Some Avalon East senior hockey news and notes
Word from Northeast president Joe Maynard is that the Rona Eagles were finding some opposing players taking too many liberties with their top players.
Case in point; with around 10 minutes to play in a game against the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars on Saturday night, Mike Druken was sent out and challenged Chris Ennis to a fight. Ennis can hold his own, but the team doesn’t want him fighting.
For fisticuffs, the Eagles will now turn to former CeeBees tough guy Joel Whelan, acquired in the backend of a deal with the Bell Island Family Drug Mart Blues earlier this season that saw former major junior and junior player Steve Richards land on Wabana. (Whelan, along with Brad Sheppard, were traded to Bell Island for the top pick in next week's draft.)
Richards isn’t the only new face hitting the ice for Dave Brazil’s bunch at Msgr. Bartlett Memorial Arena. The team also acquired former minor pro player James Sanford. Sanford was a part of the West Coast senior league’s Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts before he was released last week.
Sanford, brings a bevy of pro hockey experience having played close to 100 games in both the AHL and ECHL, notched his first Avalon East goal in the Blues' 7-5 loss to the Eagles on Friday night at Jack Byrne. A game in which Richards tallied a hat trick. Things are looking up on Bell Island. Surprised the heck out of me.
In other senior hockey news, the exodus from CeeBee country continues.
Paul Brown, who’s been with the team for six seasons, is done.
He joins Brent Lynch, Brian Duffett, and Manny Smith, who took their leave earlier this season. Though, I'll admit I'm not sure what led to the latter two leaving.
You have to wonder; who’s next?
Still looking into why, but one has to reason is could be because of what the management did in the off-season in loading up on star power.
The Delaney brothers (Keith and Ryan) came back, as did Sean Wadden, after a year with the Cats. Brandon Roach and Scott Brophy were signed as strengthening players. Chris Bartlett and Chris Crosbie came out of retirement to resume their roles and Ray Dalton was taken as the first pick in the Southern Shore Breakers dispersal draft.
Considering the CeeBees already had a team good enough to make it to the Herder, that’s a lot of talent to cram into a dressing room.
At the same time, with the money being paid to players nowadays, teams have to operate like a business. And in business, you do what you have to in order to stay ahead of the competition.
The Northeast Eagles have dancers? Huh?