It started Tuesday morning with an ominous tweet from San Francisco Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio:
Some really tuff decisions made this morning. I hope our fans understand we are doing what we feel is best for the SFBULLS
Go Bulls Go!!
— Pat Curcio (@Curciopat) March 5, 2013
It was the first sign, not only that change was afoot, but that the team’s fan base wasn’t going to like it.
News finally broke just a day before the Bulls return to the Cow Palace after a six-game road-stand: Sources confirm that Jordan Clendenning, Sebastian Trudeau, Jonathan Lessard and Cody Carlson were traded to Utah for Kory Falite and Mark Isherwood. Ian Schultz, who was re-assigned by Montreal, completes the seven-player deal.
In trading center Clendenning, San Francisco loses a player with a larger impact than his 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) or 5-foot-11 frame might suggest.
One of the last original Bulls, Clendenning is a scrapper, digging his way into the boards for the puck and never afraid to mix it up. Clendenning’s six fights for the Bulls this season include two game misconducts.
Falite, a 5-foot-10 forward, has tallied 11 goals and 21 assists in 59 games for Utah this season, while defenseman Isherwood brings along 5 goals and 17 assists.
The more-physical Schultz (156 PIM in 40 games) also boasts one of the better plus-minus ratings on the Grizzlies at -3.
It’s not as though trades and roster shift are new to the hockey franchise. In fact, changes in the team were something of a highlight in the two weeks that the Bulls were on the road.
But of all the shifts made, this was the only one that warranted a somber Twitter shout-out. And quite possibly, pre-emptive damage control.