Goodbye Mathieu Beaudoin and Zach Hamill.
Hello Peter LeBlanc and Casey Wellman.
Beadoin for LeBlanc:
A simple look at the statistics shows that the Bears may have upgraded here (a bit)...on the offensive end. Beaudoin had 3 goals and 7 assists in 32 games so far this season in Hershey. LeBlanc had 4 goals and 8 assists in 34 games with Rockford.
But last season LeBlanc led the IceHogs in goals with 24...so maybe he just needed minutes. This season the IceHogs had a bunch of guys that went straight to Chicago after the lockout so maybe that was keeping his top line minutes down. Who knows.
I don't really mind this too much. At worst it's trading depth for depth and at best the Bears get a scoring forward that isn't afraid to shoot.
Hamill for Wellman:
Based on Tim Leone's write-up about the trades this appears to be a move to clear some of the veteran presence on the team. Hamill qualified as a veteran-exempt player, the same as Patrick McNeill, so one veteran always had to sit. This will alleviate that issue.
If you remember last year the same thing happened when the Bears traded Danny Richmond around this time. As it turned out, injuries and recalls to Washington ended up making the veteran limit a none-issue. But maybe it is better to be safe then sorry and make the roster decisions easier.
(Side Note - maybe this summer Doug Yingst won't sign too many veterans and will instead learn from this problem that he has faced 2 straight seasons.)
But let's give it a chance and look at what the Bears gave up and what they get back.
First of all, Wellman isn't a veteran, so that is good.
Hamill was, in my opinion, one of Hershey's better forwards this year. He had 11 goals and 11 assists in 40 games, which put him 3rd in goals and 4th in points on the roster.
Wellman comes from San Antonio, where he had 7 goals and 16 assists in 37 games. Last season he scored 23 goals between Houston and Connecticut and was pretty close to a point-per-game player.
Wellman has taken 85 shots this season and has only converted on 8.2%, which is low when comparing to other top 6 forwards. Unfortunately, I don't believe I have access to those stats from 2011-12 to see what his shooting percentage was there, but my guess is that it was a little higher.
But for now let's just look at the 85 shots. As the new member of the Bears, he ranks....1st in shots on the season. The previous leader was...Zach Hamill with 84.
So based on their stats I would say this, like the trade for LeBlanc, is a 6 of one, half dozen of another kind of deal. At worst you are getting a player that will do what Hamill did and at best you might have found a guy willing to shoot a bit more.
Time will tell if these trades work out. I think LeBlanc is more of an offensive upgrade over Beaudoin than Wellman is over Hamill, but maybe both players put up good numbers the rest of the way. Hamill was having a career year so maybe Wellman can jump start his year a bit with the move.