Cee­bees stir the pot

Block­buster trades bring Terry Ryan, Doug O’brien to Har­bour Grace

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars have al­tered the hockey land­scape in this prov­ince fol­low­ing a pair of jaw-drop­ping transactions last week that brought two well-known and top-cal­i­bre tal­ents to Har­bour Grace.

In two sep­a­rate moves, the Cee­Bees pulled off two of the big­gest trades in the young his­tory of the New­found­land and Labrador Se­nior Hockey League.

The deals bring for­mer pro­fes­sional play­ers Terry Ryan and Doug O’Brien to the Stars, bol­ster­ing an al­ready im­pres­sive off-sea­son that fea­tured the sign­ing of Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive Robert Slaney.

As­sis­tant coach and ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber Peter Ge­orge said the moves are “sure to make the team a lot bet­ter.”

Ge­orge said the Cee­Bees were ap­proached by both the Mount Pearl Blades and the Western ( for­merly Cor­ner Brook) Roy­als about mak­ing a deal, and were “able to work out trades that ben­e­fit­ted all par­ties.”

First, the Blades and the Cee­Bees agreed to a trade that would send de­fence­man Mitch Flynn and a fu­ture first-round pick to the Blades for Ryan, a speedy, gritty and play­mak­ing for­ward.

In the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the NLSHL, Ryan put up good num­bers, reg­is­ter­ing three goals and 19 as­sists. He fin­ished fourth in team scor­ing for the Blades.

The 35-year-old Mount Pearl na­tive, ar­guably one of the big­gest names on the pro­vin­cial scene, brings a wealth of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence to S.W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium.

He was the 8th over­all se­lec­tion in the 1995 Na­tional Hockey League En­try Draft, taken by the Montreal Cana­di­ens. Ryan spent close to the next decade bounc­ing be­tween ma­jor ju­nior, the Amer­i­can Hockey League the East Coast Hockey League, the West Coast Hockey League and the In­ter­na­tional Hockey League.

Ryan ap­peared in eight games for the Montreal Cana­di­ens, reg­is­ter­ing no points and 36 penalty min­utes. His best sea­son as a pro­fes­sional came in 1998 when he reg­is­tered 43 points in 55 games with the Fredericton Cana­di­ens of the AHL.

Flynn, a fringe third-string de­fence­man, failed to reg­is­ter a point in 13 games with the Cee­Bees.

Help on de­fence

In the sec­ond move of the week, the club shipped for­ward Mark Tobin and start­ing goal­tender Doug Jewer to the Roy­als in ex­change for top-flight de­fence­man Doug O’Brien.

Ge­orge hailed O’Brien, a 28-year-old St. John’s na­tive, as “the best de­fence­man in the league and his re­sume is im­pres­sive.”

Like Ryan, O’Brien brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence. He spent four years with the Gatineau ( for­merly Hull) Olympiques of the Quebec Ma­jor Ju­nior League. At the end of the 200304 sea­son, he cap­tured the Emile Bouchard Tro­phy as the league’s best de­fence­man. That sea­son O’Brien was also named to the all-star team.

Dur­ing his four years, O’Brien made con­sec­u­tive trips to the Memo­rial Cup fi­nal, only to lose both times. In 2004, he cap­tured the Ed Chynoweth Tro­phy as the top scorer in the tour­na­ment af­ter post­ing three goals and five as­sists.

In 2003, the Tampa Bay Light­ning drafted him in the 6th round. He dressed for five games with the club in 2005.

O’Brien has also ap­peared in games with the Spring­field Fal­cons, Rochester Amer­i­cans and Port­land Pi­rates of the AHL, as well as the Florida Ever­glades and John­stown Chiefs, both of the ECHL.

His last pro­fes­sional sea­son came in 201011 sea­son, when O’Brien suited up for HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Ex­traliga, in Cze­choslo­vakia. Stints with HC Plzen 1929 and Rau­mon Lukko dot his re­sume.

He fin­ished last year third in scor­ing last sea­son among de­fence­men in the NLSHL, notch­ing seven goals and 15 as­sists, good for 22 points in 23 games. Only Martin La­pointe and Nick The­ri­ault of the Grand Falls-Wind- sor Cataracts fin­ished above him.

O’Brien fig­ures to slide into the lineup next to long-time Cee­Bees’ rear­guard Mike Dyke. He would re­place Colin Archer, who will be play­ing with Aca­dia this sea­son.

Tobin re­turns to the Roy­als af­ter just one sea­son in Har­bour Grace. He reg­is­tered nine goals, 10 as­sists and 19 points in 23 games with the Cee­Bees.

Jewer started the year off be­hind in­cum­bent Freddy Di­a­mond on the goal­tend­ing depth chart. But by Christ­mas, he had re­placed Di­a­mond as the No. 1 ten­der for coach Corey Crocker. He posted a record of seven wins and 11 losses in 19 games with a goals against av­er­age of 3.553.

Jewer will com­pete with the league’s top goal­tender Bradley Dyke for the No. 1 spot with the Roy­als.

The move leaves the Cee­Bees with Di­a­mond as the only goal­tender on the ros­ter.

Ge­orge stated the team is reach­ing out to goal­tenders ahead of train­ing camp in St. John’s this week­end.

“We think both Terry and Doug will be great ad­di­tions to our team; they are both pro­fes­sion­als and both have spent time in the NHL,” said Ge­orge.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Nigel Black (right), chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer with the Town of Bay Roberts, stands next to a cul­vert that nor­mally takes wa­ter from Big Pond into the town’s so-called “sup­ply pond.” At left is Coun. Wade Oates. Wa­ter in Big Pond has re­ceded by about five feet this sum­mer.

Transcon­ti­nen­tal Me­dia file photo

Doug O’Brien comes to the Cee­Bees from the Western (for­merly Cor­ner Brook) Roy­als.

Transcon­ti­nen­tal Medai file photo

New­est CeeBee Terry Ryan is seen here in ac­tion with the Mount Pearl Blades dur­ing 2011-12 New­found­land and Labrador Se­nior Hockey League play.

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