Bobcats clear roster space

Chris Roberts/Courtesy of

The McNamara twins’ – Liam and Mitch – cup of coffee with the Lloydminster Bobcats ended on Tuesday, as the team announced they had been traded to the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.
The twins came to the Bobcats at last year’s trade deadline, in exchange for former captain Casey Knight, who went to Spruce Grove.
Liam scored once and added two assists in 15 games, while Mitch went pointless in 11 games.

Surely, a much more productive year from the twins was to be expected in 2013-14, but the ‘Cats have an abundance of similar players, skill-wise and especially in terms of age.
“They fall into a group of 1993- and 1994-born players that the Lloydminster Bobcats have an abundance of,” explained the team’s head coach and general manager Garry VanHereweghe, adding that the team currently has 19 players who will be 19 years of age and older.

Since he took over as the team’s general manager following the 2012-13 season, VanHereweghe’s mandate has been to build a younger, more competitive team.
The team has nine 20-year-olds, at least three of which he has to move before the season begins to get down the maximum of six 20-year-olds. And not only will that be taken care of, but VanHereweghe is even looking beyond this year.
“This year we would have 12 19-year-olds, that means next year there would be another six 20-year-olds that would come into play in relation to having to be moved based on age.”

Mitch and Liam have played their whole lives on the same team, and will get to do that again in Portage, who will be hosting the 2015 RBC Cup.
“They’re both very good players, especially defensively,” lamented VanHereweghe. “They’re responsible, hard-working kids that were great in the community, but unfortunately if we didn’t deal with it this year we’d be dealing with it next year.”

VanHereweghe expects more trades in the coming weeks as the team looks to trim their roster to fit under the AJHL’s roster requirements.“Absolutely there’s going to be more trades. There has to be.”

Thus far, it has been recruiting that has taken up much of the general manager’s time this off-season, and it has yielded positive results according to VanHereweghe.
In addition to attracting players from the area, VanHereweghe said that the team also has a hand in British Columbia, and hopes to sign a couple kids from there.
“And in all likelihood,” he added. “I would say there’s the potential of possibly an American or even two Americans playing on this team. We’ll definitely be younger, a little more skilled offensively, and a little more speed.”