Vees acquire Wade Murphy from Victoria
Fred Harbinson knows that people are going to look at the scoring numbers on Wade Murphy, his newest acquisition.
However, the fact Murphy, who came from the Victoria Grizzlies for Mark McLellan and future considerations, is fourth in BCHL scoring (22 goals, 40 assists), doesn’t matter to the Penticton Vees general manager.
“We just felt if we could add another player that has played a lot of junior A games, someone that competes and plays hard like our whole group we would try to find a way to make it happen,” said Harbinson, of Murphy, who has played 100 games in just over two seasons. “There is never enough (experience). Every time you play there are different obstacles you have to go through to find a way to win games. The more guys you have on your team that have been through those wars, I think it will give us an advantage come playoff time.”
Adding Murphy was the lone move the Vees made on the Jan. 10 trade deadline day as teams across the country solidify their 21-man rosters. It was a difficult move to ship McLellan to Victoria and Harbinson said he was disappointed as he has been a part of the Vees franchise record 21-game win streak. Harbinson, who described McLellan as a great, hard working kid, said it’s unfortunate that he’s not going to be with the team at the end of whatever they accomplish.
“I’m sure a part of him looks at the positive side,” said Harbinson, adding the Vees have helped him find a billet home and will continue to help him in the hockey world if they can. “He’s going to get to go to a team that is rebuilding, they are going to play the heck out of him the last part of the year. Have a chance to be good next year.”
In adding Murphy, Harbinson said that the Vees become more versatile and he has several options with his lines. There is excitement from the players as well, who are willing to make sacrifices for success.
“I can tell you right now that there was one of our players texting last night saying that he would be willing to take less time on the power play to get this thing to work properly,” said Harbinson. “That’s the kind of leadership and character we have going on with our team right now. It’s exciting.”
On Twitter yesterday, Murphy expressed his feelings on the trade.
“Excited too be a Penticton Vee,” said @wmurphy93. “Gunna miss the grizz boys though, you guys r beauties.”
Full story on the trade and Harbinson’s trade deadline day thoughts will be in Friday’s Penticton Western News.
Also, Vees defenceman Mike Reilly has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 8, the league announced. Reilly scored three goals and added four assists while helping the Vees earn three more victories and extend their winning streak to 21 games. Reilly, had points in each game last week and was named first star with two goals and two assists in a triumph over rival Vernon.
The 6-foot, 165-pound blueliner is now sixth in BCHL scoring with 17 goals and 38 assists on the campaign. Honourable mentions this week go to Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Brett Knowles (one goal, six assists, first star, second Star), Vees goalie Michael Garteig (three wins, 1.33 GAA, .948 save percentage), Capitals forward Matt Brown (three goals, four assists, third star) and Vees forward Travis St. Denis (five goals, two assists, first and second star honours.)