Several Announcements from @theXHL’s Toronto Fire: Trades and Uniforms!
by Kelly Thomas Reardon
It has been a busy off season thus far for the Toronto franchise. First came the announcement that the team woukd be renamed and rebranded in order to signify an end to the St. Pat’s nefarious history. The team name and logo were announced.
Then came word of the first trade of the offseason. Toronto sent their 1st round pick in the 2012 XHL draft to the Los Angeles Speed Kings for LW Andrew Ladd, C Gilbert Brule, the rights to RFA D Kris Russell and LA’s 2nd round draft pick in the 2011 XHL draft. GM Kelly Reardon had the following to say about the trade in a press release:
“The Fire are pleased to announce the acquisition of Andrew Ladd, Gilbert Brule, Kris Russell and a 2nd round pick this year.
“While sending our first round pick next year was a difficult decision, we do not plan on that pick being a high selection next year as we expect to make a deep playoff run. But we are okay with losing our pick in order to obtain players like Laddy, Brule and Rusty. We know Laddy struggled to find a place with his team last year, but we expect our offseason regimine (rerate) will help him be a productive player on our team. Brule had a great season in the MHL, and we expect him to compete for a spot on our pro team. Russell as well had a great MHL season and we expect him to make that next step and be on our pro club.”
This was a great move by the Fire to bring in a handful of players that could all potentially impact their pro club, but they weren’t finished yet. Days later, the Fire acquired the rights to Greensboro Swordsmen RFA D Joni Pitkanen for LA’s 2011 2nd round pick (acquired in the trade above) and farm center Andreas Nodl. GM Reardon had the following to say:
“Making the choice to send off Andreas Nodl was difficult. Nodl was in our future plans, but given the chance to acquire an outstanding defensemen like Joni while giving up no pro-ready players and having the ability to sign him long term at under open market prices is a no-brainer for us. We look forward to what Joni will bring to the table this fall.”
When looking on the Fire’s moves in combination, you can see that the Fire are in “win now” mode. The have sent away their 1st round pick in 2012, LA’s 2nd round pick this year, and Andres Nodl for a return of Andrew Ladd, Gilbert Brule, Kris Russell and Joni Pitkanen. Losing two draft picks and a farm player for four potential difference makers at the pro level is a great trade off.
The Fire will also be looking to announce their plans for sponsorships, TV & radio deals, etc. in the very near future.
The final announcement today has to do with the Fire’s new uniforms. The design was finalized and we are pleased to present them to you now. We tried to keep the designs very simple, in a classic style.