© Compass file photo by Nicholas Mercer
Terry Ryan hopes to capture his first Herder Memorial Trophy this season as a member of the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars. In this Compass file photo, Ryan practices with his new team for the first time.
Terry Ryan is well accustomed to the rough and tumble nature of high-calibre hockey, having played at the very highest levels of the game.
But he could have been forgiven for being a little dazzled by the activity off the ice in recent weeks, having been moved four times in a span of seven days by teams in the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League.
On Sept. 28, Ryan was dealt from the Mount Pearl Blades to the CeeBees with Mitch Flynn and a future first-rounder going to the Blades in return.
A week later Ryan, with the Blades announcing it would withdraw from the league for a year, Ryan's trade was nullified because of a 30-day league rule.
So, Ryan's name was thrown into the Mount Pearl player dispersal draft on Oct. 3.
The Western (formerly Corner Brook) Royals selected Ryan with the fourth pick of the first round. The CeeBees took defenceman Mike Lee one pick earlier at No. 3.
"We felt bad that we couldn't get Terry in the draft but we had to look out what our needs were," said CeeBees head coach and general manager Corey Crocker. "Through the draft, our needs was a defenceman. We thought we could still work out a deal for Terry or get him in the draft for our second pick."
That would not work out for the club or Ryan, as the Royals took him a pick after the CeeBees. With their second pick of the draft, the CeeBees took d-man Grant Kenny.
The pick made Lee expendable if a deal became available for Ryan. That deal became available when the Royals, who owned Ryan's rights, made it known they were interested in swapping Ryan for d-man Lee, and on Oct. 6 the deal was made.
Wants to be a CeeBee
For Ryan, he saw more moves in a week than he did as professional athlete.
"It was probably only once or twice in the pros," he said. "The second time in the pros, I went from Utah to St. John's ... and then I got traded to Red Deer from Tri-City in junior.
"I'd say more in the last week in senior hockey than the last 20 years. There you go."
While he was willing to lace up his skates with the Royals, Ryan wanted to be a CeeBee, largely because of the club's rich history.
"If you're wearing the crest of the CeeBees, you have to realize you're playing for the community and everybody who's ever played for the organization," said Ryan.
"I'm excited because the year has started and people are talking about a championship right off the bat," said Ryan.
Crocker described 35-year-old Ryan as a "legend" in senior hockey in this province, and added, "he still has a lot of passion for the game."
"He's one of the guys on our team who does not have a Herder and I know he is hungry for one," he said.
Ryan is unsure of what his role will be with the CeeBees, which opens the new season on the road against the expansion Gander team on Oct. 20.
"I pride myself in being an all-around player," he said.
Whether it is as a third-line grinder or with one of the play-makers on the top two lines, Ryan is ready for whatever role he is given.
"I'm excited to get the year going. We have a good team," she said.
Ryan, a veteran of the provincial senior circuit, has a history with most of his CeeBees teammates, having played with about a dozen of them on ice hockey and ball hockey teams.
Ryan is happy to be included amongst names like Robert Slaney, Keith Delaney, Ryan Delaney, Ray Dalton, Mike Thomas, Mike Dyke and Morgan Warren.
"I'm not using a cliché here, they're a great bunch of guys," he said.