Though his team just swept three straight games against the Wenatchee Wild and moved within seven points of first place in the Mainland division, Chilliwack Chiefs general manager Jason Tatarnic says he won’t be making any moves prior to the Jan. 10 trade deadline.
“I’m done, completely done and I’ve told everyone we’re not doing anything,” Tatarnic said. “You don’t have to phone the Chilliwack Chiefs during the deadline.”
At 24-9-5-0, Tatarnic’s crew has the fourth highest win percentage (.697) in the league, behind Penticton (.819), Wenatchee (.789) and the Victoria Grizzlies (.743).
They are clearly one of the BCHL’s top teams.
Of Wenatchee’s 10 losses this season, four have come at the hands of the Chilliwack, which bodes well for the playoff showdown that everyone assumes is coming.
Tatarnic may not have been tempted to beef up his roster when they were 13 points out of first.
But Chilliwack’s last three games presented a solid argument to ‘go for it.’
“We think we have a shot this year, as numerous teams do, and we think we have a shot next year too,” Tatarnic said. “You could say we need one more impact forward, but maybe that’s Jake Smith who seems to have stepped up his game.”
“We just did what we did against Wenatchee without Kale Kane in our lineup, so maybe you consider him an addition?”
“There’s temptation to do something, but it’s at a cost.”
Tatarnic made a significant move just before the Christmas break, signing center Ben Fanjoy away from the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa Gee Gees.
“He was probably our big deadline move,” Tatarnic said. “And he came here with no consequence in terms of players going the other way.”
“I like our team with the addition of Fanjoy. I’m comfortable with it going forward this year and our core is still going to be here for next year.”
Coach T made his final move to round out the roster earlier this week, signing junior B skater Wyatt Elmer.
Elmer collected four goals and 11 points in 15 outings with the Grandview Steelers of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League,
Tatarnic said the 17 year old Delta native really wanted to be a Chief and played two games as an affiliate player earlier this season.
“He skates well and he has skill and he can cause trouble on the forecheck,” Tatarnic said. “Once he gets comfortable with the pace of our game I think he can make an impact.”
“And the big thing with him is it’s been a dream of his to be a Chilliwack Chief, so you know the motivation is there.”
The Chiefs have a one-game weekend ahead, hosting the Langley Rivermen (16-14-5-2) Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Prospera Centre.
Langley’s 14 points behind Chilliwack in the division, but they’ve given the Chiefs trouble in head to head matchups.
The most recent meeting, on Dec. 14, saw the Rivermen skate away with a 9-4 win.
“They gave it to us pretty good last time out, they play hard, they’re a good team and they’re making a push,” Tatarnic said. “They could be a playoff opponent for us, and I think from this point forward the intensity is going to be revved up a bit because there is that possibility you might see them in the first round.”