ROCKET CAPTAIN DUARTE DEALT TO LEAMINGTON

Press Release #1:

The Strathroy Rockets continue to shake up their line-up and tonight in St. Thomas they will be without their Captain of 3 years as they dealt Tyler Duarte to the Leamington Flyers this week.

Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed as of yet but GM Dan Gibson did tell myFM Radio that “The Rockets have been struggling with Leadership and felt it was the best thing for the team. Tyler also felt it was the best thing for him. We respect Tyler and his abilities and appreciate his commitment over the past 5 seasons”.

A highly skilled shootout specialist, Duarte leads all active GOJHL players in career games played (207).  A premiere penalty killer, Duarte leads all active GOJHL players in career shorthanded goals (8).  He ranks 4th in goals (65), and fifth in assists (87) and points (153).

Press Release #2:

The Strathroy Rockets traded captain C Tyler Duarte to the Leamington Flyers on Friday.

Duarte, 20, was in his fifth season with the Rockets and third as team captain.

Final details of the transaction will be announced at a later date.

“The Rockets have made the difficult decision to trade our captain of three seasons,”said general manager Danny Gibson. “We have been struggling and felt it was the best thing for the team. Tyler also felt it was the best thing for him.”

The Rockets sit in eighth place in the nine-team Western Conference with a record of 4-10-0.

“The organization felt that a culture change was required and this may help with that.  We respect Tyler and his abilities, and appreciate his commitment over the past five seasons, but we feel this is the right move as one of the approaches to get us back on track”.

Gibson said the move was made to address a few things, but mostly to attempt to drive a new culture within the team.

“Our assistant captains have been doing a great job and all three have the potential to be considered the Rockets’ first new captain in three seasons”, said Gibson.

The assistant captains are LW Nick Boyer,RW Stuart King and D Matt Laberge.

Gibson says there is no timeline to name a new captain.

Duarte played in 207 regular season games in his Rockets career, scoring 153 points (65-88-153), adding another 45 points (21-24-45) in 45 post-season games.

It was the second trade in a week for the Rockets, who earlier sent backup goaltender G Tynan Lauziere to the Pelham Pirates in a cash deal.

The Rockets kick off a stretch of three games in three days this evening against the St. Thomas Stars on the road before returning home to host the undefeated Sarnia Legionnaires Saturday evening at West Middlesex Memorial Arena (7:30 p.m.).

They close out the weekend with a rare Sunday afternoon home game against the Lambton Shores Predators (2:30 p.m.).

David Honsberger

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