@theXHL’s Toronto Fire Announce TV, Radio & Corporate Sponsorship and More Trades!

by Kelly Thomas Reardon

The Toronto Fire are pleased to announce that the start of the 2011-2012 XHL season will usher in the beginning of the Fire Hockey Network (FHN). FHN will consist of our own national television & radio network that will feature ALL Fire & Sparks (the Fire’s farm team, more on that later) games. FHN will be your one and only stop for all things Fire & Sparks hockey. Finally, on the corporate route, Tim Horton’s has joined in as our sole corporate sponsor for the 2011-2012 XHL season. You can look forward to all sorts of great deals, specials and contests thanks to Tim Horton’s.

Now that all the corporate tool stuff is out of the way, let’s catch up on all the deals that your Toronto Fire have made recently.

On Tuesday, the Fire made two trades, both involving their top goalies, much to the surprise of all. First came a deal with New Jersey, acquired LW Antoine Vermette, G Alex Auld and New Jersey’s third round pick this year for G Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers and Toronto’s 5th round pick this year. GM Kelly Reardon had the following to say: “Like several trades this season, pulling the trigger on sending away fan favorite and great talent like JDD is difficult to do. We feel that we got an equivalent talent in Alex [Auld] as well as his more well rounded experience. In addition, picking up Antoine Vermette to help bolster our LW corps as well as moving up in the draft made letting go of JDD easier to stomach.”

Mere hours later, Reardon pulled the trigger on yet another trade involving the goalie that finished the season as their starter, Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was sent to Pittsburgh and the Fire acquired RW Milan Michalek in return. Reardon said after the trade was officially announced that he “wishes Marty the best, and we thank him for his service to the team last year.” Reardon also added that “Marty was a class act throughout this process and the only reason we wanted to shop him was that his inflated salary did not work in our plans this offseason.” Reardon finished with saying that “Michalek has a great opportunity and a huge opening to earn not only a spot on the pro club, but a role in the top 6.”

Also on Tuesday, GM Reardon announced that the Fire’s farm team, the Syracuse Crush, are being relocated back to Toronto and will be renamed the Sparks. Reardon said this move was to keep with the tradition of Toronto’s professional and farm teams staying in the same city together.