The Maple Ridge Burrards are looking to the future after trading defenceman Sam Cook to the Langley Thunder, according to coach Daren Fridge.
The Burrards picked up towering left-hander Patrick O’Meara and veteran Steve Hay in the deal made late Thursday. They also picked up a third round draft pick in 2013 in the deal.
The trade comes on the heels of the Burrards dealing leading scorer Derek Lowe to Victoria for a second round pick in next year’s draft.
“It is never an easy decision,” noted Fridge. “Sammy was a very popular guy in the dressing room and brought great leadership to the team.”
However, Fridge said a number of teams expressed an interest in Cook and the deal was made in the best interest of the team.
Fridge said both Cook and Lowe were great members of the team but it was time to move in a new direction.
“It’s just part of the game. Nothing was done in bitterness, but unfortunately the status quo is not acceptable.”
O’Meara stands a 6’5 ‘‘and the 22-year-old will provide great support on the back end, according to the coach.
Fridge said Hay indicated he is looking forward to an increase in playing time while hopefully bringing his leadership qualities to the Burrards after his run to the Mann Cup with the Thunder last season.
This year’s Burrards team has struggled to find the back of the net, most notably since losing last year’s top scorer Curtis Dickson to a shoulder injury. In addition, forward Aaron Pascas has been sidelined due to a car accident.
With a 1-9-1 record, the Burrards are poised for the first pick in next year’s draft, as well as two picks in the second round.
Both players are expected to join the Burrards as they play in New Westminster Thursday night before making their home debut against the Nanaimo Timberman Sunday, July 8 at Planet Ice starting at 6:45 p.m.