At 19, Dane Crowley is a veteran in the Western Hockey League and used to all the player movement that comes just before the trade deadline each January.
Still, he admits he was shocked when he found out last week just hours before the deadline that he was moving 919 miles from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, to Everett.
"It was a bit hard to take at first," Crowley admitted. "It wasn't like I asked for a trade or anything, so it was totally unexpected. I don't know of anybody who has been traded who was totally excited to go at first."
What did excite Crowley was going from a Swift Current team with 24 wins to the Silvertips, who have the best record in the league at 34-7-0-1.
"Every kid in Canada dreams of going to a Memorial Cup and winning one," Crowley said. "The talent level here is so high it's like comparing the NHL [National Hockey League] to the AHL [American Hockey League]."
Crowley is a responsible 6-foot-3, 208-pound defender brought in for his defense and toughness. He is a good skater who scored his first goal in an Everett uniform in only his second game.
34-7-0-1, first in the U.S. Division and best in the Western Hockey League.
Last week: The Silvertips lost to Portland 3-1 at home on Friday and then won 5-2 in Portland on Saturday.
This week: The Silvertips face a big weekend. They play the Vancouver Giants at home on Friday, travel to Kennewick to play the second place Tri-City Americans on Saturday and then play at Vancouver on Sunday.
Star of the week: Zach Hamill had a goal and two assists last week and leads the team with 52 points.
Who's hot: Moises Gutierrez had two goals and an assist in Saturday's win over Portland and leads the team with 23 goals.
Rankings this week: For the sixth straight week, the Silvertips are ranked first in the 56-team Canadian Hockey League in a poll of NHL scouts released Jan. 10. Everett is also ranked first in the WHL in a poll of newspaper writers who cover the league.
Quote of the week: "When the game is over, it's not all that important in the big scheme of things." — Everett coach Kevin Constantine after Portland beat Everett 3-1 and ended the Silvertips' 17-game home winning streak. The loss drops the Silvertips to 19-1-0-1 at the Everett Events Center this season.
— Jim Riley
Crowley is still adjusting to the precise systems employed by the Silvertips but feels they are a perfect fit for his game.
"In Swift, I could kind of do my own thing," Crowley said. "Here it's more of a team game and about making the right plays at the right time. I was afraid to make a mistake at first, but now I think the system will fit me and my game very well."
Ironically, earlier this season when Everett played in Swift Current, Crowley ended up fighting Silvertip defenseman Taylor Ellington. The two are now linemates.
"It wasn't that good of a fight, and we can laugh about it now," Crowley said. "I don't think either one of us even landed a punch. It was a case where we were losing 6-0 and I figured I might as well do something. I looked across and saw Ellington and asked him if he wanted to go. I didn't realize that's the only fight he's been in this year."
Crowley's move to Everett marks the second time he has been traded.
He began his career in Saskatoon, where he had the chance to play a few games with younger brother Troy Crowley.
"Last year I was pretty much devastated when I got traded, but I ended up logging 30 minutes in ice time and getting drafted," Crowley said. "It ended up being a positive move, but it was really hard at first."
Crowley, who grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was invited to attend the Tampa Bay rookie camp before this season. He had three points in three games to earn an invitation to the main camp.
"I was pretty star struck when I got there," Crowley said.
"Hopefully I can go back next season and sign a contract."
Game time change
The Silvertips game at Vancouver on Sunday has been moved ahead one hour because it will be nationally televised in Canada on Rogers Sportsnet. The game will now start at 4 p.m.
Rogers Sportsnet is not available in the United States.
Ellington, Hamill set for prospects game
Taylor Ellington and Zach Hamill will both play in the top-prospects game tonight in Quebec City, Quebec.
National Hockey League scouts select the top 40 players in the Canadian Hockey League to participate, and Hamill and Ellington will actually be playing against each other in the game.
Hamill will play for a team coached by Pat Burns and Michel Bergeron, and Ellington will play for a team coached by Scotty Bowman and Jacques Demers.
The game also will be televised on Rogers Sportsnet.
Team Canada wins curling competition
Without a game scheduled until Friday in Vancouver, the Silvertips took Monday off from practice to do a little team building.
Sides were chosen for a curling match in Seattle, with Team Canada edging Team USA in the bonspiel.