Cowichan Capitals coach Vandekamp anticipating quiet trade deadline

Now the Caps’ captain, Cruz Cote was added at the BCHL trade deadline last January. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Mike Vandekamp doesn’t expect to be too busy leading up to the B.C. Hockey League trade deadline this Friday.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals’ head coach and general manager hasn’t made many transactions this season, and he anticipates that will continue.

“I don’t like making moves,” he explained. “The best seasons I’ve been involved in had minimal movement.”

The Caps last appeared on the BCHL’s transaction wire when they made a couple of moves in late September, getting defenceman Nolan Barrett from the Prince George Spruce Kings for forward Kolton Cousins, and shipping Josh Kagan to the Merritt Centennials (Kagan is now with the Nanaimo Clippers) and Christophe Sauvageau to the Rockland Nationals of the Central Canada Hockey League, both in exchange for future considerations.

They also added winger John Lundy in late November. Forward Kobe Verbicky and blueliner Cody Stockton were signed in the fall and both played a handful of games before their statuses were changed to AP.

“We’ve stayed with the same bunch,” Vandekamp acknowledged. “The guys are working hard and coming together.”

The Caps are in a good position to add bodies, with cards still available at the deadline, but it’s not that easy. Sixteen out of 17 teams make the playoffs, so few clubs are interested in offloading veterans, and there aren’t assets like draft picks or protected players that teams can trade away.

“All those things come together to make making moves a little more challenging,” Vandekamp said.

The Caps made some big moves at last year’s deadline, bringing on goalie Pierce Diamond, who turned into a playoff hero and centre Cruz Cote, who is now the team’s captain, as well as depth forward Lach Hadley, but that team was sitting near the bottom of the league standings, and this year’s edition is among the top clubs. Tinkering with the roster might not be worth it.

“We do have needs,” Vandekamp said. “But there’s also the whole aspect of chemistry and loyalty to the guys who are already here. We’re not just making changes for the sake of making them.”

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