Losing a teammate and friend to the NHL

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Every year, without fail, since I have been playing pro hockey, at least one teammate had been traded at the NHL deadline. This year was no exception.

In San Antonio on the road. A road trip that everyone was looking forward to, just to get away from the snow and cold in Chicago.
The team flew in on Tuesday, which also happened to be the same day as the NHL trade deadline. The guys are always interested in transactions in the NHL because they have such a direct impact on out team's line-up.
Every year, without fail, since I have been playing pro hockey, at least one teammate had been traded at the deadline. This year was no exception. We had a light practice before
heading to the airport for our flight to San Antonio. The flight was delayed, and we all were sitting around in our suits listening to the trade talks over the
internet. Next thing you know, Alex Giroux gets a phone call telling him he was just traded back to the Washington Capitals, who he had been signed with the
year before.
It's as simple as that, all ready to go on the trip, and the next thing you know, you aren't on the team anymore. Even though everyone knows the business side of hockey it is always tough to lose a teammate. Alex is a great player, and a great guy around the locker room, so it hard to see him leave. Everyone said goodbye, wished him luck and boarded the plane, minus one teammate.
In return for Alex, our team picked up another forward, Joe Motzko. And we
knew with the AHL trade deadline coming on Thursday, our team would definitely have a new look come the weekend.
Despite the shake-up, we had a great game on Wednesday, winning 5-1. The only negative was allowing a goal with 34 seconds left in the game to lose the shootout. I think everyone felt bad we didn't help Pavelec get another shutout after he had
played so well.
With three games in three night coming up this weekend, we had a day off today in San
Antonio. Since we don't get many days off, I tried to catch up on some sleep, finally getting up to catch breakfast with my 'road roomate' Brian Sipotz. It was nice to spend the morning relaxing, reading the paper, and walking down the 'Riverwalk' in downtown San Antonio, enjoying the weather. The only thing I have to worry about is where to go to dinner. Hopefully somewhere with good lasagna, my favorite pre-gameday meal.

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Yes it is rough when the team trades players and this year is no exception. There was alot more movement on the Wolves last year at this time. Alex was a good player and I was surprised with the trade. Hopefully he will do well back in Hershey.
In the case of Fretter getting traded, sometimes a trade may give a player more ice time with the new team. He didn't get to play much this year for the Wolves and I heard he was very good in Gwinnet last year.
I assume it is also rough when a player gets called up by the parent team, but doesn't get to play, and is sent down the very next day. Why do parent clubs call players up and send them back down so quickly especially when they are not called up due to injured players?
Enjoy your time in San Antonio because you'll be coming back to cold and snow Saturday.

Brian responds: From past experience with teams I have been on, whether guys are being pulled up to the NHL or called up to the AHL team like Chicago, a lot of times they are insurance. If one of our guys might not be able to play in an upcoming game, they will have a call up
just in case they need to fill that particular spot.
In other cases, especially with NHL, they will pull up younger players at points during the season just to see what kid of impact the can have on the NHL game, and to gauge their development. Players in the AHL get called up all the time if they are playing well and maybe happen to have a hot hand at the time, the parent club might call them up to see if they can create a spark for their team. And lastly, players will get called up depending on trade rumors, if a certain team is planning on making a move, they might pull a player up so that they will not be short a player in case a trade occurs. This is why you see a lot of movement around the NHL trade deadline. This is what seemed to happen this year with Atlanta and the Hossa trade, a few Wolves got called up and played in Montreal before coming back the next day.

Won't be as cold as you think.

Rain Sunday.

I really hate it when a player gets called up or traded. It is really hard on me because they are like family. Giroux and Fretter were awesome people and I don't like the fact that they got traded, especially to teams that the Wolves don't play unless we play them in the playoffs.

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About the blogger

Chicago Wolves defenseman Grant Lewis is playing in his second professional season. The 23-year-old blueliner is a native of Pittsburgh and was a member of Chicago's 2008 Calder Cup Championship team. Prior to going pro, the Atlanta Thrashers' second choice, 20th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft spent four years playing for Dartmouth College (ECAC).

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 28, 2008 3:13 PM.

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