More signings for Ceebees
Teams bolstering lineup for new provincial league
With more firepower up front and some added strength on the blueline, the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars continue to assemble a team for the inaugural season of the new Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.
“ This will probably be the highest calibre of hockey our area has ever seen,” said assistant general manager Peter George.
George announced last week that three more players — Kyle Doucet, Jared Tuton and Mitch Flynn (see fact boxes) — had been added to the roster.
George was especially excited about the arrival of Doucet, a slick centreman from Halifax who helped the St Mary’s University Huskies men’s team to a national championship in 2010. George predicted Doucet “will be one of the top pointgetters in the league.”
Doucet and CeeBees’ forward Scott Brophy played together at St. Mary’s, and Brophy helped facilitate Doucet’s signing.
“He’s very talented,” George said, adding that Doucet and his girlfriend have moved to St. John’s.
George described Tuton as a big, stay-at-home defenceman who brings tremendous leadership abilities to the team. Like Doucet, Tuton, who is from Whitehorse, has also moved to St. John’s
“ This guy is a good penalty killer and a shutdown D,” George said.
Flynn will also be a factor on the back end, added George. The six-foottwo-inch St. John’s native captained the Woodstock Slammers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League last season.
The CeeBees will be one of five teams competing in the new senior league. Other include the Mount Pearl Blades, Clarenville Caribous, Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Corner Brook Royals.
The sanctioning of the provincewide league by Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador took place in Gander earlier this month.
Originally, the plan was to have a two-league set-up — CeeBees, Mount Pearl and Clarenville in the east, and Grand Falls, Corner Brook and Deer Lake in the west — with some interlocking play. But that all changed when Deer Lake announced it would not be icing a team.
“ We had no choice” but to form a province-wide league, provincial senior hockey chairman Bill Noseworthy stated.
George said fan support will be critical to ensuring the success of the league.
“ We need more support than ever,” George said
Team nucleus returning
George said the team’s nucleus from last season will be returning, including captain Matthew Thomey, who led the team in scoring with 36 points (13 goals) in 22 regular season games. Fellow sniper Ray Dalton has resigned, and so have brothers Keith and Ryan Delaney.
Former defenceman-of-the-year Mike Dyke is also back, and so is starting netminder Freddie Diamond.
George said “ local boys” Steven Greeley, Daniel Sparkes and Tommy Snow will also don the Stars’ jersey again this season.
George also confirmed that talented forward Mark Tobin may also be back in the CeeBees’ lineup this season, after spending a year on the west coast, where he played with the Royals and attended firefighting school in Stephenville. Tobin spent half the season with the CeeBees in 2010.
“ We’re just waiting for him to get his release” from the Royals, George stated.
Tobin is regarded as one of the best in the province, and was drafted 64th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2004 NHL entry draft.
One big question is the status of Brandon Roach, one of the province’s top defencemen. Roach is from Bay Roberts and played last season with the CeeBees, but acknowledged when contacted last week that he’s been talking to other teams.
“ I’ll definitely be playing senior hockey somewhere,” Roach stated.
CeeBees’ stalwart and three-time Herder Memorial Trophy winner Matthew French is also doubtful. French is technical director with Bay Arena minor in Bay Roberts, and recently signed on to coach the TriPen Lions of the Newfoundland and Labrador Midget Hockey League.
Former CeeBees’ captain and fivetime Herder winner Chris Crosbie also confirmed last week that he will be retiring.
At age 38, Crosbie said he no longer has the legs for the game.
“It’s time for the younger class to take over,” Crosbie said.
George said the team has scheduled a training camp for Oct. 7-8 at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace, and he expects the season to begin in late October.