‘A dif­fer­ent feel­ing’

Matthew Thomey re­flects on trade to Western Royals

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER

For­mer East­link CeeBee Stars cap­tain Matthew Thomey knew he was go­ing to be play­ing hockey this win­ter.

He just did not know what team he was go­ing to suit up for in the New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League.

That was un­til last week when the Cee­bees shipped Thomey to the Western Royals for a pack­age of play­ers and a draft pick.

It was not the de­sired re­sult for both par­ties, how­ever it was one Thomey and the team felt had to be done.

Thomey is teach­ing at Grandy’s River Col­le­giate in Burnt Is­lands on the west coast of the prov­ince and liv­ing in Port aux Basques.

He was set to re­turn to the Cee­Bees af­ter spend­ing last sea­son teach­ing in North­ern Al­berta, how­ever the job in Burnt Is­lands posed lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems.

“Just look­ing into what it en­tail and what kind of com­mit­ment in terms of travel and time on the road, it would be on my be­half in or­der to come back and play out there, es­pe­cially be­ing a first-year teacher, it just didn’t make any sense,” said Thomey.

With with the un­pre­dictabil­ity that comes with New­found­land weather, Thomey felt he could not take the risk of be­ing stuck in St. John’s on Sun­day evenings.

“Re­gard­less of what was hap­pen­ing in the game, I’d have to be out of there by 3:30 p.m.,” he said.

Speak­ing with Thomey, it is not hard to hear the dis­ap­point­ment in his voice.

Cee­Bees coach Ian Moores said the team un­der­stands Thomey’s com­mit­ment to teach­ing.

“That’s his pri­or­ity right now, and we fully sup­port him,” he said. “We were re­ally hop­ing to have Thomey back in our lineup this year. He’s been our cap­tain in the past and he re­ally wanted to play with us this year.”

Even with the Royals, Thomey said there will be Fri­day nights when he can­not make games in Deer Lake, how­ever it is eas­ier try­ing to get back for work.

Life­long CeeBee

Thomey came up through the ranks as a mem­ber of the Cee­Bees Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion.

Af­ter spend­ing four years play­ing col­le­giate hockey with Yale Univer­sity and tak­ing a shot at pro hockey with the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League, he re­turned to the Cee­Bees at the start of the 2008-09 sea­son.

Thomey would spend the next four years with the club, be­ing named cap­tain at the be­gin­ning of his sec­ond sea­son.

Hailed as a dress­ing room leader, Thomey played what­ever role was asked of him and had a pen­chant for scor­ing big goals for the club.

It’ll be dif­fer­ent

Thomey said he has Jan. 18 cir­cled on his cal­en­dar.

That is when the Royals make their visit to the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour

“It’s go­ing to be strange.”

– Matthew Thomey

Grace, a place Thomey has called home for most of his hockey ca­reer.

“It’s go­ing to be strange,” he said. “Even warm­ing up on that side of the ice and see­ing the Cee­Bees do­ing their thing in the end I’m so used to be­ing in.”

The trade

The move is the lat­est made by the club, which re­cently moved slick-skat­ing for­wards Keith and Ryan De­laney to the Clarenville Cari­bous for a pack­age of play­ers.

Thomey, a na­tive of Har­bour Grace, was sent to the Royals for for­wards Chad Earle and Mark Tobin, as well as the Royals firstround pick in the up­com­ing NLSHL draft. The pick is third over­all.

The rugged cen­tre­man is re­garded as a top-3 for­ward in the prov­ince and it was im­por­tant for the Cee­Bees to re­coup some­thing back.

“We had to try and get back sim­i­lar to equal value and that’s why there is such quan­tity com­ing back,” said Cee­Bees coach Ian Moores.

Earle comes to the Cee­Bees af­ter post­ing two goals and 16 as­sists for the Royals in the 201213 sea­son.

Mean­while, Tobin, back for his third go around with the Cee­Bees, posted three goals and seven as­sists for the Royals.

Moores in­di­cated the Cee­Bees might not be done mak­ing moves ahead of the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son, which is set to kick off Nov. 1.

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Com­pass

For­mer Cee­Bees cap­tain Matthew Thomey is shown here in New­found­land Se­nior Hockey League ac­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2012. Thomey is headed to the Western Royals af­ter be­ing traded last week.

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