Bob Hamley has taken several phone calls from rival general managers since taking over as general manager and head coach of the Edmonton Rush and one name continuously came up in trade talks.
A.J. Shannon was a wanted man.
Hamley pulled off his first major trade yesterday when he hooked up in a three-way deal with the Philadelphia Wings and the Minnesota Swarm.
Hamley traded Shannon to Philadelphia and a 2009 second-round draft pick to Minnesota in exchange for Mike Hominuck and a 2008 first-round pick.
Prior to the trade, Minnesota owned four first-round picks in the upcoming draft.
"Teams have been calling about A.J. and I kept telling them that I was going to give it two games to evaluate," said Hamley. "But I never stopped listening to other teams and what they had to offer and A.J. was one of the best marketable assets we had."
Hamley wasn't done his wheeling and dealing there.
To bring in more scoring, Hamley moved a conditional third-round pick in the 2008 and 2009 drafts to the Chicago Shamrox for Lindsay Plunkett.
Hamley was ecstatic to get a first-round draft pick after losing it in the off-season to San Jose for transition player Ian Hawksbee.
"The big thing for me in the deals I made today was to get a first-round pick back. That was something we didn't have and in our situation I felt it was crucial because this draft is very deep," said Hamley.
Hominuck put up 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in seven games for Minnesota.
Plunkett was Chicago's leading scorer with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in just six games.
"They don't have the big shot like A.J. but they are better passers and they'll be able to get the ball in better situations to a guy like Mike Accursi," said Hamley. "I think with these moves we've addressed a big need now and we've got a look to the future. We got a little bit of everything in these deals."
Shannon leaves the Rush after just 12 games in two seasons after recovering from two serious knee injuries. He scored 22 points in seven games and was the team's leading goal scorer with 11 this year.
"It's tough to leave Edmonton. My stint in Edmonton was pretty short but I loved it," said Shannon. "Bob (Hamley) wanted to improve the structure of this and I don't blame him for trading me."