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Mooseheads in market for high-end talent

The Halifax Mooseheads will be in the market for established talent during the QMJHL trade period.

The Halifax Mooseheads will be in the market for established talent during the QMJHL trade period.

Although the “buyer” tag is usually reserved for Memorial Cup contenders such as the Saint John Sea Dogs, Montreal Juniors and Quebec Remparts, the young Mooseheads will join the bidding for any high-end 19-year-old forwards who may be up for grabs.

“We’re not just trying to tell our fans, ‘Hold on, hold on, hold on,’” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell.

“We want to win.

“We’re rebuilding our team, we didn’t have any choice in the matter, but we’re also trying to be competitive and trying to win.”

Considering the team has lost 24 of 34 games and has just 16 goals in its past nine contests, acquiring a top-line point producer would go a long way toward getting the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.

Russell said he will pursue players who project to be back as over-agers in 2011-12 and has a wish list of trade targets.

“We’re not just looking at who’s (known to be) available, we’re inquiring about specific players, finding out what asking prices are and seeing how negotiations go,” Russell said.

If he gets what he wants, it might cost him an 18-year-old or two as well as one of the Mooseheads’ eight picks in the first five rounds of the 2011 draft.

One thing Russell won’t do is mortgage the future, as the Mooseheads did in 2007-08 when they landed Brad Marchand in a blockbuster deal that resulted in the current rebuild.

“We’re not going to make a trade that will hurt us for years to come,” Russell said.

“But we’ve got a ton of young, promising players, and the missing piece is an established player to come in and be a top-end guy.”

The QMJHL trade period runs from Dec. 19 until Jan. 6.

 
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