Rock make ac­qui­si­tion

Tim­mins’ NOJHL team was among those ac­tive on the Cana­dian Ju­nior Hockey League’s trade dead­line.

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - THOMAS PERRY

The Tim­mins Rock — like most NOJHL squads — were busy in the hours lead­ing up to the Cana­dian Ju­nior Hockey League’s Jan. 10 trade dead­line.

One day after ship­ping 1998- birth- year blue- liner James Red­mond to the Perth Blue Wings, of the CCHL, the Rock ac­quired 1999- birth- year de­fence­man Gre­gory Arn­burg from the OJHL’s Lind­say Muskies.

Both moves were made in ex­change for player de­vel­op­ment fees, with the Rock not only gain­ing an ex­tra year on the pair of trans­ac­tions, but also a lit­tle more size.

At 6- 1 and 180 pounds, Arn­burg is slightly larger than f el­low right­hand shoot­ing D- man Red­mond, who stands 5- 11 and weighs in at 174 pounds.

Arn­burg ( 36, 3- 8- 11, 51), a na­tive of Oshawa, would seem to of­fer a lit­tle more of­fen­sive up­side and tough­ness than Red­mond ( 14, 0- 2- 2, 6), who was in his second sea­son with the Rock.

Rock coach Corey Beer, also an Oshawa na­tive, is quite fa­mil­iar with his team’s lat­est ac­qui­si­tion.

“He is an Oshawa boy and a guy I know pretty well,” Beer said.

“I am pretty fa­mil­iar with his game from when he was grow­ing up and he has played a cou­ple of years there with Lind­say.

“He is 6- 1 and has a sturdy build. He is a right- shot de­fence­man who has good tran­si­tion abil­ity and skat­ing abil­ity.

“Greg is go­ing to be able to play a shutdown role for us and he has a lit­tle bit of nasty­ness, a lit­tle bit of jam, a lit­tle bit of bite we were kind of in need of back there.

“He is go­ing to be a good ad­di­tion to our back end. He re­ally is one of those guys who play­ers grav­i­tate to off the ice. He is a good locker room guy with a good per­son­al­ity. He al­ways has a smile on his face.

“When­ever trade dead­line rolls around, it is al­ways a tense time for guys who might be wor­ried they are on their way out, or that some­body is com­ing in to take their job.

“Now, with the moves be­ing made and Greg com­ing in, we can re­ally set­tle down and look for­ward to playing bet­ter hockey. He is go­ing to be a huge part of that for us.

“Greg has the abil­ity to break up a cy­cle de­fen­sively and that is some­thing we have had trou­ble with, so he is go­ing to be a huge as­set for us.”

Arn­burg will join a Rock blue- line that in­cludes Josh An­der­son ( 34, 7- 24- 31, 55), Will Cas­ton ( 35, 1- 1516, 51), Luka Bolduc ( 32, 5- 1- 6, 19), Eric Moreau ( 30, 0- 5- 5, 12), Owen Shier ( 33, 3- 7- 10, 12) and Car­son Burling­ton ( 29, 1- 1- 2, 20).

Arn­burg, of course, will not be the first Oshawa- area hockey prod­uct to wear the ma­roon, gold and white of the Rock.

“He knows a few of the guys, maybe not from playing with them, but he skates at Twist ( Performance and Well­ness Cen­tre) Whitby, so he would know Will Cas­ton and Josh An­der­son,” Beer said.

“Josh Dick­son came out a few times, so he is fa­mil­iar with a few of our guys. I am sure that kind of con­ti­nu­ity is go­ing to make him feel pretty com­fort­able. He prob­a­bly knows ( goalie) Tyler Master­nak and ( for­ward) Tyler Hutchin­son, with them be­ing Oshawa boys. That helps, as well.

“There are four of us now up here in North­ern On­tario, the Oshawa in­va­sion.”

It should be noted there are cur­rently no plans in place to re­name the Rock the Gen­er­als North.

Red­mond be­gan his Rock ca­reer dur­ing the 2017- 18 cam­paign ( 25, 2- 5- 7, 6) but his sea­son was cut short by a shoul­der in­jury that re­quired off- sea­son surgery.

“James was a good, steady, twoway de­fence­man,” Beer said.

“With the shoul­der, he was limited in how phys­i­cal he could play from a real tough­ness stand­point — not that we were in a des­per­ate need to have a real phys­i­cal D- man back there.”

The pain en­dured by Red­mond dur­ing mul­ti­ple at­tempts to come back from the in­jury be­fore he fi­nally had to shut things down in 2017- 18 did not go un­no­ticed by the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“It is never an easy thing to fight back from that kind of in­jury,” Beer said.

“I give a lot of credit to him for com­ing up for the start of train­ing camp this year, as well and re­ally get­ting him­self in­te­grated with the new guys on the team and be­ing a part of things even though he couldn’t par­tic­i­pate in any of the work­outs.

“He was there help­ing out and re­ally mak­ing him­self as much a part of the squad as pos­si­ble. Then, he went home and then came back, got him­self into game shape.

“He was a good player for us for just un­der two years here and we wish him the best of luck. He is go­ing to have a great op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish his Ju­nior ‘ A’ ca­reer with Perth. He was a re­ally good per­son and a re­ally good player for us.”

Playing for the Blue Wings will also al­low Red­mond to fin­ish up much close to his Ot­tawa home.

Also on Thurs­day, the Rock shipped 1999- birth- year for­ward Ea­mon Bollinger ( 28, 6- 15- 21, 47) to the OJHL’s Ge­orge­town Raiders in ex­change for a player de­vel­op­ment fee.

The Pitts­burgh na­tive was the lone Amer­i­can player on the Rock ros­ter, although San Car­los, Calif., na­tive Bren­dan Burns ( 4, 0- 0- 0, 0) was briefly with the squad ear­lier in the sea­son.

“Ea­mon was a good second- and third- line player for us,” Beer said.

“He did a lot of things the right way. He may not have been a high­end goal scorer, but he was a work­horse player and did a re­ally good job while he was here.

“We will have some­body else step up into that role now and we wish him noth­ing but the best. Ge­orge­town is get­ting a re­ally good player. I know their coach, Scott McCrory, and he is go­ing to love throw­ing Bolly over the boards.”

With the de­par­ture of Red­mond and Bollinger and the ad­di­tion of Arn­burg, the Rock have 22 play­ers ( two goalies, seven de­fence­men and 13 for­wards) on their ac­tive ros­ter and one un­used card they can hold onto un­til Feb. 10 — although it can only be used on a free agent re­leased by an­other or­ga­ni­za­tion.

While that un­used card does not pro­vide any im­me­di­ate ben­e­fit for the Rock, Beer likes the flex­i­bil­ity it of­fers.

“Knock on wood, you hope noth­ing cat­a­strophic hap­pens with a player be­ing out for a long pe­riod of time,” he said.

“I think we have done a re­ally good job with our APs ( af­fil­i­ate play­ers), as well, Ob­vi­ously, we haven’t had to use them as much as we did last year, but we do feel con­fi­dent if some­thing hap­pens some of our APs could step in and fill that role.

“If some­body does come avail­able and gets shaken loose as a free agent, we will as­sess and see if they make sense for us. Hav­ing that flex­i­bil­ity of an open card does help.”

In the mean­time, the Rock will look to have a com­mit­tee of play­ers pick up the se­condary scor­ing Bollinger pro­vided the squad.

“Up and down the lineup, we have younger play­ers who have come in and got them­selves go­ing,” Beer said.

“Josh Dick­son ( 34, 10- 11- 21, 26) has re­ally es­tab­lished him­self in a Top 6 role and he has re­ally be­come a threat of­fen­sively. He plays 200 feet, too, which I think is a sta­ple for guys in this program.

“You look at a guy like Ri­ley Brousseau ( 35, 8- 13- 21, 17), as well. He is 17 years old and re­ally com­ing on, playing re­ally good hockey.

“( Ben­jamin) Jossinet ( 4, 1- 1- 2, 2) comes in here and he has flashed some good skill, so there are guys in­ter­nally here who are go­ing to be able to step up to fill that of­fen­sive role.

“Then, you look at the de­fen­sive side with guys like Lin­den Spencer ( 34, 4- 3- 7, 50) and A. J. Camp­bell ( 35, 5- 7- 12, 23). They do the work no­body wants to do. They do the chip- and- chase work. They do the de­fen­sive- zone starts. They block shots.

“That’s not an easy job, which maybe some young guys don’t un­der­stand. Ev­ery­one thinks you get to Ju­nior ‘ A’ and you want to get your op­por­tu­ni­ties, you want to score goals, that’s how you stay in the lineup. It’s not. If you can play good de­fence, you are go­ing to be in the lineup ev­ery day.

“Those two guys don’t get scratched be­cause they do the right things on the de­fen­sive side of the puck ev­ery sin­gle day.

“This program will sac­ri­fice risky of­fence for lights- out de­fence ev­ery sin­gle day of the week.”

Beer likes the way his squad is shap­ing up head­ing into the home stretch of the 2018- 19 cam­paign.

“( Gen­eral man­ager) Kevin ( Peever) and Paqs ( as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager Eric Pa­que­tte) have done a nice job get­ting this ros­ter to­gether,” he said.

“They are the guys be­hind the scene and they don’t get a lot of credit, but they de­serve a lot.”

When the Rock ( 22- 14- 2- 0) en­tered the NOJHL’s Christ­mas break, they were tied for first place in the East Divi­sion stand­ings.

With the break ex­tended an ad­di­tional 11 days due to the can­cel­la­tion of a pair of games last week­end fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing the French River Rapids team bus, they are now in third place — five points be­hind the Kirk­land Lake Gold Min­ers ( 25- 10- 1- 0) and the Cochrane Crunch ( 24- 14- 0- 3).

“We are al­most ahead of sched­ule,” Beer said.

“We have a very young squad. A lot of the teams in our league are 19and 20- year- old based, whereas we have a few 19 year olds, with 18, 17 and 16 year olds.

“So, given how well we have been playing and got things go­ing, we are ahead of sched­ule. We aren’t wait­ing for next year, we are ready to make the plunge now.”

Fol­low­ing the trade of Red­mond, the Rock only have a pair of 1998- birth- year play­ers — Hutchin­son and for­ward Matt Capis­ci­olto ( 35, 11- 18- 31, 20) — left on their ros­ter.

The Rock will fi­nally re­turn to ac­tion when they host the Gold Min­ers at the McIn­trye Arena on Tuesday. Game time is set for 7 p. m.

NOJHL NOTES — Gold Min­ers reac­quired for­ward Matthew Bras­sard from the Mis­sis­sauga Charg­ers, of the OJHL, and traded de­fence­man Jordan Michaud to the Grand Falls Rapids, of the MHL ... The Crunch traded for­ward Seiji Mar­tone to the Princeville Ti­tans, of the QJHL, in ex­change for for­ward Ni­cholas Blach­man ... The Powas­san Voodoos ac­quired Mar­tone from the Ti­tans ... The Rapids traded for­ward An­drew Gavros to the Stouf­fville Spirit, of the OJHL, and traded de­fence­man Ryan Gal­lant to Muskies ... The El­liot Lake Wild­cats traded goalie Justin Vertesi to the Lloy­d­min­ster Bob­cats, of the AJHL ... The Ray­side Bal­four Cana­di­ans traded de­fence­man Jordan Spadafore to the Grand Falls Rapids, of the MHL.

ANDY CORNEAU/ OJHL IMAGES

The Tim­mins Rock have ac­quired de­fence­man Gre­gory Arn­burg, shown here in ac­tion dur­ing a game against the Markham Roy­als on Jan. 14, 2018, from the Lind­say Muskies, of the OJHL, in ex­change for a player de­vel­op­ment fee. The 1999- birth- year right- hand shoot­ing blue- liner will likely be in the lineup when the Rock open the second half of their 2018- 19 NOJHL cam­paign against the Kirk­land Lake Gold Min­ers at the McIn­tyre Arena on Tuesday. Game time is set for 7 p. m.

Bollinger

Red­mond

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