Team bolsters blue-line, holds on to Lagace
© Canadaeast News photo by Viktor Pivovarov
P.E.I. Rocket goalie Maxime Lagace makes a save against the Moncton Wildcats during the second period of QMJHL action at the Moncton Coliseum on Friday.
The asking price was too steep for the P.E.I. Rocket to add a forward Tuesday at the trade deadline.
President and governor Serge Savard Jr. told The Guardian, shortly after the trade window closed at 1 p.m. Atlantic, he decided to stand pat.
“We did try to get another forward at the last minute, but again it’s hard because it was always (Yan-Pavel) Laplante and (Alexis) Pépin,” he said of the asking price.
“I was not prepared to trade those two guys.”
One player who wasn’t traded was goaltender Maxime Lagace.
“We tried to move our goaltender,” Savard said. “The reality is the offers were not there. . . Now I have two No. 1s and they have to battle.”
Lagace will compete with Antoine Bibeau for time in the crease.
“I’m not unhappy about the situation. The Rocket is a good organization and they have a good team this year,” he said. “It’s going to be a big challenge for me and Bibeau. Obviously, both of us want to start. It’s going to be a fun second half of the season.”
Savard did bolster the blue-line with the addition of Anthony Cortese and Troy Vance. Cortese has already suited up for the Rocket and Vance will get his first chance Thursday when the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada come to town for a 7 p.m. game.
Lagace said he liked the trades to help solidify the backend to go with the firepower the team has up front. “I think we have all the assets to succeed in the other half of the season,” he said.
Laplante is expected back in February after suffering a shoulder injury this summer while playing with Team Canada at the under-18 Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament.
“He’s going to (have) a big, big impact for us,” Savard said.
He is also excited to have players, who participated in international competitions, return to the lineup.
“We haven’t seen the full potential of this lineup.”