CORNER BROOK — The Corner Brook Royals have acquired the services of 2011 rookie of the year Chad Earle from the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts in exchange for puckstopper Doug Jewer.
The paperwork is still being finalized on the latest move by Royals president Ross Coates, but Earle will join the Royals for the second half of the season and make his debut against the Gander Flyers Jan. 5 at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.
Jewer, a St. John’s native, was the odd man out in the Royals goaltending department when Coates opted to bring in Nova Scotia native Bryan Gillis to take over the crease on an import card. Coates had been receiving calls from teams around the league looking to acquire Jewer since Gillis arrived on the scene so once he got a deal he could live with he forged ahead with the transaction.
Earle, who’s seen limited ice-time in central Newfoundland with the Cataracts boasting a deep lineup and a 13-1 record at the Christmas break, has one goal and 11 assists in 14 games.
The Cataracts get a former player back in the mix who will provide solid back-up duty to stud netminder A. J. Whiffen, while the Royals get a top-six forward with good hands, speed and also brings an element of size to the team.
Coates is happy to have another skilled player added to the trenches.
“Chad Earle is a top-six forward and that’s what we were hoping to get for Doug Jewer,” Coates said, noting the newest Royal will add some welcome speed to the roster.
Time will tell how the trade impacts both teams, but Coates knows he has a player with a lot of skill coming his way so he will live with whatever unfolds.
“I think we did Ok. I don’t know if we got the best (of the trade), but time will tell that,” he said. “For now, we’re happy with what we got.”
Coates has spoken to the slick-skating forward about joining the team.
“He was pretty excited actually about having a chance to play for another team,” he said. “He was a little disappointed I think in his ice-time he was getting with the Cats at the end. I mean they have a pretty deep team up front.”
Holding down third place with two teams chasing them, Coates is still looking to improve the team if something pops up. He knows the battle for a playoff berth could get interesting down the stretch so he wants to put the best product on the ice.
“We’re always looking to make the team better for the last 10 games down the stretch here,” he said. “We want to make a serious push.”
The Royals will clash with the Gander Flyers in a two-game set Jan. 5-6 at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex. Two points separate the two franchises with the Royals holding down third and the Flyers sharing the cellar with the Eastlink CeeBee Stars who both have 10 points.