The Flin Flon Bombers wrapped up 2013 with a 5-2 set back in Kindersley last night. After a good start to the road trip, the Bombers dropped both games in Kindersley and sit second in the Sherwood Division with a record of: 15-17-0-2.
The Bombers have played the most games in the division, and trail the front running Nipawin Hawks by one point, but Nipawin does have four games in hand. Flin Flon leads Laronge by one point, and Melfort by two, but both the Ice Wolves and Mustangs have one game in hand.
The Bombers got both their goals on the power play last night, with Cam Blair scoring his team leading tenth of the year, and Peter Poulin Roy scoring his first.
One has to wonder, with the Bombers entering their Christmas break, will Mike Reagan be selling or adding at the deadline? I would have to think, that there will be teams who have interest in Flon's twenty year olds.
I don't think there is a team any where that would not want Cam Blair. The twenty year old vet from Drake Saskatchewan can do it all. He is a great competiter, who can score, fight, penalty kill and is super in the room. He will make any roster he is added to better.
Another name that constantly comes up is veteran goal - tender Devin Buffalo, who is considered by many to be the best in the league this year. The SJHL rookie of the year from a couple of years back has put up some very impressive numbers so far this season.
His .941 save % is second in the league, and his goals against of 2.18 has him ranked sixth. The only stat that is not remarkable for Buffalo is wins with 11, due to the fact the Bombers simply do not score enough.
Flin Flon sits second last in goals for with 83. The only team that scores less is Notre Dame, and they have played three less games. This is why I believe that Mike Reagan may look toward the future.
Besides Buffalo and Blair, Reagan has many other trade options including veteran d-man Brock Hounsell, newly acquired Sam Williams, who has a ton of junior experience and you could possibly throw rugged Brody Robinson into the mix.
No question, you should be able to get some very good prospects for these veteran players which could set the Bombers up pretty good for the next couple of seasons.
The other school of thought is, with the league being super tight again, maybe you add a couple veteran players and throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.
Last year's SJHL champion Yorkton Terriers seem to be the favorite, but I would not call them a lock to even win their division.
While the rest of us are enjoying turkey, and getting together with family, Mike Reagan will no doubt be contemplating his next move. It could be very tough to make any moves within the league, with the parity and with six legitimate contenders.
Reagan will not have a lot of time to think about what he will do in the new year. The Bombers are back on the ice Saturday January the fourth, and the trade deadline will be six days later.
One thing is for sure Mike Reagan will do what he feels is best for the organization, and will certainly be one busy guy on the phone in either direction he decides to go.
I think this will be one very interesting January tenth deadline that could possibly make or break some teams. A number of clubs are very close and it will be interesting to see what (if any- one) will be willing to give up to get a clear advantage to try and win it this season. Some will say the best trades are the one's you don't make. Yorkton and Melville made splashes already, so it will be interesting to see what Humboldt,Battleford, Kindersley and Nipawin end up doing.
I want to take this oppurtunity to wish all SJHL fans and teams from across this great league, A Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous 2014.
Look forward to seeing you at rinks across the province in the new year.