The Reign announced a rare off-season trade Tuesday, sending forward Aaron Lewadniuk to the Idaho Steelheads for forward Geoff Irwin. The trade was completed before Karl Taylor accepted the assistant coaching position with the Chicago Wolves.
“We just felt a change in scenery for both guys was a good situation,” Taylor said. ”That’s the way it kind of came together.”
Lewadniuk had received a qualifying offer from the Reign but hadn’t signed yet. Neither had Irwin.
“Usually when that (type of trade) occurs, there’s announcements that come shortly after,” Taylor said.
As a rookie in 2010-11, Irwin had 13 goals and 25 points in 57 games for the Steelheads. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Irwin is almost the same size as Lewadniuk (5-11, 175) but offers more quickness, Taylor said. Lewadniuk is a right-handed shot; Irwin shoots left.
Lewadniuk was a popular player, whose biggest knock as a rookie was his inconsistency. The Reign’s lone All-Star in January, Lewadniuk finished with 17 goals and 31 points in 69 games.
The 22-year-old said after the season that he had “no reasons” why he wouldn’t want to come back, but might have had a change of heart this summer.
The Steelheads don’t visit Ontario until Feb. 18.