Firebirds deal with Spitfires

January 8, 2024

Flint Firebirds have flipped their own script. After dealing away some high-end veteran talent in recent days for future draft picks, the Firebirds have obtained overage defenseman Roberto Mancini from their Ontario Hockey League Western Conference rival Windsor Spitfires for future second and third round draft picks.

In going to Flint, Mancini will be heading to his third OHL team this season — all in the Western Conference. The veteran defender began the current campaign with the Saginaw Spirit before being dealt to Windsor in a blockbuster trade.

Interestingly, Windsor is chasing Flint for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Firebirds head scout Mike Oliverio explained the rationale in trading for Mancini.

“Roberto is a steady, stay-at-home defenseman who will strengthen our back end,” said Oliverio. “We needed to add a little bit of experience on the back end, to help with younger guys and eat up some minutes. We like that Roberto can eat up those minutes and bring a veteran presence to our group. He’s a puck mover who will push the puck north and get it to the forwards … a steadying force whose presence will help our forwards take a few chances and feel comfortable knowing that he’s back there.”

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