With his team struggling and his hometown club in first place, former Rockets captain Brett DeFrias had a decision to make on whether or not to ask for a trade in his final season. It’s a decision that was not an easy one for the Kamloops native.
“This was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I never imagined in my playing time in Golden that this would be how it ends,” DeFrias reflected. “I wish things would have stayed better in Golden so I could have stayed. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”
DeFrias asked Rockets head coach Ty Davidson for a trade to the Kamloops Storm in early December and has been out of action since while awaiting the deal’s completion.
The deal was finally completed on Monday and the Rockets will receive a player to be named later as compensation.
Both DeFrias and Davidson agreed it was a very difficult situation, but one that worked out well for all parties involved and without any hard feelings.
“[I have] absolutely no hard feelings or ill will towards Brett,” said Davidson. “I wanted to see Brett play and not have him miss any more games, and I wanted to leave him with good feelings and good thoughts about his time in Golden.”
“It worked out well. I didn’t want to burn any bridges with Ty or anyone in Golden and neither did he,” DeFrias said.
In the end, DeFrias’ desire to compete for a championship was a determining factor in his request for a trade. The Storm, who have lost just six games in regulation time all season, will certainly give the rearguard an excellent chance to do just that.
“It’s my last year I want to go and win some games and possibly win a championship. I felt like I had to leave Golden in order to do that,” DeFrias said.
DeFrias began his KIJHL career with the Storm but was released at the end of the 2009-2010 season. The Rockets picked him up and reaped the rewards. DeFrias posted 24 goals and 73 assists for 97 points in 167 regular season games as a Rocket and added a goal and three assists in 17 playoff games. He was named captain for the start of the 2012-2013 season, the most successful season in Rockets history.
“It’s a little bit sad. I’m going to miss [Golden] and all the relationships I’ve built with the community, and players, and friends. I consider them family I’ve been there so long,” DeFrias said.
DeFrias, who knows about half of the Storm’s players from his days in Kamloops, hopes to be a solid contributor to their upcoming playoff run.
“I’m going to bring leadership…that’s one of my main attributes along with my hard work and effort. [I’d also] like to put up some points and help out on the scoresheet and be a solid defenceman out there,” he said.
Despite moving on to Kamloops, DeFrias remains extremely thankful for his time in Golden.
“I just want to thank the community for all they’ve done for me. Thank you for looking out for me and the team and all the best wishes for the rest of the year to the Golden Rockets,” he said.