West Valley City Kevin Colley, Utah Grizzlies coach and director of hockey operations, announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Brett Motherwell and a player to be named later from the Cincinnati Cyclones in exchange for the rights to Dylan Hunter.
Motherwell, 24, split last season between Cincinnati and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers before ultimately winning the ECHL's Kelly Cup as a member of the Cyclones. Motherwell spent training camp with Utah last year, but was released as a salary cap casualty prior to the season.
The Boston College product was named the league's plus performer in February by totaling a plus-14
Motherwell totaled a plus-17 and 28 points (two goals and 26 assists) in 48 games for Cincinnati in 2009-10. The Illinois native finished second in the ECHL among defensemen during the playoffs with one goal and ten assists for 11 points in 18 games. In 17 games with Bridgeport, Motherwell had nine points. He has also logged AHL time in Syracuse and Providence during his career, which started in 2007-2008 with two goals and 14 assists for 16 points with Syracuse in 48 games.
"Brett will help anchor our power play and bring championship experience back to Utah," Colley said. "This is our second trade this offseason that brings more quality talent to Utah in exchange for players that we never expected to see again. We will always look to make the most of the rights to the players that we own."
The Grizzlies also expect to receive a top caliber forward from Cincinnati sometime between now and the 2011 ECHL All-Star Break. Utah issued a qualifying offer to Dylan Hunter on July 1, but have long expected him to earn an AHL contract for this upcoming season. This trade is a result of AHL interest being drawn to him and that team's desire to have his ECHL rights in a location closer to them.
The Grizzlies open the 2010-2011 season Oct. 15 in Alaska. The home opener is Oct. 22, when Utah welcomes Bakersfield to Maverik Center for a 7:05 p.m. start. Season ticket packages starting at $7 a game for seven games are available through the Grizzlies corporate office by calling (801) 988-8000. Visit www.utahgrizzlies.com for more information.