Thursday, January 25, 2007

Port Huron shuffles roster, adds Vernarsky

Just past the midway point of the season, and on a five-game losing streak, the Port Huron Flags made several roster changes in an effort to get the momentum back on track.

Center Kris Vernarsky (pictured from his OHL days with the Plymouth Whalers) was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Hounds. Defenseman Josh Elzinga, a native of Illinois, was sent to the Hounds for Vernarsky, who was a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000. In 2002, he was traded to the Boston Bruins and made his NHL debut in 2003, scoring his first NHL goal within a month. Originally from Warren, Vernarsky is 6-feet-3, 210 pounds of offensive skill that will be highly valuable to the Flags forward line.

Additionally, goaltender Brad Smith was signed by the Flags, to spread out the puck-stopping responsibilities for the team. Another Detroit native, Smith started the season in the Central Hockey League, with the New Mexico Scorpions, where he made 256 saves in ten games.

“We’re bringing in Brad as a third goalie until everyone is healthy,” said head coach Stan Drulia. “We’ve heard good things about him and we’re going to see how he plays right away.”

Smith gets his first start in tomorrow’s road contest against the Flint Generals. Vernarsky is also expected to play this weekend.

Left wing T.J. Sakaluk was also waived this week.

Photo by Matt Mackinder


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