Caps have lots of irons in the fire

Jason Simmonds
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As Jan. 10 roster deadline looms

SUMMERSIDE – It will be a busy two days for Summerside Western Capitals general manager Pat McIver as the Jan. 10 roster deadline looms.

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McIver is looking to bolster the Caps’ roster for what he hopes is a deep playoff run in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) leading up to the 2013 RBC Cup in Summerside from May 11 to 19. The Capitals are the host team for the Canadian junior A hockey championship tournament.

“We’re pretty happy with our team right now, but if we can improve in any area we are going to,” said McIver. “We just have to wait and see what becomes available, and what we can do. We are willing to do whatever we can to get better, that’s for sure.”

The Caps, who take a seven-game winning streak into Friday’s game at Campbellton, sit atop the MHL’s overall standings at 26-6-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses).

The Caps, who have played three more games, are three points ahead of the Eastlink Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (25-1-0) while the Truro Bearcats, who are hosting the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey championship tournament, are at 21-6-0-3. The Amherst Ramblers (20-8-3-1), winners of seven of their last 10 games, have suddenly closed to within one point of Truro.

“We’re looking to improve for sure,” said McIver. “We have lots of irons in the fire.

“We’re pretty happy with our team right now, but if we can improve in any area we are going to. We just have to wait and see what becomes available, and what we can do. We are willing to do whatever we can to get better, that’s for sure.” Capitals general manger Pat McIver

“It’s been a more difficult year (to make deals). There seems to be more buyers than sellers, especially within our own league.

“We haven’t been able to do very much in our own league, and that makes it a little more difficult because you are dealing with imports and things like that.”

Teams can sign up to 23 players by Thursday’s 10 p.m. deadline. McIver confirmed the Caps currently have 21 players signed and four open cards.

“If we use all four cards, we would have to release a couple of guys,” said McIver.

Teams also have until Feb. 10 to sign players who are not on a card on Jan. 10. Would McIver like to keep a card open in case someone becomes available before that deadline?

“We would definitely consider that, but we will wait and see what we are able to do within the next two days,” he answered. “We have had lots of discussions with teams. We feel we are close on a couple of things, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

The Caps' next home game at Eastlink Arena is against the Dartmouth, N.S.-based Metro Shipbuilders on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League, RBC, Capitals Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Summerside, Campbellton

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