Stony Plain Eagles made a splash into the free agent pool last week by signing ex-NHLer Mark Fistric.
It was their final roster move before the beginning of the Chinook Hockey League playoffs, and a move that could impact the Lacombe Generals if they end up meeting in the finals.
Generals are still considered the best team in the league and Head Coach Curtis Austring said he’s not too concerned about the move and said their focus will remain on the Generals.
“The rosters are finalized as far as that goes and we’re excited about our group and that’s all we control and that’s all we really care about at the end of the day,” said Austring.
Eric Galbraith and Kyle Greentree were late-season additions to the Generals, so Austring knows all about trying to improve a roster in time for playoffs.
“It’s just making sure our group is ready to go, but everybody is looking to make improvements as they go along and they’re no different,” said Austring.
Eagles finished right behind the Generals in the standings this season and although they dropped four of six to the Gens, they gave them the most trouble.
“Anytime you improve your team and you make it more competitive, I think that’s what we are looking for in this league,” said Austring.
“The guys like coming here and competing.”
Adding such high-end skill players to the league is something Austring said is only benefiting the quality of hockey for the fans.
“It’s good hockey so anybody that comes and watches the games are pleasantly surprised that the hockey is as good as it is,” said Austring.
“A lot of these guys have played a lot of good hockey over their years and it shows.”
32-year-old Fistric is a 6 foot 2, 230 pound defenceman with 325 games played in the NHL.
Generals are up two games to none against the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs in the first round while Stony Plain and Innisfail are tied up at one game a piece.
Generals are back at it on Friday in Lacombe for game 3.