French leaves CeeBees
If the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars are to challenge for a Herder Memorial Championship in 2011, the team will have to do so without one of its longest-serving members.
Matthew French has decided to leave the CeeBees for the remainder of the season. He appeared in the team’s first four games, collecting one goal along with 21 penalty minutes.
“ There were commitments for work, and family commitments,” says French, who became the technical director for the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association on Oct. 18 and has three children with his partner, including a three-month-old daughter.
The Clarke’s Beach resident is also the owner and operator of a commercial power-washing company.
The 27-year-old defenceman has suited up for the CeeBees in each of the last seven seasons. In 84 career games, French has notched 29 goals and 49 assists for 78 points to go along with 199 penalty minutes. His best season came last year, when French scored eight goals and added 20 assists for 28 points in 20 games.
He was also a member of the CeeBees for three consecutive Herder Memorial Trophy wins between 2006 and 2008.
While French says it is disappointing he will no longer be able to play for the CeeBees this season, the time to do so just was not available.
“ I have a new company I’m running, and I have work at the Bay Arena, and a young family.”
However, he will not rule out the possibility of returning to the team in future seasons.
“There’s a possibility, depending on work and what next year brings. Depending on where I am, and what my priorities are.”
Prior to joining the CeeBees, French spent time in multiple junior hockey leagues. He played with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the 2000-01 season, where he collected four points in 39 games.
Two years later, he played with the Yarmouth Mariners of the Maritime Junior Hockey League, notching 43 points in 37 games. The year before he joined the CeeBees, French played with the Milton Icehawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He scored 39 points in as many games.
CeeBees coach Ian Moores says while it is a big loss to the team, he can respect French’s decision.