‘A different feeling’
Matthew Thomey reflects on trade to Western Royals
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.
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 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.
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.