The Portland Winterhawks have traded goaltender Kurtis Mucha to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for a pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.
Mucha owns numerous team records, including games played by a goalie (213, tying him for sixth in WHL history), minutes played by a goalie (11,964, ninth in league history), saves (6,045, sixth in league history) and is tied for the franchise lead in shutouts, with seven. This season Mucha is 9-6 with a goals against average of 3.13, a save percentage of 90.5% and one shutout.
Mucha was drafted by Portland in the second round of the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft, 25th overall, and played two games with the Winterhawks as a 15-year-old during the 2004-05 season. In the 2005-06 season Mucha played 32 regular season games, and took over in net during the postseason, helping lead the Winterhawks to a first round upset over the Seattle Thunderbirds in seven games. Mucha has also spent time in NHL training camps with the Phoenix Coyotes and his hometown Edmonton Oilers.
“Kurtis Mucha has been a consummate professional in his time with the Winterhawks, and the number of franchise records he owns indicates his importance to this team during his time here,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Kurtis is a terrific young man, and this was a very difficult decision to have to make. We thank Kurtis for all of his contributions to this organization, and wish him nothing but the best in Kamloops.”
With the trade of Mucha to Kamloops, it leaves the Winterhawks with two goaltenders: 19-year-old Ian Curtis, who has a record of 7-3 this season, and 17-year-old Mac Carruth, whom the team signed on November 12.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)