Vancouver Giants trade top blueliner, ‘good soldier’ David Musil to Edmonton Oil Kings
Deal brings in rugged defenceman Mason Geertsen, 2013 first-round bantam pick
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Giants kicked their rebuilding program up another notch Wednesday when they dealt marquee defenceman David Musil to the Edmonton Oil Kings for 17-year-old blueliner Mason Geertsen and a 2013 first-round bantam selection.
Musil, 19, was in his fourth season with the Giants. He is an Edmonton Oilers draft pick, taken in the second round in 2011.
Geertsen is listed at 6-4 and 203 pounds and is a native of Rocky Rapids, Alta. He is expected to be in the Giants lineup Thursday when the team faces the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Giants are coming off a 4-3 shootout win in Lethbridge.
“When you trade a player like David, or a Craig Cunningham, these are not easy deals to make,” said Giants general manager Scott Bonner. “You have a lot of sleepless nights and you think about the positives and negatives. But we've avoided doing supposed rebuilds for a very long time and I think if we ever want to get back to having teams that are contending for championships, it was a necessary step.”
At 4-10-0-0, the Giants currently sit dead last in the Western Hockey League standings and weren't going anywhere this season even with Musil in their lineup. Bonner said a trade had been in the works for weeks but that Edmonton was reluctant to surrender Geertsen, a first-round bantam pick (18th overall) in 2010.
“We've been tinkering back and forth for three weeks about it and Mason was a player we wanted in the deal,” Bonner explained. “Edmonton wasn't keen on moving him but the only way the deal was going to get done was if Mason was in it. So that's probably what took the most time, getting them to move the particular player we received. The first-round pick was always part of the deal.”
Bonner has been determined to remake the Giants into a bigger, meaner team and he figures that Geertsen will fit right in.
“He's very rugged, he's a tough kid and he's huge,” Bonner continued. “I think we've talked about it since August that we're trying to get back to our former identity, which worked the best for us. We're trying to become a rugged team again and make it more uncomfortable for opposing teams to come into our building.
“I think Mason, hopefully, can give us some of what Mark Fistric gave us when he joined our franchise years ago.”
Geertsen joins the Giants with 52 WHL career games on his resume, no goals, seven assists and 104 penalty minutes. This season, he is 0-4-4 in 15 appearances with 32 PIMs. Musil departs with 206 games played in a Giants uniform. He collected 21 goals and 71 assists and was Vancouver's top penalty killer and key shutdown defenceman.
“In fairness to David, he's been a very good soldier with our team for four years now and if there was a deal I could make with Edmonton, which owns his NHL rights, that was a priority,” Bonner said. “David has been a pleasure to have and he's been one of the best defencemen in the history of the franchise. He carries himself like a professional.”
G-NOTES: Injured Giant forwards Cain Franson (concussion-like symptoms) and Thomas Foster (shoulder) will not join the team on the trip that concludes with weekend games in Kootenay and Tri-Cities … Marek Tvrdon is on a nine-game points streak (five goals and 10 assists).
On Twitter: Twitter.com/elliottpap
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun