Bull­dogs trade Fer­gus for younger Landry

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TERI PECOSKIE

T.J. Fer­gus is on the move — again.

The Bull­dogs sent the over­age de­fence­man, and a fourth-round pick in 2018, to the Barrie Colts Mon­day, in ex­change for rear­guard Kade Landry.

He had been with the team less than two months.

Bull­dogs GM Steve Staios wasn’t ini­tially look­ing to trade Fer­gus when the Colts ap­proached him. Then they of­fered Landry in re­turn — and his in­ter­est was piqued.

He’s an 18-year-old blue­liner with “great mo­bil­ity,” he added, “some­body we couldn’t pass up.”

A na­tive of Lis­towel, Landry mea­sures six-foot-one and tips the scales at 198 pounds. Like Fer­gus, he shoots left, and in 17 games with the Colts this sea­son had three goals and eight as­sists.

He’ll make his de­but Wed­nes­day morn­ing when the Bull­dogs host Peter­bor­ough in their an­nual school-day game.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to get things go­ing. And the man­age­ment, coach­ing staff and all the play­ers have been re­ally good to me so far, which made the tran­si­tion that much easier,” he said af­ter his first prac­tice with the team Tues­day.

Fer­gus, mean­while, is ex­pected to add a vet­eran pres­ence to a youth­ful Barrie back end, which has al­lowed only 50 goals this cam­paign — the least in the OHL. Ac­cord­ing to to a Colts re­lease, he’ll also get time on the power play.

The Bull­dogs ac­quired Fer­gus from the Erie Ot­ters in late Septem­ber. At the time, Staios said the 20-year-old would bring a win­ning at­ti­tude to the dress­ing room and has the abil­ity to make the play­ers around him bet­ter. Fer­gus, how­ever, strug­gled to ex­e­cute the Bull­dogs sys­tem. He fre­quently turned the puck over and looked noth­ing like the player that helped Erie win an OHL cham­pi­onship last May.

“I think he was just start­ing to get ac­cli­mated to what we’re do­ing here,” Staios said.

With the deal, the Bull­dogs also ad­dress an­other is­sue — a log­jam of over­age play­ers.

In­clud­ing the Oakville na­tive, they were car­ry­ing four, even though the league only al­lows teams to dress three at a time and to carry three af­ter the OA trade dead­line in Jan­uary.

The week ahead

Host Peter­bor­ough Wed­nes­day, 10:30 a.m., FirstOn­tario Cen­tre The sto­ry­line: The Petes fell to sec­ond in the East Di­vi­sion standings af­ter split­ting a home-and­home se­ries with Kingston last week­end. Player to watch: Jonathan Ang leads the team in scor­ing with 30 points in 21 games, and is com­ing off a strong show­ing in the Canada-Rus­sia Se­ries. Neat stat: At 29 goals, the Petes have scored more on the power play than any other OHL team this sea­son, and more than twice as many as the Bull­dogs, who have 13.

Hamil­ton con­nec­tion: Matt Timms is from Wa­ter­down.

At Kingston Fri­day, 7 p.m. Sto­ry­line: A loss to the Petes Sun­day snapped a five-game win streak for the fourth-place Fronts. Player to watch: Ja­son Robertson has been on a scor­ing spree with six goals and five as­sists his past six games. Neat stat: Kingston has had three games de­cided by shootout so far, in­clud­ing two against Hamil­ton. Each team has a win apiece. Hamil­ton con­nec­tion: None.

At Ot­tawa Satur­day, 2 p.m. The sto­ry­line: The di­vi­sion-lead­ing 67’s go into the week­end with wins in each of their past three games, in­clud­ing a 4-3 de­ci­sion against Sar­nia — then the No. 1 ranked team in the coun­try. Player to watch: Sasha Ch­melevski had three goals and an as­sist in two games against Oshawa last week­end and is tied for the team scor­ing lead with 19 points. Neat stat: Ot­tawa is the only team in the league that hasn’t lost in reg­u­la­tion when out­shoot­ing the op­po­si­tion (6-0-1-0). Hamil­ton con­nec­tion: Sam Bit­ten is the brother of Bull­dogs for­ward Will Bit­ten.

JOHN REN­NI­SON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

New Bull­dog Kade Landry, 18, has “great mo­bil­ity” says GM Steve Staios.

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