Fred Harbinson can only hope Dexter Dancs won’t come back to victimize his team like Dexter Morgan, the serial killer, does on the TV show Dexter.
The Penticton Vees coach-GM made a deal with its Interior Division rival Vernon Vipers sending Dancs to the six-time national champions for Jedd Soleway. The last time both teams got on the phone to make a deal was October of 2003 when the Vipers sent Jason Blucke to the Panthers for future considerations. The league’s website only goes as far back as 2003/04 with transactions.
Soleway, 18, tallied 18 goals and 41 points in 84 games with the Vipers dating back to last season.
“It was a little surprising but definitely if you’re going to pick another team in the BCHL, it would be Penticton so I think it’s exciting,” said Soleway, who stands six-foot-three, 208-pounds.
Once given the news by Vipers coach-GM Jason Williamson, Soleway said he didn’t really know what to say. He was just relieved when he heard it was Penticton since he’s joining another strong organization.
Soleway is excited about helping the Vees win games and hopes to provide them with offense and a physical edge.
“I protect the puck well down low,” said Soleway, who skated with Wade Murphy and Louie Nanne in his first practice. “Move it out front and get good shots.”
Harbinson said the move was about shaking things up. Harbinson said he and his staff did everything they could think of to find the right fit for Dancs, 17, to succeed.
“We’re getting a little older player out of it, a little bigger,” said Harbinson. “That’s kind of what we were looking for. He’s a hard competitor. He’s another big body that can play the middle of the ice. Whenever we played against him he plays real hard and he’s just a physical specimen. I think he’s a guy that come playoff time … those are the kind of guys that step forward at that time of year.”
Once the Vees get Michael Rebry back, which Harbinson said is still unknown when that is, he will have versatile forwards he can interchange.
“I have learned to win championships that’s what you need,” said Harbinson. “We’re starting to build a lot of that right now.”
With Dancs, the Vipers had their eye on him for a while.
“We recruited him in the summer and we’re going to expect big things from him,” Williamson told the Vernon Morning Star. “He’s a big left-shot guy and we needed to add that to our lineup.”
Williamson has also witnessed first-hand that Dancs can play with an edge when necessary.
“He fought Pearce Eviston in one of the games we played this year,” said Williamson. “He’s a big power forward too, and he’s put up big numbers before. We plan to lean on him.”
As for parting with Soleway, Williamson said it was a most to benefit both sides and gives him a chance to get away from home and play.
Soleway will make his Vees debut against the Merritt Centennials on Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre. It’s a matchup that Harbinson said is a big game for them.
“Exciting to be in a critical game like that,” he said. “Nine points ahead of second-place Merritt, they have three games in hand on us.”
Vees notes: Former Vees Mario Lucia, playing for Notre Dame, and Mike Reilly for the University of Minnesota, were named to USA Hockey’s 27-man preliminary roster Tuesday for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Camp is scheduled for Dec. 16 to 18 in Tarrytown, New York … Lucia was also named the CCHA Rookie of the Week after scoring three goals against Lake Superior State as reported by the BCHL website.