The talk on the NOOF and Fronts Talk is that grinder Kaine Geldart is coming home for his overage season. The Fronts have flipped the sixth overall choice in the CHL import draft to the Plymouth Whalers, and will get two draft choices in return. If it looks like a desperate attempt to squeak into the playoffs to convince people they're really trying (even though owner Doug Springer said last season the goal was "top four"), well, it is.
The Fronts typically make little use of the import draft since it requires Springer to do more than the bare minimum. Based on that alone, getting Geldart is a decent move. The Fronts sometimes don't value rounds 2-15 in the OHL Priority Selection, either, so it is just as well that GM-for-life Larry Mavety traded three draft choices for someone with only one year left in the league. Hey, a Frontenacs fan is nothing if not practical.
Geldart was a fan favourite with the Whalers and he should give the Fronts some badly needed jam up front. The trade might also answer questions about the status of the three potential overagers who were left at the end of the season.
(Update: Plymouth has put out a release.)
Geldart is 5-foot-9, 175 lbs, about the same size David Ling was in the early 1990s when he was perhaps the most popular player to ever lace 'em up forthe Fronts. He isn't a scorer like Linger was, but he's had glowing notices for intangibles:
"Silent off the ice, Geldart constantly chirps the opposition and receives the same treatment back. In spite of his size (he's listed at 5'9), Geldart will fight any opposing player. He forechecks as well as anyone in the league and adds his share of offense to the Whalers attack. Geldart is also a responsible defensive forward.The Frontenacs are lacking in scrappy grit quotient up front, save for one of the newest members of the New York Rangers organization, Ethan Werek. The Fronts generally have a smallish group of forwards, save for the Ethanator, whose wont is to outthink opposing d-men, although he is not averse to banging them up along the boards.
"Pound-for-pound, nobody is tougher in the OHL. Older Whalers fans might remember Mark Cadotte, who played in Plymouth from 1995-97 and is now working as a part-time assistant coach with the Windsor Spitfires. Geldart plays a similar style.
"The pot is always stirred up when Geldart is on the ice. Watch him away from the puck and you'll see." Pete Krupsky, Michigan Live, Oct. 30, 2008
Ultimately, Geldart is probably Doug Gilmour's kind of player. Meantime, he's an overager (a player born in 1989). Forward George Lovatsis and d-men Corbin Crawford and Zack Fenwick are the other 89s who were still in the Fronts' employ at the end of the season, so if Geldart is coming, one of them is not. Fenwick previously played NCAA Division 1 and he finished last season in the ECHL, if anyone is looking for smoke.
Granted, the Fronts could have also traded for Geldart just so they can release him and let him earn a championship ring with the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs. (Just kidding, not really.)