Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs entered the January 10th deadline by making a move early on Wednesday, January 9th that saw 1992-born forward Chase Paylor acquired from the Olds Grizzlys for future considerations.
What the Bulldogs expected to be a quiet January 10th deadline day turned out to produce some additional activity.
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs acquired 1992-born forward Teal Burns from the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations. Burns, like Paylor, adds immediate depth to the line-up along with much needed playoff experience. Burns played in the BCHL finals last season and in the 2009 Royal Bank Cup.
As Burns is a 20-year old, the Bulldogs needed to free-up a 20-year-old roster spot. Therefore, the ‘Dogs then traded the BCHL rights to Adam Rossignol, who was released by the Regina Pats earlier in the day, and 20-year old forward Lars Hepso to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations. This was the toughest deal of the day for the coaching staff as Hepso has been a model teammate and community member. The Bulldogs family wishes Lars the very best and thank him for his three seasons of contributions to the Alberni Valley.
In a surprising turn of events, the coaching staff was informed by 1993-born defenseman Brandon Halls that he is wishing a release from the team. Halls missed a 19 games in 2011/12 due to concussion-like symptoms and was out the entire month of November this season recovering from emergency appendix surgery. Battling to stay in the line up compiled by the Bulldogs’ back-end being strengthened with the additions of Jared Wilson, Kurtis Gosselin, Bo Pellah, and Eric Walker, Halls felt that his development would be best suited at the Junior B level where he will get more ice time. Halls has since been signed by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
The availability of the extra roster spot allowed Coach Willison to place a very enjoyable call to 1995-born defenseman Ryan Buse informing him that he will be a full time Bulldog as of January 10th. Buse is an Alberni Valley MHA product and made great strides this season playing for the Oceanside Generals in the VIJHL. Buse tried to downplay his excitement over the phone, almost speachless at times, which showed the coaching staff just how much it means to him to become an Alberni Valley Bulldogs player. The Bulldogs believe that having Buse join the club at this time will be a good development opportunity and put him in a position to succeed as a Bulldog for years to come.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)