January 08, 2011
Teams making a trade just before they play is not unheard of, but just hours before they play?
It was a bit of a freaky Friday for goaltender Troy Passingham.
He began the day prepping for a Windsor-Sarnia game as a member of the Spitfires — then was dealt to the Sting along with a third-round selection for a fellow overage, defenceman Brent Sullivan and a fellow goalie, John Cullen.
It's not even the only goalie trade this year between two teams scheduled to play. Tonight, Frédéric Piché will make his first start for the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads against the Saint John Sea Dogs, less than 72 hours after being dealt for goalie Mathieu Corbeil. Anyway, with this Sarnia-Windsor deal, the logistics, shall we say, were creative. From Jim Parker:
"In a strange twist, Passingham actually travelled with the Spitfires Friday before joining the Sting.
" 'Just little weird,' Passingham said of the trip." (Windsor Star)
Riding to the game with your teammates-turned-opponents? Or in Cullen's and Sullivan's case, sitting and waiting in their now-former home arena waiting for their new team to arrive? That is nothing compared to what happened after the game, in which Passingham (pictured, obviously before the trade) helped the Sting win 9-4.
Terry Doyle told this story as he wrapped up his TV Cogeco Sarnia broadcast on Friday night. Bless him for telling it again in blog form:
"The most unique part of this story — Sullivan and Passingham, two of the players switching places in the trade, spent Friday night at the same billet house. Sullivan will pack up his gear on the weekend while Passingham will get settled in to his new surroundings. Two players who were never teammates, will be roommates. (Loose Pucks)
Hey, don't miss the point. They made it work. (Please click through for Doyle's punchline; it's too good to give away here.)
The upshot is there is a chance for good to come out of this for all three of the players. Early on this season, the betting was against Passingham, as an overage goalie who had lost the No. 1 job the previous season, sticking in major junior for the whole season. Sullivan's year was in jeopardy due to concussion concerns. Cullen, 19, finds himself on a team which might win a couple playoff series. It's all a rich tapestry.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.