Thompson traded to Lethbridge

By Jeff Bromley

The trading saga of Andy Thompson has ended before it really got started. Thompson, a former first round, seventh overall, Bantam pick of the ICE in 1999, was traded a couple hours drive down Highway 3 to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a 1st and a 3rd Round Bantam picks in the 2003 WHL Draft.

Stating a clear desire to accommodate Thompson’s wish to be traded two weeks ago, Kootenay G.M. Jeff Chynoweth did not want this issue to drag on and become something more than it really was for both Andy Thompson and the Kootenay ICE.

“I’m a big believer of getting things done,” said Chynoweth. “It doesn’t do either of us good if Andy sits, for his market value, his development as a player or the Kootenay ICE. We wanted him to come to camp, as I’ve said from day one, this was Andy Thompson’s decision to ask for a trade. We wanted him back but he and his agent felt that he needed a trade after what happened last year.”

Thompson left the club battling what was described as a form of clinical depression. Feeling that he needed a fresh start with a new club, a trade request was made last week.

The two draft picks received in exchange for Thompson gives the club a variety of options and depth. “We looked at it as an opportunity that we can either use the picks or possible use them in future transactions once we address the strengths and weaknesses of our team,” added Chynoweth.

Although figured to be part of a blockbuster, a player of Thompson’s stature didn’t dictate the terms of a deal that might’ve been better served down the road when team’s, both Kootenay’s and their opponent’s, needs are more evident.

“Andy Thompson’s market value . . . it was tough,” said Chynoweth. “We viewed him as one of the premier 1984-born defensemen in the WHL. They (other teams) are saying ‘He’s damaged goods. He left your hockey team and you won a Memorial Cup and didn’t miss a beat.'”

“We don’t feel that way but when you’re making a transaction, you both have to agree. This is what team’s say and some of the things they were offering were an insult,” said Chynoweth of some of the offers that were coming in from as many as three or four unnamed clubs.

Looking to close the Kootenay ICE chapter on a talented young prospect that ended abruptly, Chynoweth felt the Hurricanes’ deal was the best for his hockey club.

“Bryan Maxwell wanted a defensemen,” said Chynoweth. “They’re making a bid for the 2004 Memorial Cup and it’s a good trade for both and could potentially be a very high first round pick.”

Quick Hits -It’s now official as Jarret Stoll will not return to the Kootenay ICE this season after signing a reported 3-yr, $2.075 million deal including a $500,000 (All funds U.S.) signing bonus with the Edmonton Oilers announced last Tuesday . . .

Graduated D-man Cole Fischer has received an invite to the Norfolk Admirals AHL camp. If he doesn’t make the American league squad Fischer will have a shot at their ECHL affiliate the Roanoke Express…

Another former ICE captain Dean Arsene signed with his old coach Ryan McGill in Hartford with the AHL’s Wolf Pack…

Kootenay’s training camp became smaller last week as NHL Drafted and free agent hopefuls were off to their respective NHL camps. Brennan Evans to Colorado, Tomas Plihal to San Jose and Adam Taylor to Carolina. Colin Sinclair is already in Edmonton for his free agent tryout and Duncan Milroy is with the Montreal Canadians and not expected back until close to the regular season opener September 28 . . .

Kootenay’s third game of the exhibition season goes Wednesday against the Spokane Chiefs at the Rec./Plex. Game time is 7:00pm.