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Are the Sting Ready?

Clearly with the trade window open, two franchises in the Ontario Hockey League are jumping the gun to make sure they get absolutely who they want. The Sarnia Sting and the Soo Greyhounds have been involved in every trade but 1, since the trade window opened again in the OHL. Granted there have only been 6 transactions but 5 of 6 is a very good average... if this was baseball... or another sport where perfection is everything. But I digress...

On the heels of the trade window opening up I reached out to a Sarnia player to get his thoughts on the outlook of the deals that could be made and what he thinks the team needs to go forward. After he realised who he was talking to... the talks progressed and he got away from the PC answers he was giving me. He was kind of shocked to hear that the GM would attempt to get a player from Windsor (Taylor Carnevale) or Kitchener goalie, Brandon Maxwell. But as he told me, 'if we get both, without giving up a lot, this will be amazing.' Well the Sting did pull off the deal for Maxwell which gives you an OA goaltender who can help mentor young Brandon Hope ('94) and continue his development without throwing him into the fire. Maxwell is clearly due for a change of scenery after being booed out of Kitchener during the season and playoffs as the Ranger Nation has embraced Mike Morisson as their goaltender now. 'Max will bring a lot of good for Hope and will probably make our jobs a lot easier' the Sting player texted me.

Before the Maxwell deal with Kitchener, which saw Sarnia give up Brandon Francisco. GM Jacques Beaulieu sent a 4th round pick to Brampton for the services of Domenic Alberga. Not the flashiest transaction in the world, but one that clearly ups the grit on the team, not quite to the point of having a Peter Stevens type of guy. But with Ritchie, Yakupov, Galchenyuk et al. They need a tough centre like Alberga. 
But the Sting are not done. GM Beaulieu called up Rookie GM Kyle Dubas in the Soo and struck a deal that sent Brandon Alderson up north, with a few picks, for Justin Thomas and a pick. Now I know what your initial thought is... How many Brandon's are on this Sarnia Team... well now just two. But who cares about Justin Thomas? well... not only did he play for a poor Soo team last year, he didn't have a lot of time to shine out there on the ice. But what did catch peoples eye is.. well his strength and toughness that he possesses on the ice. and honestly his potential could be off the charts at 6'2" and already a whopping 205lbs... this Sarnia team has completely transformed in 3 moves.

But the question is... are they ready? Is this the year that they will make a run for the division, if not the conference? going back to that Sting player, 'Its a big yar, I am already doing 2 a days in the gym.' I asked him what makes it so big. 'because we are going for it. nows the time and I have to be ready.'

It is the beginning of June and this player is already busting his behind to get prepared for the upcoming season. If the rest of his teammates recognize this, then it does appear that the Sting will be ready to take on not only their Division, with PLY Scott Wedgewood as the 'old man' goaltender in the division (other than Maxwell), but quite possibly make a good jump up the Western Conference around the 3rd or 4th seed. Stranger things have happened. Who was the last 9th place conference finisher to then not only win the conference but the OHL Championship too... oh thats right, Owen Sound Attack... See stranger things have occured.

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