It was a busy Friday for the Spokane Chiefs, as they announced two big roster moves and hosted the Victoria Royals at the Arena in front of a little over 4,500 fans. Earlier in the day, the Chiefs dealt overage defenseman Davis Vandane to the Prince Albert Raiders for a conditional draft pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam draft, and then about 30 minutes before the game Spokane made the swift announcement that goalie Mac Engel has been sent home while he awaits a trade. Makes you wonder if there were some off-ice issues that sped the process up, because when rumors that the veteran netminder had been traded began to swirl on Facebook and Twitter on Thursday, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz flat denied the move. The moves leave the Chiefs with their three overage players (D Brenden Kichton, forwards Blake Gal and Dylan Walchuk) and two goalies (Eric Williams and rookie Garret Hughson).
Despite all of the potential distractions, the Chiefs slipped by Victoria 5-3 thanks to fantastic play from their special teams and Williams. Here's the game story I filed. Spokane hosts Lethbridge on Saturday night (7 p.m.). Detroit Red Wings coach (and ex-Chiefs coach) Mike Babcock will be at the game to drop the ceremonial first puck. He obviously has some free time with the NHL lockout happening. I'll be sitting down with him and working on a story for early next week. Stay tuned, and keep up on everything here.
And share your thoughts. Do you like Spokane's roster moves? Like what you're seeing on the ice so far?