Mucha Traded…

There have been a few times over the past couple of seasons when I thought that I’d write that headline…today I do.

The Portland Winterhawks have traded Kurtis Mucha to the Kamloops Blazers for a 4th Round Bantam Pick in 2010.

Mucha played his first game as a Portland Winterhawk (Winter Hawks then) in Moose Jaw on January 15, 2005, stopping 33 of 37 shots to preserve a 4-4 tie with the Warriors at the Crushed Can.

At that time, little did anyone know that he would wind up being the Hawks all-time leader in games played, minutes played, shots faced, saves made and also losses by a Winterhawk goaltender.

He has been the face of the franchise in a time when a lot of people wanted to hide their face for being a part of the organization.  Suffering through miserable seasons after being thrown into the spotlight in the stretch run and playoffs of his 16 year old rookie season.

Since Kurtis Mucha joined the Hawks, he has shared the crease with the following goaltenders:

Dustin Butler, Luke Shier, Chris Ward, Mark Guggenberger, Jordan White, Ian Curtis, Keith Hamilton and Mac Carruth

In between, he’s amassed the following numbers in the regular season:

213 appearances

62-123-1-5-7 record

11,964 minutes played

6,779 shots faced

6,044 saves made

735 goals against

3.69 goals against average

89.16 save percentage

8 shutouts

47 saves on 61 shootout attempts (77.05%)

Mucha heads to a Kamloops team that has its share of controversy and upheaval over the past few seasons, including a coaching change already in 2009-10.   A team that gives up a lot of shots…something that Mucha, unfortunately, is very used to.  He will have a chance to lead the Blazers to a post-season push in the Western Conference.  He will have the opportunity to face Portland twice before the end of the year:  January 13 in Kamloops and then a week later, January 20 in Portland.

On a personal note, I’ve got a chance to know Kurtis’ family over the past five seasons and I know that today can’t be easy for them.   To Wes, Lee-Ann and Katie…thanks for your kind words and friendship and I know that we will stay in touch.

Lastly…to Mukes…thanks for everything you have done for the Portland organization and I wish you nothing but the best with Kamloops the rest of the season and in your future.

You’ve earned everything that will come your way…

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  1. The toughest part of covering those who play in the juniors is that eventually there comes a time when you have to say good bye.

    One can argue that Mucha deserves a better fate than Kamloops after all he went though for the Winterhawks but one NHL team is going to get themselves one heck of a goalie and good person.

  2. This trade Stinks !! I know the Hawks love Bantam picks, and I guess a 4th round pick is okay, but they could of received a higher round closer to the deadline. After 3 horrible years with NO prospects and NO future , Mucha played , not saying a word, showing great leadership with his great attitude. Then the Hawks have a little success, they dump him like yesterday’s trash. So are the Hawks planning on making a “serious” playoff push this year? Doesn’t look like it to me. If the Hawks are still a year or 2 away from serious contention then I might … MIGHT understand. However, how durable is Ian Curtis? So are they going to ride the new 17 year old flovor of the month goalie? Just interesting .

    I love to hear other opinions on it

  3. Well I have to say I have seen some bone headed trades but this one has me scratching my head what are we thinking !!!!!! GOOD LUCK MUKES we the fans will miss you

  4. Why would they trade Mucha? He was the backbone of the team for the last 3 years?! Wel’ll have a REAL hard time going to go to the championship with rookie goaltenders…
    I’m at a loss with this can you explain the logic of this trade to me Andy?

  5. I am sorry to see Mucha leave, but i am not suprised. What i am surprised about is that we basically gave him away without getting anything in return. Seems to me we could have waited and maybe gotten someone in return that could help the team this season, not two or threee years from now. I wonder if Curtis is regretting his choice to return to Portland this year instead of trying to sign a minor league contract somewhere. I wish Curtis great sucess and hope this is what he wanted,

  6. Yeah, still dont understand it. “Flavor of the week” is well put. Neither of the goalies we have now have proven themselfs to any degree.

    Mucha deserved better then this, he was a punching bag for 3 years and assumibly stuck around Portland because he was excited about what COULD happen this year in Portland.

    We reward him by sending him to a terrible team and depriving him of the first winning season here in P-town in a LONG time…

    what happend..why did we do this?…explain how we WIN in this trade..or why we would do it in the first place???

  7. […] Winterhawks fans were weighing in on the deal online. Andy wrote a nice farewell to Kurtis over at his blog, and I won’t try to replicate it here. I’ll just say this: I’ve only been hear a […]

  8. Andy,

    Mucha deserved better. The fans deserved better from the organization.

    I could make sense of this if we were sending him to a contending team that gave him a better chance to finish off his Juniors career with a good playoff chance, but the Blazers will be lucky to make the playoffs.

    We are just tossing him on the trade heap for what?

    A fourth round batam pick???

    Come on Hawks show some loyalty. The kid deserves to have a little success in his final year.

    Admit you made an mistake and bring him back.

    After the past three years of hockey hell, I was looking with great anticipation for Mucha leading the team out of the abyss into some playoff success. Wouldn’t that have been a great story.

    Nope can’t have that. Now I see these future headlines “Hawk Comeback Season was Halted in the First Round of the Playoff’s by Inspired Goaltending” Blazer goalie Kurtis Mucha was outstanding and said it was great seeing my old friends in Portland and reliving the success I had as a 16 year old goaltender.

  9. Mucha really deserved better than Kamloops, but just maybe he may take them over the hump who knows at this point. My feeling adding carruth was a mistake but i’m not the
    one making the decisions, so we had 3 goalies and one had to go according to coach. so
    we could have traded curtis and ride mucha this year and go into next season without a
    proven goalie, that’s a hell of a prospect, or we trade mucha and curtis is the man and he
    has played better than mucha has this year when healthy, and go into next year with a
    overage and experienced netminder(at least i hope he is eligible to come back) and whoever as backup. Could we have gotten better compensation for mucha who knows in my opinion probably. Is this and indication where giving up on the championship for this
    season. NO. I like this team alot, they been fun to watch ever since the Triple J dipsticks sold the team, these guys will make the playoffs maybe win a round but
    they are not to the point of being close to winning a championship (i hope i’m wrong),
    These guys are just know starting to learn how to win, Let them enjoy this process
    instead of shoving to high of expectations on them.

  10. Actually, assuming he’s stll around, we see Kamloops three times this season: 1/13, 1/20, and 2/3.

  11. Are you trying to show that there’s no fans here by trading all our good guys away so we’ll have another crappy year and then you can sell and move the team? I sure hope not. I agree with those above? What are you thinking?

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