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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Barnes Door Closes


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".

The Owen Sound Attack will hold their annual awards barbeque on Sunday, primarily at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.

As of this moment, among those NOT expected to attend is second round draft pick Josh Barnes.

Barnes who was selected by the Attack 24th overall from the Cornwall Colts, recently announced his intention to stay in Cornwall, play Junior A for the Colts, and eventually attend Penn State University & play hockey in 2 years time.

You may wonder how & why the Attack would make such a risky pick, or take a wild flyer with such a high pick in the Ontario Hockey League's Priority Selection.....

Well, trust me when I tell you the Attack brass are very conservative in nature and extremely cautious & calculating with their draft picks- they have to be based on the division and conference they compete in.

The story goes, from inside the draft room walls, Barnes and/or his family were contacted mere minutes before the 24th selection.

Barnes and/or his family were informed the Attack were highly interested and then they were asked straight up, would he report to Owen Sound if chosen by the Attack ?

Barnes and/or his family answered in the affirmative and the Attack made the pick.

Imagine how flabbergasted the Attack brass were by the recent announcement !!

When this sort of scenario unfolds, suspiciously, you tend to wonder if the agent is playing some sort of game.

Well the agent, as I understand it, is Uptown Hockey, fronted now by Todd Reynolds, carrying the family tradition started by his father, Don, a tradition that values people; the Primeaus, Chris Neil among many others, and has no such reputation for participating in the shell game of Junior Hockey.

In fact, a colleague of mine who's familiar with the inner workings of Uptown Hockey relates a prominent NHL defenceman was once dropped as a client by Uptown, because the agency tired quickly of both the very gifted player.....and his pushy mother.

Again, from inside the Attack walls, Uptown Hockey attended an Attack Playoff game in Owen Sound that followed the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and the word was the agency was pleasantly delighted that the Attack offered all the maximum perks with minimum discussion.....

It's a free country and Josh Barnes can choose the hockey path that he sees fit, but the reported turnabout likely has a well respected sports agency and certainly a well respected OHL club very puzzled.

I'm Fred Wallace

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