Saturday, January 03, 2004

The mystery players benched in last night's Brahmas-Bats game -- it's not like it didn't happen so everyone could see -- were Mike Olynyk and Darryl McArthur. The issue was apparently their failure to stick up for Hughes. Not sure Hughesy needs a bodyguard, but hey, on a team that has yet to win four games in a row all year, any shake-up is an option.

To wit -- it's no secret the Bats have an extra d-man, and it's not hard to figure out which two guys are candidates to move. Greenlaw is offering up one or the other of them to opposing coaches, something that would likely work out to a fifth or sixth defenseman for third-line forward swap.

Which is all well and good and necessary, but is there any chance of thinking bigger? A year ago, McArthur was an all-star. Two years ago, Daniel Tetrault was. Neither are near that level at the moment. They're still good players who could yet be important to Austin's playoff run, but there's no guarantee.

So what if one of them gets you Odessa's John Bossio, a former 40-goal man who is said to be available and had lots of jump against the Bats on Tuesday? Or consider this: Wichita and Tulsa both have fewer standings points than the Bats, yet both the Thunder and the Oilers have four forwards with double-figure goals. The Bats have one. A top defenseman for a top four forward? Value for value, and need for need.

I know it's really, really hard to match up salaries and vet status and immigration to make big trades in this league. But Greenlaw has already moved three of the six new players he brought in, and a fourth is on the bubble. More games like last night and he'll have to look at the established guys.
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