Timing is everything - and that goes for both bad and good.
The Coquitlam Express hope they've found an elite piece to the puzzle with the acquisition of defenceman Brett Seldon from their cross-river rival Surrey Eagles this week.
Seldon's availability, coming just days after 2-0 Coquitlam lost the services of stalwart defender Jason Bird to a shoulder injury on the final shift of the season's first game, could be chalked down to kismet.
Usually, strapping defencemen with an edge are harder to find than the remains of Richard III. But a numberscrunch in Surrey made the sixfoot-two blueliner available.
"He's a big, strong kid who plays a physical kind of game," remarked Express coach and general manager Jon Calvano. "It's an element that we felt we needed but is hard to find."
Seldon has two years of junior A hockey experience with Ontario's North York Rangers, where he was an assistant captain. The Eagles had acquired the blueliner in August, shipping winger Sean McGovern east for his rights.
An 18-year-old, Seldon tallied a goal and 10 assists over 43 games last year. More notable was the 79 penalty minutes, which would have topped the Express last season.
"The main reason why we went after him was Bird's injury," noted Calvano. "But he plays the style of defence - a physical, strength game - that we thought we could use. He's the type of player you need to complement the offensive-skilled players, who is capable with the puck but will stick up for his teammates."
To make room for Seldon, Coquitlam shipped Josh Finkelstein to Wellington of the Ontario junior A circuit.
Finkelstein, 19, contributed two goals and seven assists over 56 games last year.
Calvano said top centre Alexander Kerfoot appears ready to go for tonight's home opener (Friday, 7 p.m. at the Poirier Sports Centre) against the Langley Rivermen.
"The kids are excited to get that first game on their own ice and play before the home fans," Calvano added. "Although we've played two games, this is like the season opener. You want to do well and see how many fans turn out."
The team will host a tailgate barbecue prior to tonight's game, beginning at 5: 45 p.m. Tickets for the game are available at the Sports Centre.