After their fantastic February when they won 13 of 14 games, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles are finding March a different story.
Last weekend they lost two games in the Midwest and their sixth leading scorer Bryan Deasley, who was traded to the Quebec Nordiques.On Tuesday, the Eagles lost their leading scorer Marc Bureau, who was traded by the parent Calgary Flames to the Minnesota North Stars for a 3rd round draft pick.
"I'm excited, I can't wait to get there," said Bureau, just before catching a plane to Minnesota. "I talked to the coach already and he wants me to be in the lineup as soon as possible."
The 24-year-old Bureau has been with the Eagles for four years. Last year he was the team's leading scorer with 91 points despite missing the last seven games with an eye injury.
This year he has been the Eagles' leading scorer again. He had 88 points on 40 goals and 48 assists at the time of the trade, which ranked him fifth in the IHL in scoring. He led the league in short-handed goals with 8 this season.
For Bureau, the trade is welcome news, even though he enjoyed playing in Salt Lake.
"I kind of asked Calgary to trade me when I didn't make the team (at training camp)," said Bureau. "I've been waiting all year and I think other teams saw that I was not quitting and was having a good season."
Bureau harbors no hard feelings toward the Calgary organization. "It's a good thing Calgary let me go instead of letting me die here," he said.
With Bureau gone, the Eagles are now just two men over the 18-player limit. His absence should help a few of the young Eagle players to get more ice time.
"I think it going to be good for the younger players here like (Andrew) McKim and (Todd) Harkins," said Bureau. "I hope somebody else steps up."
Bureau will join up with former teammate Brian Glynn, a top defenseman for Salt Lake last year, who was traded to Minnesota at the start of this season.
"I want to prove I can play there," said Bureau, who had only a couple of short stints in the NHL with Calgary.
The Eagles' next two games are Friday and Sunday at San Diego.