The Saskatoon Blades are set to return to Sasktel Centre when they host the Red Deer Rebels Friday evening.
The Blades are returning home with a different look on the roster sheet since its last home game on Sept. 30.
The team issued a media statement Thursday announcing that winger Micheal Farren was traded to the Kelowna Rockets for a 2020 third- round draft pick under unusual circumstances.
“Michael (Farren) texted me Monday morning to let me know he wasn’t satisfied with his role on the team and would be flying home to await a trade,” Blades general manager Colin Priestner said in a media release.
That news came just over a week after the team released 20-year-old Bradly Goethals prior to acquiring fellow overager Brandon Shuldhaus from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a 2020 second-round draft pick and a 2019 fifth-round pick.
“When you have a couple guys that want to play in the top six and there’s no top-six role that night available to them, then that’s their prerogative to want out,” Priestner said during a phone interview Friday.
“It is tough when you have a good team that sometimes you’ve got a lot of good players and those players have to accept they’re not going to be playing on Kirby Dach’s line every night or on the number one powerplay unit.”
Farren signed with the Blades as a 16-year-old, spending the last two seasons with the team. During 133 career games with the Blades, Farren tallied 20 goals and 57 points.
Priestner understands where Farren was coming from in demanding a trade, but couldn’t agree with him when it came to on-ice usage.
“He was playing powerplay, penalty kill and was in our top nine on a good veteran line that was a very good role on a good team,” Priestner said. “But not everybody’s perception of the role they desire and the role they have are the same.”
Farren is a native of Surrey, B.C., so returning closer to home was a factor after he and his father asked for a trade a multiple times over the summer, according to Priestner.
In Goethals case, he was released after going unclaimed on 20-year-old waivers.
Saskatoon will look to improve its 6-2-0-0 record during a five-game home stand without two of its stalwarts from a season ago.
The situation was simply laid out in Priestner’s eyes.
“We had two guys definitely that thought that they were ahead of where they were playing in the bottom six, and they thought they were entitled to play higher up in the lineup.”
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Chris Vandenbreekel.