The Halifax Mooseheads have traded the QMJHL’s penalty-minute king to the Moncton Wildcats.
Spencer Metcalfe will get a shot at a championship on a Memorial Cup contender after being traded to the Wildcats yesterday for a seventh-round draft pick in 2011.
The 19-year-old defenceman leads the QMJHL with a whopping 113 penalty minutes and 13 fighting majors in 37 games. Although he has just one assist all year, his plus-three rating was the Mooseheads’ only positive plus-minus.
“It was really hard to move him,” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell.
“He was a very well-liked guy, a popular guy in the dressing room. He was a pleasure to coach. We’ll miss his physical game and his leadership.”
The Herd’s youth movement fuelled the decision to trade the six-foot, 192-pound Toronto native. Halifax is building around 17-year-olds Garrett Clarke, Konrad Abeltshauser, Steve Gillard and Sawyer Hannay and has highly-touted 16-year-olds Jamie Bishop and Trey Lewis waiting in the wings.
Metcalfe’s presence, along with that of fellow 19-year-olds Pascal Amyot and Paul Dimitruk, would have pushed one of the youngsters out of the lineup on a regular basis.
“It was an ice-time issue,” Russell said.
“We had eight defencemen and knew one of them had to go. We wanted to keep Bishop here and work with him. It became a numbers game.”
Bishop, drafted 19th overall in June, was recalled on Dec. 2. Lewis, a fourth-round pick who is playing major midget in New Brunswick, is eighth on the depth chart.
The trade deadline is today at 1 p.m.
“We’re listening, we’re inquiring, but if it doesn’t make sense, it’s not worth doing,” Russell said.
“We’re not done, but that’s not to say something’s going to happen.”
Here’s a look at some key moves made yesterday in the QMJHL.
• Goaltender Jake Allen, coming off a tough outing with Team Canada in Tuesday’s gold-medal game at the world junior championship, was officially dealt from Montreal to Drummondville for two first-round picks.
• Defenceman Ian Saab of Halifax is on the move after Cape Breton dealt him to Lewiston to acquire Devils draft choice Eric Gelinas, a top blue-liner. Stephen Woodworth of the junior A Halifax Lions also goes to Cape Breton.
• Pierre-Marc Lessard was traded from Moncton to P.E.I. for a fourth-round draft choice. The over-age forward had drawn mild interest from the Mooseheads.