Newest Knight out two weeks

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

The London Knights are gambling the players who led them to the top of the OHL's Western Conference standings this year are the right guys to get them back into the Memorial Cup tournament.

After declaring a concentrated effort to pursue another OHL title this season, the Knights opted for a minor nip-and-tuck rather than a major facelift to their roster at the passing of last night's trade deadline.

In its only moves yesterday, London acquired injured 19-year-old Slovakian defenceman David Halasz from the Oshawa Generals and claimed 17-year-old centre Chris Ferguson off waivers from the Saginaw Spirit.

Halasz, a third-year OHL defender who has only played 18 games this season because of a knee injury, cost the Knights a sixth-round pick in the 2007 OHL draft and the rights to import Karel Kubat.

Ferguson, a Thunder Bay native and a second-round pick in 2004, has no points or penalty minutes while dressing in 10 games for the Spirit this season.

"There wasn't a lot of movement around the league," London GM Mark Hunter said. "It was pretty quiet."

Halasz has four goals, 23 points and 75 penalty minutes in 124 games with Ottawa and Oshawa. He is expected to be out at least two more weeks.

"We got our doctors to look at him and we feel he'll be ready to go in a couple of weeks," Mark Hunter said.

There isn't any hurry because London's 20-year-old defender Frank Rediker, whose own knee woes have shuffled him in and out of the lineup the past couple of seasons, is expected to start playing again this weekend.

London's decision to stay away from a blockbuster deal this year didn't bother the Knights' players one bit.

"I'm definitely happy with the guys we have here," 20-year-old goaltender Adam Dennis said after practice. "Early in the year, we were a little sloppy getting the puck out of our own end, but that's part of the learning curve. It just means the learning curve will have to be sped up.

"Our goals against have been way down lately. It works both ways. Sometimes I'll have to bail out (the defence) and sometimes they'll bail me out."

The London team feels it has enough guys left over from last year who know what it takes to consistently win big games at the OHL level.

"We've won some close games this year and that proves something," Dennis said. "We won a TV game (in a shootout over Guelph that was televised on Rogers Sportsnet) and that's not easy when you have guys just starting out in the league."

A handful of Knights veterans travelled to Toronto last night to join teammate David Bolland for a party at the Blue Goose Tavern in Mimico to celebrate last week's gold medal earned with the Canadian team at the world junior championships in Vancouver.

No Knights were among the 40 players selected by the NHL for the Top Prospects Game. Kingston's Cory Emmerton, a St. Thomas native, will play in the contest at Ottawa's Corel Centre next Wednesday.

In Sarnia, the Sting traded six-foot-six defenceman Nick Tuzzolino to Sudbury for defenceman Tomas Sample and a second-round pick in this year's OHL draft. The Sting then shipped forward Mark Lytwyn to the Wolves for a fourth-round pick in 2007 and picked up 20-year-old import Stefan Blaho, who had previously played in Sudbury.

The biggest news in Sarnia was the Ciccarelli family taking over the day-to-day operation of the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.

The Ciccarelli-owned Sting have also agreed to operate the hockey team at the SSEC for another 20 years.


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