Rebels Trade Mihalik to Cougars

The Prince George Cougars are reporting the Red Deer Rebels have traded Tampa Bay first rounder Vladimir Mihalik to the Cougars in exchange for a 4th round Bantam selection in 2008. The move comes weeks after a writer for the [i]Red Deer Advocate[/i] speculated Rebels Coach Brent Sutter did not want the 6'8", 234-pound defenseman back with the team. Mihalik had 3 goals and 9 assists in 62 games last year with Red Deer, his first season in North America. Prince George was the recent home of Lightning first rounder (2004) Andy Rogers.

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Better location?

The Cougars were a better team than Red Deer last season. Is this a better place for Mihalik? Or will he have to compete more for ice time?

Hmmm....

He should be better off in terms of ice time. By my count, there are three defensemen leaving the team, including Rogers, this year. Wishart, a first rounder of the Sharks over the weekend, remains. That leaves them with 6 and a first rounder potentially in the import draft Wednesday. Two of the six are rookies and only three total of the six are draft picks. So, he should see a lot of time at least as a second pair guy. With Wishart there, he won't be "the man" on D, but would do well to learn from him. What I don't like about this is the fact he fell out of favor with Sutter. Of course, so did Blair Jones and look what he did after leaving Red Deer. Also, Sutter has traded a bunch of guys off last year's non-playoff team. However, Sutter is known - as all Sutters are - for their tough, physical teams. Mihalik's development was ideal there in that sense. What I also don't like is he was dealt for what appears to be so little. An NHL first rounder should be going for more than a mid-round draft pick.

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