Former Eastlink CeeBee Stars scoring sensation Matthew Thomey has been traded to the Western Royals for a package of players. — Nick Mercer/Compass photo
CORNER BROOK The Western Royals have made a move that will provide the team with a guy with a knack around the net and proven leadership ability.
The Royals have acquired former Eastlink CeeBee Stars scoring star Matthew Thomey in exchange for forward Mark Tobin, forward Chad Earle and the team’s first pick (third overall) in the 2013-14 Newfoundland Senior Hockey League entry draft, scheduled for Sept. 26.
Thomey, who lived in Alberta last year, finished fifth in league scoring two years ago when he led the CeeBee Stars in scoring with 18 goals and 13 assists in 24 games. Thomey grew up playing minor hockey in the CeeBees minor hockey system, but he’s now teaching in Isle aux Morts so playing on the west coast was something he was willing to entertain.
Royals president Ross Coates said Thomey is a coveted player and he believes the acquisition of the former CeeBees captain will have a positive impact on the team’s desire to be a contender this year. Thomey is a local boy who will be living in the area so he should be available for most weekend games both at home and on the road, as well as attending any team practices, according to Coates.
“We had to give up a few bodies to get him, but Matthew Thomey to me is a leader on any team he goes to and he’s going to be a front-line player on any team,” he said.
The roster will look a little bit different as favourite Jake Easton, looking to continue playing hockey while attending school in St. John’s, has been traded to the Mount Pearl Blades for the rights to veteran forward Colin Power. Power is living in Halifax and the Royals are expected to discuss his plans over the next few weeks.
The Royals will hold training camp at the end of October to get ready for opening night, which will be on the road Nov. 2 against the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
The home-opening weekend for the Royals will take place Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 against the Clarenville Caribous.
This year’s league will feature two three-team divisions with interlocking play, but more importantly for the Royals is having the more home games played on Friday instead of Sunday. The Royals will only have two Sunday home games this year so Coates is happy to have Friday games at the Hodder when he feels more people are in the mood for entertainment.
“We fought hard this season to get some Friday night games,” he said, noting Sunday games have been a poor draw around the league.