Thursday, October 14, 2010

Americans shuffle their deck

The Tri-City Americans have been busy.
For starters, they acquired D Zak Stebner, 20, from the Calgary Hitmen for a third-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft.
That left them with five 20-year-olds, two over the maximum, so they then placed F Mike Brown and G Alex Pechurskiy on waivers.
Later, they released D Nikita Kardashev, an 18-year-old Russian who was selected in the 2010 import draft but never played a game in the WHL, and re-assigned D Riley Guenther, 16, to the midget AAA Calgary Northstars.
By day’s end, the Americans were down to 24 players, including two goaltenders and 15 forwards. Their 20-year-olds are Stebner, F Kruise Reddick and D Tyler Schmidt.
Stebner, 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, was a healthy scratch Wednesday as the Hitmen beat the Winterhawks 5-1 in Portland. Calgary chose to go with F Tyler Fiddler, F Kris Foucault and F Misha Fisenko as its 20-year-olds.
Stebner is joining his fifth WHL team. He was selected by the Red Deer Rebels in the second round of the 2005 bantam draft and also has played for the Prince Albert Raiders and Kamloops Blazers. He is expected to play Tuesday when the Hitmen visit the Americans. Those teams met in the WHL’s championship final last spring.
Brown, who was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos in January, has 56 points and 252 penalty minutes in 171 games. This season, he had six points in eight games.
Pechurskiy, who was picked up in the 2009 CHL import draft, was 13-10-0-1, 2.61, .912 last season. A draft pick of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, he got into one NHL game last season when he came on in relief one Saturday night in Vancouver against the Canucks.
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