released by Lethbridge. The Edmonton product is nursing an ankle injury and won't be able to play for a couple of weeks.


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