Busy trade deadline for National Ringette League

Ottawa, Ontario - February 2, 2011 - Monday night was the National Ringette League’s trade deadline and it was a busy one this year with seven players and a number of 2011 draft picks changing hands.

In the Montreal Division, the Montreal Mission bolstered the middle of their lineup with the addition of centre Julie Primard from the Rive Sud Revolution. Primard, a 2007 Team Canada player, departs from Rive Sud as the team’s all time leader in games played (93), goals (134), assists (120) and points (254). Never before in the history of the league has a team parted ways with one of their all-time leaders through trade.

Joining Primard on the trip across the bridge to Montreal is forward Katherine Fallon-Simard who had not played for the Revolution so far this year, but is expected to join the Mission immediately.

Despite giving up arguably the best player ever to wear the Revolution jersey, Rive Sud is hardly throwing in the towel with this trade. The Revolution pick up forward Marie-Eve Demers who has 19 points in nine games this year and has scored at a 2.6 points per game clip in her NRL career. In addition to Demers, the Revolution also gain Karine Dube-Rochon, who, with 24 points in 17 games this year will bring the Revolution scoring from the defence position. Finally, and perhaps significantly, the Mission have also sent their first-round pick in the 2011 Montreal region draft to Rive Sud.

“We are very excited to be acquiring a player like Julie Primard,” said Mission head coach Pat Summers. “Julie gives us another weapon in the middle and the secondary scoring we think we are going to need as we make our playoff push this year. And Fallon-Simard gives us more depth up front. Of course, it will be difficult to part with Marie-Eve and Karine, but to pick up a player like Julie Primard you have to give up players that have real value.”

For his part, Rive Sud head coach Benoit Giguere is looking forward to the addition of two strong players in Demers and Dube-Rochon. “The NRL playoffs and the NRL championship tournament are often decided by depth, and this trade gives us great depth in the short term, as well as the chance to upgrade our team at the draft this summer,” said Giguere. “We hate to lose Julie Primard, and we wish her all the best in Montreal, but we are excited for how this trade positions us moving forward.”

In the Southern Ontario Division, the Waterloo Wildfire and the Whitby Wild made a two-for-one exchange of young players and of draft picks. Whitby has moved their 2010 second round pick, forward Tia Toko along with defender Lauren Borland, and their 2011 third and fourth round pick to the Waterloo Wildfire for forward Jodie Hannen and the Wildfire’s first round pick in 2011. In Hannen, the Wild pick up a player who scores at better than a point-a-game clip and who, at 22 years of age adds to the youthful core of players for the Wild. With a young player and a first round pick, the Wild continue to build a team with youth that will grow together, following the successful model of the Prairie Fire in the Western Conference.

The Wildfire have added to their youth with two young players and have added to their offensive firepower with this trade. Tia Toko who has 33 points in 20 games in this, her rookie season can help the Wildfire build upon an offence that ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference. Borland brings a solid defensive game to the Wildfire along with the ability to contribute offensively. Like the Revolution, the Wildfire also acquire two solid, young players adding to their depth for the playoff push and to their organizational depth for future years.

Gerry Kraemer, the manager of the Wildfire thinks that this trade can be a big help for the playoff push. “For the past two years we have won a playoff series and qualified for the NRL Championship tournament, but fallen short once we got there,” said Kraemer. “We think that part of the formula to taking the next step is to improve our depth. We have given up a very good player in Jodie Hannen, but we have also acquired two players that can step right into the playoff race and be major contributors.”

In other roster deadline activity, the BLL Nordiques signed goalie Marie-Helene Belzile, Gatineau Fusion signed Vanessa Lacroix to a regular contract after playing as an affiliate until this point, the Cambridge Turbos added Kaitlyn Richardson as an affiliate player, Ottawa Ice added Charlotte Dunlap as an affiliate player and the Cyclones de Quebec signed Caroline Olivier to a regular contract after previously being an affiliate with the team.

“The level of competition within our league is improving each season and teams want to secure a spot in the playoffs, so it is great to see teams trying to improve themselves at the trade deadline,” said Maurice Jean, NRL Eastern Conference commissioner. “This is good for the sport and it is good for the league.”

Trade deadline summary:
To Montreal:
F Julie Primard
D Katherine Fallon-Simard

To Rive Sud:
F Marie Eve Demers
D Karine Dube-Rochon
2011 first-round draft pick

To Whitby:
F Jodie Hannen
2011 first-round draft pick

To Waterloo:
F Tia Toko
D Lauren Borland
2011 third and fourth round draft pick