Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Roster Shakeup Part of Business

Colton Waltz
  It's been quite a week for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

  Over the last eight days, the club has traded four players, released two others and added two new players via trade.

  "Hockey is a tough business that way, you're going to see friends come and go.  They were great guys that were a really big part of our team," said third-year Brandon defenceman Colton Waltz on Monday, "Character-wise, they were graet guys...we were tight-knit group but you have to move on.  They're on to new opportunities, and we're excited to have new guys come into the room also."

  The past week was particularly tough for Waltz, who's been billeted in the same home with Ryley Lindgren for the past 13 months and was Taylor Green's defence partner for all of last season.

  However, Waltz is also one of the Wheat Kings most experienced players and, as an alternate captain with the team, has some responsibility to making sure newcomers Reid Duke and Macoy Erkamps are welcomed with open arms.

  "Everyone is used to different things, coming from different organizations like that.  Coming into the room, everyone's just got to be vocal with them so they know what they're doing and they're on the same page as us," saisd Waltz, "I think everyone is really good on our team in making sure everyone's involved in doing everything and making sure we're staying a tight-knit group in the dressing room."

  The good news is that the recent moves have reduced Brandon's roster to 24 players and makes any other changes, at least in the short-term, unlikely.

  "I think everyone in the dressing room is really excited with what we have.  We're obviously off to a great start and we want to keep that rolling," said Waltz, "Whoever the personnel is on the ice just has a responsibility to get the job done."

  The Wheat Kings return to action Saturday when they open a three-game road trip in Red Deer.

Chaff...the Western Hockey League will announce the host site of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup on Wednesday, following a vote by the WHL Board of Governors.  The Red Deer Rebels and the Vancouver Giants have each submitted bids to host the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup...Kelowna Rockets' D and Winnipeg product Madison Bowey was named the WHL Player of the Week Monday after scoring two goals and eight points in three games last week...the Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Mental Health Association announced Monday their partnership in a program called Talk Today that will help combat mental health problems in the across the league.

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