Cory Emmerton should have an easy transition from the Kingston Frontenacs to the Brampton Battalion -- he's used to playing in front a couple thousand people disguised as empty seats.
The deal that went down between the Fronts and Battalion is about what one has come to expect during 666 games (you could look it up) that Kingston fans' emotions have been held hostage by owner Doug Springer's rudderless regime.
First off, GM-for-life Larry Mavety got forwards instead of a goalie or some D, which is what Kingston has been lacking. Meantime, you have a team with sagging attendance and terrible draft record, so you deal your one marquee player for two merely serviceable forwards and five draft choices spread across the next three years?
(Can anyone answer with authority if Kingston's own Jordan Mayer, still waiting for the Soo Greyhounds to deal him, would want to play for his hometown team?)
Talk about déjà vu all over again: With the picks the Frontenacs are getting, they'll likely have one of the first five selections in the 2008 OHL draft and four of the first 45. It shapes up like a rerun of '05, when the Fronts had the No. 4 overall pick and four of the first 51. Two and a half seasons later, none of those four guys are playing in Kingston. None are impact players in the OHL.
The odds of that happening again, unless on the off-chance Springer sells the team in the next few months or at least brings in new management, are pretty damn good.
There is no nice way to say that Springer doesn't seem to understand what it takes to draft players and convince them to come to the Frontenacs. In any other work environment, people will take advantage of it when they know what the boss doesn't know. With the Fronts, there's no incentive to get smarter about drafting, since anyone can figure out that the team is just about equity for Doug Springer, who doesn't give a damn about the emotional stock the remaining fans put into it.
If Springer did care about the hockey side, he'd have a wiser GM, who would have got more for Emmerton. Fans' first inclination would be to believe those draft choices will pan out for the Fronts, not whatever Provincial Junior A team the players decide to decamp to rather than report to Kingston.
Between Springer evidently not trying to get better results and all the damning word-of-mouth about the Frontenacs that is spreading through the gossipy hockey world, it's really hard to say this deal will do much for the team in the long run.
That's not meant as a knock on the players coming, left wing Justin Levac and centre Thomas Middup. Let's face it, though, tweaking the lineup of this Fronts team is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Incidentally, remember the Fire Larry Mavety blog that some Fronts fans have started? It appears they've changed the name to Sell The Fronts, Springer. They won't get a lot of disagreement from the diehards.
Brampton wins Emmerton sweepstakes (Terry Doyle, loosepucks.com)
Emmerton to Brampton (Fronts Talk)
Literary event listings: Feb. 20–26, 2017
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