In an interesting bit of irony, the Ottawa 67’s will be hosting the Windsor Spitfires on Friday night, welcoming ex-Barberpoles Remy Giftopoulos and Steven Janes back to town.
The irony is that these two now-overagers are just under a year removed from being dealt out of Ottawa, although at the time, the two young men were nothing more than a footnote.
Both were – and still are – capable second-line wingers on their new teams, but they hardly made news in Ottawa, because everybody was focused on the main attractions.
If the 67’s were to send a second-line forward out of town now, 51 weeks later, it would be the top story for Ottawa’s Junior squad.
But in 2013, with the team in full-sell mode for the first time in two decades, franchise cornerstones Cody Ceci and Tyler Graovac were traded. Even Sean Monahan’s name was in headlines, it was only a last-second decision for the team to keep him on board in a pro-buyers market.
As a result, Janes, dealt with Ceci to Owen Sound, took a backseat attention-wise as the team's captain left a huge void.
Giftopoulos went to Windsor for a late draft choice, but the 67’s instantly picked up John Urbanic and Mark Petaccio to fill any gap left; Giftopoulos’ departure was an afterthought.
Perhaps it’s because both players never cemented themselves on Chris Byrne’s team. Giftopoulos bounced around the bottom three lines his entire time in Ottawa, while Janes spent most of the 2010-11 season on the sidelines with injury, something that threw off his OHL career for a fair amount of time.
Now, the Barberpoles have more depth forwards that they’re looking to trade off. However, some of them players playing prominent roles every night.
Because of this, if a minor trade goes down, it’ll be the biggest story surrounding the team.
The biggest rumour floating around the Nation’s Capital is surrounding overaged left winger Ryan Van Stralen and the potential interest from a divisional rival.
The Oshawa Generals are in need of a big power forward and have one OA spot available, and they have been rumoured to have put in an offer for the Prescott native.
The deal, if it goes through, would most likely include second-year Gens forward Owen McDade, who played his minor midget hockey in Ottawa, along with draft selections.
With so many depth wingers; Brett Gustavsen (’94-born), Taylor Fielding (’94), Sam Studnicka (’95) and John Urbanic (’95) on the right side and Connor Brown (’95-born) and Andrew Abou-Assaly (’96) at left wing, any one of these forwards could be in play come trade deadline.
Adding fuel to any potential trade rumours is the 67’s calling up center Dylan McDonald from Cumberland of the CCHL, although that move may be to put another body at center with Travis Konecny at the U-17’s.
The deadline for all deals is January 10th, while a Van Stralen trade would have to come before the January 9th overage deadline.
Ottawa is currently tied for the final playoff spot in the East with Niagara.