SHL Offseason Trade Summary

The following trades took place in the offseason before Season 2:

Seattle SmallHamilton SmallThe expansion Seattle Sailors made a splash and landed some veteran talent to guide them in their inaugural campaign.  The Sailors acquired C Cliff Derringer, RW “King George” Lane, and D Hylton Windham from the Hamilton Pistols in exchange for first-round and third-round picks and F Elmo Jacobson.  In Derringer, the Sailors land a solid scorer (21 goals and 35 points last season) who is expected to anchor their top line.  Lane, meanwhile, is a capable passer (23 assists in 2015) who may be placed on the top line to feed Derringer and top draft pick Vince Mango.  Windham appeared in limited action for Hamilton last season, scoring 4 points in 22 games, but is best known for being the first native of the Bahamas to play professional hockey.  The Pistols are rebuilding under new coach Keith Shields, and the picks (which were used to draft D Clayton “Crusher” Risch and LW Norris “Beaver” Young) will help position the team for the future.  The 24-year-old Jacobson spent last season with Saskatchewan, for whom he scored 9 points.

Quebec SmallNew York smallThe other expansion team, the Quebec Tigres, made several moves after the expansion draft. First, they dealt RW Kenny Patterson and D Teddy Morrison to the New York Night in exchange for LW Pascal Royal.  The Tigres have made a point of acquiring as many Quebec natives as possible, and Royal certainly qualifies.  He will also provide the Tigres with a dose of badly-needed offense, having put up 15 goals and 40 points in New York.  Patterson is being reunited with his former club, as Quebec plucked him from New York in the expansion draft.  The winger scored 13 goals and 37 points for the Night last year.  Morrison was a gritty defender who spent last season with Washington, putting up 12 points in 56 games.

Quebec SmallSaskatchewan SmallThe Tigres also strengthened their blue line by acquiring Viktor Babykin, a rugged stay-home defenseman, from the Saskatchewan Shockers, along with F Alois Rodney in exchange for rookie D Brody “Bruiser” McCallan.  Babykin is known as one of the SHL’s meanest players, a man who never hesitates to drop the gloves and was one of the league leaders in penalty minutes last year.  His pugnacious personality also created some friction in the Shockers locker room, however.  The 21-year-old McCallan, the Tigres’ third-round draft pick, spent last season in the Quebec junior league, where he put up 12 points.  Rodney, who was the last player selected in the draft,  put up 6 points in limited action in the Swiss league last season.

Quebec SmallHamilton SmallIn their final deal, the Tigres picked up another left winger, Stellan Fisker, from the Hamilton Pistols.  Fisker put up 17 goals and 30 points for Hamilton last season.  The Pistols sent Fisker and the just-acquired Jacobson to Quebec in exchange for a pair of rookies, LW Magnus Gunnarson and the aforementioned Rodney, and a second-round pick in next year’s draft.  Gunnarson, who was selected in the second round by Quebec, scored 15 goals last season for Lake Erie State.

Hershey SmallAnchorage SmallThe Hershey Bliss and the Anchorage Igloos struck a major deal on draft night, with the Bliss sending G Riley Lattimore to the Igloos in exchange for RW Sven Danielsen.  Lattimore began last season as Hershey’s starting goalie, but struggled and wound up losing playing time to backup Milo Stafford.  Lattimore finished the season with a 12-18-1 record with a 3.70 GAA, as the Bliss stumbled to a disappointing third-place finish in the East.  He became expendable after Hershey picked netminder Buzz Carson in the second round of the draft.  Lattimore will serve as a backup in Anchorage, who lost their former second-string goalie, Ron Mason, to Seattle in the expansion draft.  Danielsen, meanwhile, spent last season on the second line for the champion Igloos, netting 11 goals and 28 points.  He lost his spot on the Anchorage depth chart to Remi Montrechere, as the Igloos found themselves with forward depth to spare.

Dakota SmallHamilton SmallIn a minor swap of defenders, the Dakota Rapids shipped Jose Martinez and rookie Fyodor Agrozonov to the Hamilton Pistols for Pierre Chappelle.  Chapelle was a solid two-way defenseman for the Pistols last season, putting up 10 points.  Martinez was an offensive-minded defender who struggled somewhat in Dakota, posting 7 points in 52 games.  Agrozonov is a 22-year-old who played the last two seasons in the KHL.

Interview of the Week: Hylton Windham

Hamilton PistolsOur interview of the week is with Hamilton Pistols D Hylton Windham.

SHL Digest: This week, we’re interviewing Hylton Windham of the Hamilton Pistols.  Hylton, it’s a pleasure to talk with you.

Hylton Windham: Thanks, I appreciate it.

Hylton Windham
Hylton Windham

SHLD: You’re the first professional hockey player to come from the Bahamas.  How does it feel to be a pioneer?

HW: Honestly, I don’t really think of myself that way.  I think of myself as just a player.  I am proud of my background, but I don’t feel that I am truly a pioneer.  I am just a bit unique.

SHLD: How did you become interested in hockey?

HW: The first time I saw a game, I was 8 years old.  My family was on holiday in Toronto, and we watched a game on TV in our hotel room.  I was enchanted; the ice looked magical to me.

SHLD: I don’t imagine it was easy to find an ice rink to practice on, though.

HW: Absolutely!  The only ice we had at home was in our drinks.  But I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Canada, and my parents sent me to live with them during vacations so I could try it.  Then it turned out I was pretty good, so at age 10 I went to live with them full-time.

SHLD: When did you start thinking you might be able to play professionally?

HW: I found about about a player named Graeme Townshend, who was born in Jamaica and made it to the NHL.  When I saw that a guy like me was in the NHL, I thought, “Hey, maybe I could do that too.”  And now I have!

SHLD: You’re a reserve on a team that has been struggling.  Has that been frustrating for you?

HW: Well, of course we’d all rather be winning.  But honestly, I am just happy to play.  And I am very grateful to play for a great coach like Mr. [Ron] Wright.  He knows so many things about the game, and he is a wonderful teacher.

SHLD: What are your goals for your career?

HW: Of course, I hope to become a starter and to win a championship someday.  But most of all, I hope some young children in the Caribbean will see me play and want to become hockey players as well.

SHLD: Do you think you might be able to make the Bahamas into a hockey country?

HW: I hope so.  Again, I look to Graeme Townshend.  He is trying to get a Jamaican hockey team to the Olympics.  Perhaps someday I will coach the first Bahamian Olympic hockey team.

SHLD: Sounds like a wonderful thing to strive for!  Best wishes with that.  And good luck with the rest of the season.

HW: Thank you!  I am very excited for this season and those to come.