Thursday, May 28, 2009

Smokies trade Reardon for Lidster, Zmurchyk to Merritt

(Lidster and Reardon)

The Trail Smoke Eaters have made a deal with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Trail sent 1990 born defenceman Jayson Reardon to the Silverbacks for big 1989 born forward Colin Lidster. Lidster is listed at 6'4 and 225lbs. He's committed to play for Quinnipiac after next season so perhaps he and fellow future Quinnipiac star Travis St. Denis can get to know each other pretty well and develop some chemistry over this season.

My first impression is that Lidster is a player with a lot of potential who can contribute more than he has offensively if he's given a bigger opportunity to do it. In talking to Lidster today he also believes that he has a lot more to offer, but it's up to him to play with more consistency and emotion game in and game out.

Of note, Lidster is the son of former Vancouver Canuck Doug Lidster.

As for Reardon, he had some rookie struggles like everyone else on the team. However, Jayson really improved his play and decision making as the season progressed. He's a strong and physical player who is at his best when he's throwing his body around. Reardon didn't do much offensively last year, but he will be a strong stay at home option for the Silverbacks.

He's also got a big shot that we didn't see enough of in Trail. Reardon will drop the mits to stand up for the boys as well. Backs fans will like what they see when he throws that purple uniform on. He's a quiet but hard working, classy player. Reardon also has a lot of potential to become a real force in the BCHL. He'll get an opportunity to do that closer to home in Salmon Arm. Good luck Jayson!

Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram will join me on Mountain FM's Overtime tonight to discuss the deal. Lidster will be on the show tomorrow night. We're on from 6pm to 10pm at 104.1 FM in Trail. I'll have more information and analysis later.



The Smokies also shipped 1990 born defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk to Merritt as the future considerations in the Scott Jacklin trade. Check out Brian's post on the Making Cents blog. Zmurchyk also didn't contribute much offensively as a rookie defenceman, but the Fernie native showed a lot of improvement especially late in the season. The biggest difference in Jeff from October to February appeared to be confidence. Once he got some of it his game improved tremendously. Zmurchyk is a very smooth skater who has a good first pass and made smart, simple decisions when he was playing well. He's never put up a ton of points whether it's with Trail or with Fernie in the KIJHL. Jeff generally seems to lean towards making the safe play rather than taking a risk.

The 19 year old showed his versatility when the Smokies were battling some injury concerns and Zmurchyk was able to move up and play forward. He showed a lot of battle and grit when playing up front. While Zmurchyk didn't seem to have a lot of finish around the net, he caused some havoc and created a lot of chances.

I think Jeff will be a calming presence on the Merritt blue line and someone who will benefit from some additional responsibility in a new setting. He's got a year under his belt and he'll be a reliable member of the Cents. Good luck Jeff!

Zmurchyk and Reardon were usually two of the quieter players on the bus rides, but they're both class acts. They're not flashy players but I think both Salmon Arm and Merritt should be confident they're getting players who will get the job done.

I've heard word that the Smokies have a lot of very interesting new defencemen coming to camp in August. There won't be any shortage of options available when trying to replace Jeff and Jayson come fall. I've heard a few names but I'll leave any talk about those players specifically to the team.

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