Monday, November 09, 2009

Saginaw makes big trade with Barrie

The Saginaw Spirit completed a trade with the Eastern Conference’s Barrie Colts today.

Saginaw has acquired defenseman Ryan O’Connor (right) and forward Michael Sgarbossa (left) in the deal that sees Barrie receive defensemen T.J. Brodie and Nick Crawford. The Colts also received a third-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection.

“We are excited for this deal and feel that it is a great trade for all parties,” stated Spirit coach-GM Todd Watson. “We are getting additional years of service with this trade that will pay dividends this season and beyond. Ryan and Michael are highly-talented skaters that will contribute instantly. Brodie and Crawford have played significant roles with the Spirit these past seasons and we are happy that they are going to a great program like the Barrie Colts where they will continue to find success on and off the ice.”

O’Connor enjoyed a successful rookie season that saw him post 10 goals and 25 assists in 62 games. The Hamilton, Ont., native has tallied two goals and 10 assists in 19 games this season. O’Connor posted a four-point game (two goals and two assists) against the Kingston Frontenacs on December 12, 2008, and a three-point game (goal and two assists) against the Oshawa Generals on October 8, 2009.

“Ryan is a highly-skilled defenseman that can really move the puck, as evident by him being named to the OHL All-Rookie Second Team last season," noted Watson.

Barrie selected O’Connor sixth overall in the 2008 Priority Selection after a stint with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens minor midgets. O’Connor scored two goals and five assists to help the Canadiens win the 2008 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament. He was selected to Team Ontario’s roster for the 2009 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and helped Team Canada’s Under-18 squad win the gold medal in the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. O’Connor is eligible for 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Sgarbossa had a prolific rookie season as well, notching 10 goals and 33 assists in 67 games. The Campbellville, Ont., native has tallied seven goals and 13 assists in 19 games this season. He posted two goals in Barrie’s home opener against the Owen Sound Attack on September 17, 2009, and had a four-point effort (two goals and two assists) against the Erie Otters on October 10, 2009.

“Michael is a tough competitor that can put up some big points with his scoring ability,” said Watson.

Barrie selected Sgarbossa 54th overall in 2008 after a campaign with the Halton Hurricanes minor midgets. He tallied three goals and two assists in four games during the 2008 OHL Cup. Sgarbossa is also eligible for 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Brodie is playing in his fourth Ontario Hockey League season and was signed by the Calgary Flames over the summer. Crawford, also playing his fourth OHL season, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

“The Barrie Colts will love the talent, leadership and character, both on and off the ice, of Nick Crawford and T.J. Brodie," said Spirit president and partner Craig Goslin. "We wish both of these fine young men all the best with their new opportunity in Barrie and in the rest of their hockey careers. We, too, are equally as excited to be welcoming Michael Sgarbossa and Ryan O’Connor to the Saginaw Spirit. From all reports, if our fans like the moves that Watson has made to date with Ivan Telegin, Anthony Camara, Vince Trocheck, Josh Shalla, Garret Ross and more, then you will also like our new additions of Michael Sgarbossa and Ryan O’Connor.

"Dick (Garber) and I are confident that Todd and his staff are building a championship quality contender one piece at a time.”

“It’s tough losing two guys that were a big part of the team on and off the ice, but we are excited for them and us as this trade provides a whole new dynamic,” stated Spirit captain Tyler Murovich. “It sounds like both guys will jump right in and help us continue our successful start to the season."

Photos by Terry Wilson/OHL Images

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