Di­a­mond loses his lus­tre

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BYNICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The man who back­stopped the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars to three­straight Herder Memo­rial tro­phies, six straight ap­pear­ances in the se­nior fi­nal and is, ar­guably, the win­ningest goal­tender in the sto­ried his­tory of the Har­bour Grace fran­chise has re­quested a trade.

Fred­die Di­a­mond has de­cided not to travel with the team af­ter for­mally re­quest­ing a move from the only or­ga­ni­za­tion the Bon­av­ista na­tive has played for in the last nine years.

The 29-year-old made the de­ci­sion af­ter the Cee­Bees’ two-game set with the Gan­der Fly­ers, Oct. 20-21.

“I went to Gan­der the first week­end and never got to play,” Di­a­mond told The Com­pass. “There was no com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween me and the coaches on what their plans are for me, and stuff like that.”

The goal­tender said he was left “won­der­ing what was go­ing on” but “couldn’t get any an­swer” from Cee­Bees’ brass.

“I told them that I was look­ing for a trade,” said Di­a­mond.

Cee­Bees’ as­sis­tant coach Peter Ge­orge said Di­a­mond is signed to a card with the club, and his rights be­long to them.

How­ever, he did say Di­a­mond’s re­quest for a trade was a per­sonal choice.

“He doesn’t want to fill a backup role,” said Ge­orge.

Ge­orge said the club has been ac­tively pur­su­ing a deal that would ap­pease Di­a­mond’s re­quest, but noth­ing has come to fruition.

Di­a­mond said he has “sac­ri­ficed” a lot of time and ef­fort over the last nine years with the club.

The thing that hurts the most for Di­a­mond is the lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion over the sum­mer.

“A phone call throughout the sum­mer or some­thing like that say­ing, ‘hey Fred­die, we’re go­ing to use an im­port goalie and he’s go­ing to play most of the games and if you want to go some­where else, thanks for the nine years here and it’s time to move on’ you know, some­thing like that would’ve been al­right,” he said. “There was none of that.

“It was the same with last year.”

“I think that our spe­cial teams def­i­nitely have to be bet­ter,” said De­laney. “Games can be won and lost with spe­cial teams, and that’s ob­vi­ously two ar­eas we have to ad­dress.

“We’re giv­ing up too many short­handed goals and we’re not pro­duc­ing on the power play. We have to fix that right away.”

Turnovers have also been a thorn in the Cee­Bees’ side.

“If we want to win, we’re all well aware that we have to elim­i­nate all turnovers,” he said.

There is an ebb and flow to any game, ex­plained De­laney.

“In the game of hockey, you can never get too high or too low,” he said. “You have keep things in neu­tral be­cause your emo­tions, good or bad, can get the best of you.”

He said a key to the Cee­Bees turn­around is to re­main pos­i­tive.

“We have to try to stay pos­i­tive and fo­cus on the things we are do­ing right,” stated De­laney. “We got to stay up­beat at the rink. Nega­tiv­ity breeds more nega­tiv­ity and we’re try­ing to be as pos­i­tive as we can.”

Cee­Bees’ as­sis­tant coach Peter Ge­orge said to right the ship his team has to “get back to our game plan.”

“We have to put on our boots and go to work,” he said. “Get pucks deep, work their de­fence­men and out-work other teams.”

The NLSHL held its lat­est play­er­en­try draft Nov. 14, and the Cee­Bees used the sec­ond over­all pick to bring back for­mer-CeeBee and for­ward Mitchell Oake.

And in a unique twist that sur­prised even the most ar­dent Cee­Bees’ fan, the club also se­lected as­sis­tant coach Peter Ge­orge to help shore up the team’s de­fen­sive corps.

His se­lec­tion is an in­sur­ance pol­icy for week­ends when the team is short on rear­guards, which has been a fac­tor in re­cent games be­cause sev­eral play­ers have work com­mit­ments.

Up­com­ing games

• Gan­der Fly­ers vs. Cee­Bees Stars, Dec. 1-2 at S. W. Moores Memo­rial Sta­dium.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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