By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "
The Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection is set for Saturday April 6th and prior to the Priority Selection, the trade windows open up and teams can exchange draft picks beyond the first round selections.
All of which brings us to the story of " The Floating Fourth Rounder "......try to follow along.
Let's start by going back to August 10th, 2018.
Thinking they needed goaltending depth, the Owen Sound Attack acquired Nathan Torchia, the son of former Kitchener Ranger great Mike Torchia, from the Oshawa Generals in exchange for a " conditional " 7th round draft pick in 2020 that previously belonged to the North Bay Battalion.
The " condition " was that if Nathan Torchia was with the Attack by a certain date, probably January of 2019, then that 7th round pick from North Bay would be elevated and would become Owen Sound's 4th round pick in 2020.
Nathan Tochia was the back up for Mack Guzda on Opening Night at Barrie and never set foot in the Attack crease during a 9-2 slaughter at the hands of the Colts.
The Attack, believing that Andrew MacLean was a better fit as a netminding partner for Guzda, promptly released Torchia long before the upgraded conditional aspect of the pick would kick in for Oshawa.
Are you with me ?
Two months later on November 28th, Oshawa acquired overage Anthony Salinitri from the Sarnia Sting in exchange for three draft picks INCLUDING Owen Sound's 4th in 2020.
No one; not the Attack, not the Generals, not the Sting nor the OHL, caught the transaction which appears to have Oshawa peddling a pick they didn't actually have possession of.
It gets nuttier......
On the OHL Trade Deadline, January 10th, Sarnia acquired Anthony Tabak from the Sudbury Wolves in exchange for a package that included, you guessed it, Owen Sound's 4th in 2020.
Somewhere, somebody clued in that Owen Sound's 4th round pick in 2020 had been dealt twice by teams that technically didn't have the rights to that pick as the Attack view it.
So now, unless something has been revised or altered, Sudbury has possession of a draft pick that isn't theirs, a pick they received from Sarnia who also didn't rightfully have possession, a pick the Sting got from Oshawa who really didn't have the right to peddle it in the first place and the Attack sit screaming for a return of their 4th rounder next year, or for some form of compensation to make up for the miscue.
What a mess !!
I'm Fred Wallace