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ITO HotStove: Did The Whalers make the right moves at the Deadline?

by Brandon Sudeyko

Your regular host Todd Cordell has taken the week off so I will be filling in. After ITO's Part Time Contributor Bryan Thiel (@bryanthiel_88) posted his article yesterday, it got me thinking. Was the 'move of not making a move' when it comes to the Plymouth Whalers the right call? Who better to ask than the ITO Crew. We already know where Bryan stands on the issue, so lets see what other members of the ITO crew have said.

Susan Tromanhauser
If it ain't broke don't fix it. The Whalers have been successful so far all year and no signs of slowing down. The Attack didn't make any changes at the trade deadline last year and it worked out for them.

Josh Newhart
I don't see any way that not making any acqisitions at the deadline could help them. All the big boys made moves London got Mckegg. Sarnia got a lot better at the deadline as well. In a tight race to the playoffs i don't think the whalers have enough top notch pieces to make it past the first round

Alex Quevillon
Plymouth, as well as Brampton, will be just fine and will really reap the benefits next year.  The Whale will stay among the top teams in the West and will thrive while teams continue to gain chemistry.  In their two in-conference games since the deadline, Plymouth has won by a combined score of 11-2.  While teams like London needed to upgrade before their playoff run, Plymouth is only two points out of first place without being buyers and have proven they can take on the West’s top teams, in terms of both skill and toughness (see: MLK Day game vs. Windsor).  Keep in mind I’m from Ottawa, though, we’re used to being told the positives of not buying, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Jason Ray
My take on the Plymouth whalers standing pat is this, why fix it if it ain't broken... They are battling for top spot over all. Why trade unnecessary picks and personel away for a quick fix. Junior hockey tends to go for broke in these types of situations, ask the Windsor spitfires. Personally I think they did them self and their fans by keep that machine going in the direction it has been going all year win with what you got and keep your picks cause like Windsor and other teams in the past winning at the junior level only last's so long.

Dwayne Williams
With 20 teams in the OHL, you would expect each team to have a few players in the top 40 in scoring at this point in the season. The Whalers have balanced scoring ... Stefan Noersen tops the team at #20 overall in the OHL (48 pts), then Alex Aleardi at #30 (42 pts), Richard Rackell #35 (41 pts), Andy Bathgate and J T Miller  #41 and #42 (40 pts), Michael Heard at # 44 (39 pts),then Garrett Meurs #46 (39 pts). So far the team has been doing 'just fine' - so if it doesn't need to be tinkered with just leave it.  I guess the GM Mike Vellucci was comfortable with his roster so he chose to keep it 'as is'. They are averaging 4.0 goals per game in their last 6 games and 4.3 goals in their past 10 games while winning 8 of those matches- seems solid to
me.  Nice move - or no move Mr. Vellucci - if they remain at the top of the standings he will have ploayed his hand perfectly - reminds me of a Kenny Rogers song ... 'you gotta know when to fold 'em ...'

Nick MacArthur
You know the old saying " if it ain't broke , don't fix it" , I think the Whalers did just the right thing by saying pat. First of all you have what every team desperately needs to be successful , a rock solid goaltender and the Whalers have that in Scott Wedgewood. WJC experience and a solid season so far sees the Whalers have a clear cut number 1 heading into the second half. Barring an injury Wedgewood will play the bulk of the games an will be his stellar self between the pipes. Secondly the Whalers have depth from within. Captain Beau Schmitz, steady Nick Maylsa along with Austin Levi lead the back end that could be one of the deepest not only in the West but possibly the O. Upfront is where in my mind Plymouth is the strongest , speed , speed and more speed is whale they beat teams , skilled forwards like Noesen , Aleardi and Rakell leading the way the Whalers bring more than I one trick pony to the table. Whenever you can structure a spread out scoring team together you will find success , top scorers 1(Noesen) to 10( Devane) are 20 points apart and are all plus players. Look for a long playoff run by the Whalers led by Schmitz and company who are looking to avenge an early exit last year.

A very good response from the Crew. All pretty much agree staying pat is a good move, but for different reasons. Todd Cordell is back next week to bring you another rendition of the OHL HotStove

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