The Victoria Grizzlies traded captain Sean Robertson to the Vernon Vipers on Monday for future considerations.

The local B.C. Hockey League team could net up to three players in return, two for the future and one who is currently playing in the Western Hockey League.

Victoria gets the rights to former Vipers right-winger Zach McPhee, who has played 12 games this season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, recording two goals and two assists.

“He’ll be missed by the team, our fans and the entire organization,” Grizzlies general manager and assistant coach Victor Gervais said of Robertson, a five-year veteran. “It’s a tough day, but we’re still pushing forward and not giving up on this year. We still have five cards open and we plan on bringing in five guys who can help us win.”

The trade was simply made to assist Robertson with attracting a scholarship south of the border, explained Gervais.

Robertson, 20, had five goals and 15 assists in 32 games with the 16-16 Grizzlies, and was made aware of a possible deal early in the season.

“We talked to Sean after the 0-5 start and made it clear that we would only trade him to Penticton or Vernon. He was looking for a scholarship, much like Nick Buchanan was, and he was OK with those intentions,” said Gervais, who moved Buchanan to Penticton for Mike Moran early in the campaign. “Obviously we didn’t want to trade [Robertson] within our division.”

When contacted early Monday afternoon, Robertson obviously had mixed emotions, leaving the only BCHL team he has ever played for.

“I’ve been here a long time and I had fun with it, but it’s time for a new chapter in my career and a fresh start in Vernon,” said Robertson, who was leaving town this morning. “They said early in the year that if they thought they would require moving me at a certain time, they would.

“There are no bad feelings about it. It’s part of the game, it happens all the time,” added Robertson. “Going to Vernon — it’s a great place to play and I can’t complain about it, going to a first-class organization like that.”

Robertson said he will miss his teammates, but his goal all along was a scholarship to further his playing career. That happened for Buchanan, who just signed on with the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks.

“I’ll miss all the guys in the room,” said Robertson. “It’s been my home for the last five years. I’ve had fun with all my teammates and coaches, and guys like [equipment manager] Rick Burke, who has helped us all out. I’ll miss the atmosphere and just everybody around the team.”

The trade leaves the Grizzlies a little thin on defencemen as Taylor Pernerowski remains out with a concussion. Affiliated player Jaden Schmeisser has filled in the last two games.

As for a replacement to wear the captaincy, Wesley Myron and Moran lead the way as candidates for the Grizzlies, who face the Cowichan Valley Capitals on the road Wednesday night.

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