The Belleville Bulls made a couple moves on Monday November 12th involving over age defencemen. Adding Jake Cardwell from the Ottawa 67's and sending Jason Shaw to the Saginaw Spirit.
It was not a surprise that GM Burnett made something happen, Coach Burnett said on the CJBQ pre game show Saturday night "that being a middle of the pack team with great goal tending is unacceptablee" and that he "would be lying if he said he wasn't looking" for help to improve the offense.
So he pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire over age defencemen Jake Cardwell from the Ottawa 67s. Cardwell ( 6'2" 206lbs) is in his 5th season in the OHL. The Bulls feel that "Jake is an established veteran who will bring size, mobility, skill and an edge" to their lineup. Burnett believes that Cardwell will provide the Bulls with some much needed offence and help significantly on the man advantage. Ottawa has the best power play in the OHL, something that Cardwell was a part of, he has 13 points on the power play this season. In total Jake has 16 points ( 3 G, 13 A), good for the team lead in Belleville, one more the Jordan Subban who has been the team leader all season.
For Cardwell's services for the rest of the season the Bulls send Plymouth's third round pick in 2013, Oshawa's second round pick in 2014 and Saginaw's fifth round pick in 2014 to the 67s. With Cardwell coming in, it gave the Bulls 4 over age players, one over the limit. Someone had to go. The other OA's are: Stephen Silas who will tie Geoff Killing for most games played in franchise history (baring injury) Saturday November 17 Vs Plymouth with 286 games played as a Bull. I think its safe to say we knew it wouldn't be him. The Bulls are looking forward to celebrating this milestone, Silas is the last tie to the Bulls string of 3 consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference finals in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The feeling is that Silas is one of Coach Burnett's core on the ice and in the dressing room, Burnett has stuck with Silas his whole career even when he really struggled and was used as a whipping boy by some of the Yardman faithful. Stephen Silas came to Belleville as their 1st Rd pick in 2007-08 and has been a horse only missing 8 games total in his first four years in Belleville. Silas was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2010 and has put up fair numbers for the Bulls. 141 points so far in his career.
Anaheim Ducks Prospect Joseph Cramarossa was acquired by the Bulls form Mississauga late last season for his playoff experience and as a OA the hope was his goal scoring ability would shine. Cramarossa hasn't scored as much as anyone would like tallying just 3 goals in 19 games this season, he has scored twice in the shoot out with one being a winner. Joseph has done a lot of other good stuff this season, he's killed penalties, blocked shots, hits , fights , fore checks, in a few games he was doubled shifted playing close or over 30 minutes. He fills a role in Belleville that is a staple on a lot of Burnett's teams. That being a older player, who is a character player, who might not score a bunch but does a lot of other things. Belleville has used OA players in this role before under Burnett from Ryan Rorabeck, Jeff Leavitt and Mike Mascioli in one group and Andrew Gibbons, Andy Self and Cory Tanaka in an other. What group Cramarossa will fit in to is yet to be determied, but with the Bulls making a family connection by drafting Joesph's younger brother Micheal in the third round of this years OHL Priority Selection, hard to see the Bulls moving him.
So that leaves Belleville Native Jason Shaw as the odd man out. Shortly after the Bulls traded for Jake Cardwell they sent Shaw to the Saginaw Spirit in exchange for Barrie's seventh round pick in 2013. Shaw came to the his hometown team last season. After playing for Kingston Vs Belleville in an pre season game Shaw was released and signed by and played for the Bulls the next night Vs Kingston. So he seen the Belleville/Kingston rivalry up close from both sides. Shaw has also played 17 games for the Niagara IceDogs. Jason is the brother of OHL Alumni Andrew Shaw. Shaw was good in Belleville leading the team with a plus 21 rating last season. He doesn't score a bunch only registering 1 goal in 63 games with the Bulls but he doesn't take a lot of bad penalties and plays a good game in his own end. He has a shot that he should use a lot more.