The first major deal of the David Wilkie era was made Tuesday, with the Augusta Lynx coach acquiring defenseman Jonathan Gauthier from the Dayton Bombers in a three-way trade.
The Lynx sent defenseman Mark Moore to the Wheeling Nailers for forward Brian Cummings, then jettisoned Cummings to Dayton in exchange for Gauthier.
"I needed to upgrade my blueline," said Wilkie, whose Lynx have won three of their past four games. "I wasn't unhappy with Moore. But you've got to trade something to get something. Gauthier is the power play defenseman I need."
Gauthier, 22, showed his promise as an offensive defenseman last season, tallying 12 goals and 22 points in 37 games as a rookie for Dayton.
In 16 games with the Bombers this season, Gauthier had two goals and five points. Wilkie said he wasn't logging as much ice time.
"He's a good young player," Wilkie said. "He just wasn't getting a chance in Dayton because they have a bunch of defensemen there."
Moore, 25, returns to Wheeling, where he played 66 games last season. The Harvard graduate signed with the Lynx as a free agent this season.
DEAL, PART II: Another minor deal engineered last week by Wilkie appeared dead in the water. On Tuesday, it was reborn, with the Lynx adding a player they wanted while subtracting a player they didn't.
Originally acquired Nov. 11 from the Columbia Inferno for cash, forward/defenseman Doug Christiansen ended his holdout Tuesday and reported to Augusta.
Wilkie and Columbia coach Scott White also amended the deal, with the Lynx sending goalie Josh Blackburn to the Inferno instead of cash.
"When I told Josh he wasn't going on the road trip (last week), he told me he was going to call his agent," Wilkie said. "I told him to have his agent find him another place to play, because he wasn't going to play here."
In six games with the Lynx, Blackburn went 0-4-0 with a 6.01 goals-against average and .814 save percentage.
GOAL ORIENTED: As if scoring his first goal wasn't enough to make Lance Galbraith smile, he netted the shootout goal that clinched Augusta's 2-1 win Saturday over Florida.
"I was in awe," said Galbraith, known more for grit than offensive skill. "(Assistant coach John Whitwell) said he couldn't believe my face when Wilks told me I was shooting. The game's on the line and he calls your name. That's pretty exciting."
ONE-TIMERS: The arrival of new enforcer John Freeman is on hold. The 6-foot-7 Freeman was supposed to join the Lynx in Florida last week, but he ran into immigration trouble at the Canadian border. Wilkie said he hopes to know more about his status today. ... Galbraith denied a report that he tried to poke a fan with his stick after Friday's loss at Florida. Officials documented the alleged incident on the official game report, but Galbraith was not assessed a penalty or sanctioned by the league. "My dad called to say he read it in the paper," Galbraith said. "I had no idea what he was talking about. It never happened." ...