Today’s GameWHO: Florida Everblades vs. South Carolina StingraysWhen: 7:05 p.m.Where: North Charleston ColiseumTickets: 744-2248
When making a trade, coaches in the ECHL prefer to deal with teams outside their division, preferably with clubs outside their conference.
So when South Carolina Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery decided to trade forward Matthew Pistilli to the Florida Everblades for Matt Beca, he admits he was a little hesitant to make the deal.
For the second time this season, Beca will be facing his old team when the Stingrays take on Florida tonight at the North Charleston Coliseum at 7:05 p.m.
“We’d seen Matt play probably 20 times over the last three seasons, so we’d done our due diligence on him,” Carbery said. “You don’t like making a deal within your own division, but when we learned that Matt might be available, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get him. Matt has exceeded our expectations. We wanted a good two-way player, but Matt has shown us much more of an offensive game than we thought he had. He’s a very crafty player. ”
The trade has benefitted both teams. Beca has been a steady two-way player who has also shown a knack for scoring big goals. In 10 games, Beca has five goals and five assists. Pistilli has nine goals and 11 assists in 16 games with the Everblades.
“I think it was a good deal for both teams,” Carbery said. “I think the change of scenery has helped both players and both clubs.”
Up until the trade, Beca had been a mainstay in Florida’s lineup the last three seasons, helping lead the Everblades to their first Kelly Cup title last spring.
But less than a week after he was traded on New Year’s Eve, Beca had to face his former teammates. He had an assist in the Stingrays’ 3-2 victory.
“The guys were chirping at me a little, but nothing vicious,” Beca said. “I don’t have any hard feelings against anyone in Florida.”
But if Beca happens to get a hat trick tonight against the Everblades, he won’t be disappointed either.
“Sure, you want to show them what you’re they’re missing a little bit,” Beca said. “We’re fighting for our playoff lives right now, so every game is huge. It doesn’t matter if this game was against Florida or Fort Wayne. We need the two points.”
Quick named captain
Defenseman Kevin Quick was named team captain Monday.
Quick, 24, has played in 51 games with the Stingrays, scoring one goal and 12 assists for 13 points.
Quick replaces Shawn Weller, who was traded to Stockton last month for defenseman Cameron Brodie, as the Stingrays captain.
A year ago, he helped the Everblades capture their first Kelly Cup title
A third-round (78th overall) draft pick of the Tampa Bay in 2006, he made his NHL debut with the Lightning in 2009, playing in six games and earning one assist.
“Kevin has been in our leadership group all season,” Carbery said. “He’s been through all the ups and downs this season and understands what we’re trying to do as a team. When we get away from our gameplan he’s been very valuable in helping everyone get back on track.”