Rush deal their leading scorer

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

It shouldn't take long for the Rush to explain why they just traded their leading scorer.

Hockey fans in Edmonton know all about the dynamics of moving a player before he makes it to unrestricted free agency and gets away for nothing.

So, with that, the Rush dealt their best sniper, Dan Teat, to the Philadelphia Wings for veteran forward Derek Malawsky.

"We felt that we at least got something for Dan," said Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan. "Dan had a great season last year but he was going to be 39 and we felt we needed to get a little younger on the offence."

There was also a human element to the deal. Teat's family is out east and with a new child at home he wasn't looking forward to the cross-country commute.

"He's got an 11-month-old baby, as well as a 12-year-old," said Keenan. "There's a big gap there so that's a big challenge for him. It makes sense for him to be back in the east. It was better for him and his family."

But that doesn't mean they let him go for chopped liver. Keenan knows the six-foot, 175-pound Malawsky well and likes what he's getting in the deal.

"I had him for a couple of years in Portland. He's a good player and a good team guy and I think he'll fit in well. He's a really skilled player and play-maker. He's not going to score 40 or 50 but he's probably going to get 20. He's a hard-working guy who'll provide some on-floor leadership."

With the recent addition of Brodie Merrill, considered by many the best transition player in the game, and Keenan says the rebuilt Rush are taking shape.

"I'd like to find a little bit more scoring but if not I'm quite comfortable with the way we are," he said. "The defence is going to be big and mean and mobile and I don't think there's anybody in the league who can say they have a goaltending tandem like we have. And the transition game is going to be excellent, so we're close."

Last season with Portland, Malawsky registered 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points.

His brother Curt recently joined the coaching staff of the Calgary Roughnecks.


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