Ramblers make pair of trades on Monday

Darrell Cole
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Deacon goes to Valley for Thomas

The Amherst Ramblers have picked up Justin Thomas from the Valley Wildcats and Francis Alarie from St. Jerome of the Quebec junior hockey league.

Centreman John Deacon was dealt from the Amherst Ramblers to the Valley Wildcats on Monday.

AMHERST – Sometimes you have to give up quality to get quality.

The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers made a pair of moves Monday that should strengthen the team offensively for this year and possibly beyond.

In one deal, the Ramblers sent rookie forward John Deacon and the rights to its first-round pick Jesse Hamer to the Valley Wildcats for forward Justin Thomas and the rights to Ryan Falkenham of the Halifax Mooseheads.

The club later acquired Francis Alarie from the Quebec junior league’s St. Jerome Panthers for the rights to Tyler McDowell and future considerations.

“These were important moves to add some more offence to our lineup,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley said. “Thomas is a player that several teams were after. He has size, grit and a scoring touch. We’ve had our eye on him for more than a year. We tried to get him out of the Moncton Wildcats camp last year but he decided to go to Summerside and then was traded to Metro in the Harvey deal.”

Bottomley said the roots of the deal were in place Saturday when the Ramblers defeated the Wildcats 7-3, but wasn’t finalized until Monday.

Falkenham has been out of the Mooseheads’ lineup after undergoing hip surgery. It’s not known when he will return, but Bottomley is hoping he will be someone who can join the team either later next year or as a 20-year-old for the 2015-16 season.

“He could be a Trey Lewis-like player. We’ve all seen how he has helped Miramichi. It would be nice to have Falkenham here as a 19 or 20-year-old. He’s a great player in the room and he would be a great addition to our hockey team.”

Bottomley said Deacon will be a great player in the league, but he said the move was made for right now. As for Hamer, the Ramblers tried to sign him out of camp but he opted to return to major midget.

In the other trade, the Ramblers picked up Alaire, who had previously played in the Manitoba league with Dauphin. Bottomley said the 20-year-old forward has averaged 20 goals a season and he will add some scoring depth up front and create a bit of competition for the 20-year-old spots.

“Last year in the playoffs we could have beaten Truro but we lost Jeff MacPherson and Jacob Conrad to injuries. Those were two big 20-year-olds to lose. It’s always nice to have some insurance,” Bottomley said.

With just a few days before the trading deadline, Bottomley expects to keep active. He made an offer on Caps’ defenceman Harrison Wood before he was traded to the Weeks Crushers on Monday.

It’s also possible goalie Chase Marchand may be on his way back. The goalie was released by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Monday and is going through QMJHL waivers.

His return would create a crowded crease with Richard Tingley and Billy Clarke, who the Ramblers acquired from Bridgewater when Marchand was called up to Cape Breton.

The Ramblers will be without forward Daniel Walsh for up to six weeks after he was injured Saturday, while defenceman Willie MacDonald could be gone for up to another month.

In Saturday’s game, Jamie Bishop and Brock Morrison each had two goals and an assist in the win,while Cam McDonald had a goal and an assist. Serge Boisvert and Ross Martin added single goals.

Robert Davis, Bruce Hornbrook, Kyle Beckwith and Deacon each had assists.

Amherst returns to action on Thursday in Dieppe against the Commandos and return home on Saturday to face Bridgewater.


Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers, Metro inc.

Geographic location: Quebec, Summerside, Manitoba Cape Breton Dieppe

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