San Francisco Bulls look to make move before ECHL trade deadline 

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With the trade deadline looming, the San Francisco Bulls are looking to wheel and deal to add size and blue line depth to the roster for the last 13 games of the season.

The Bulls acquired scoring punch with the addition of Yanni Gourde, Tristan King and Bryan Cameron, but the team is lacking physicality in the wake of Kris Belan’s call up to the AHL last week.

Coach and president Pat Curcio said he expects to make a move before the deadline at noon on Thursday to address the issue.

“I don’t know how big it’s going to be or if it’s going to be anything drastic, but I think there’s a possibility that a deal could get done,” he said.

Belan was the centerpiece of the Bulls’ checking line throughout the season and Curcio said his absence was noticeable as the team dropped three of four games on the road last week.

“We don’t have any guys who can shut down the other team’s best players,” he said.

Curcio is also hoping to land another defenseman to bolster the blue line. Mikael Tam missed Sunday’s game in Las Vegas because of a suspension and Curcio said it exposed their lack of depth.

“You start thinking to yourself, if we run into an injury or two after the trade deadline, we’re in trouble,” he said.
Another defenseman is also needed as insurance against a Tam recall by the Worcester Sharks.

Home, sweet home: The schedule is finally turning in the Bulls’ favor in the month of March. After opening the year with a grueling stretch of nine of 11 games on the road, the Bulls should benefit from playing 10 of their final 13 contests at the Cow Palace.

The Bulls (21-31-7) are currently holding an eight-point lead over the Bakersfield Condors for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and they trail the Utah Grizzlies by three points for
seventh place.

“They’re so many little things that home-ice advantage does for you,” Curcio said.

Both goalies needed: Thomas Heemskerk will get the start against the Alaska Aces on Wednesday, but Curcio said the team needs two solid goalies down the stretch.

The Bulls are playing four games in five nights at the Cow Palace this week, so both Heemskerk and Taylor Nelson will see action in between the pipes at some point.

“Heemer has the edge for more starts,” Curcio said. “But we’re going to need both of them with this many games in such a short period of time. We have no choice.”

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Paul Gackle

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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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