Still unable to crawl into a playoff spot in the OHL's Eastern Conference, Ottawa 67's head coach and general manager Chris Byrne is taking matters into his own hands, pulling the trigger on three deals Monday to shake things up.
It's obvious that change was neccesary for the Barberpoles. With one overager demanding a trade, another needing a change of scenery, an import leaving the squad and the family of a rookie openly upset about ice time, it's obvious that the team's problems far from end on the ice.
Jake Cardwell's request to be traded was picked up on sooner than later when media questioned why he was a healthy scratch on Friday night. By Sunday, Byrne had confirmed that a trade was "imminent", although "nothing had been signed" at the time.
Cardwell was dealt to Belleville for a trio of draft choices, a 2nd, 3rd and 5th round draft choice on Monday morning as soon as the trade offices opened up.
"He's a player that has done a great job here for us," said Byrne.
It didn't take long for Ottawa to continue re-tooling, sending a 5th rounder to Mississauga for Clint Windsor. To make room in the crease, the 67's sent Keegan Wilson to Guelph for a 7th.
Wilson's last start with the 67's was a forgettable one. He allowed three goals on 11 shots before being pulled just over halfway through the first period against Belleville.
Prior to all of this, Richard Mraz met with 67's management to explain that the OHL wasn't his style of game, and that it was too physical for his liking. Ironically, Mraz is expected to play in the World Under-20's this holiday season, a tournament with a much higher number of nasty hits per game than the OHL.
Perhaps it doesn't help that the first game after Mraz's decision to leave, an 8-3 loss to Saginaw, ended in a line-brawl. Byrne made it clear that this wasn't the type of play he wanted to see. "I'm not proponent of that, that's not what I'm all about, or what our team should be all about."
It appears as though Mraz and Cardwell weren't the only disgruntled players in the lineup. While Matthieu Desautels hasn't said anything to throw fuel on the fire, his family seems to be unimpressed with the opportunity being given to the rookie blueliner.
His father took to Twitter to inquire as to why his son was benched for a minor mistake, while veterans with a laundry list of mistakes continued playing. He also mentioned that Sunday was the first time his son had ever told him that he wasn't having fun playing.
The Green Valley native hasn't looked out of place in 18 games as a 67. Time will tell if this situation difuses itself; the posts about his ice time and morale have since been removed from the internet, so perhaps it already is being put to rest.
After an 8-3 loss to Saginaw and a 3-2 loss to Belleville, Ottawa hopes that their recent shakeups will turn around tonight when they take on the Mississauga Steelheads, recently acquired Clint Windsor set to make his first start in barberpoles against his former team.