T-Birds notebook: Shea Theodore cancer scare, trades and a new McNelly
Former Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Shea Theodore came forward Thursday to detail a cancer diagnosis he dealt with this Summer.
Theodore posted the news with a personal and heartfelt article that appeared in The Players’ Tribune and explains how he was diagnosed with testicular cancer after being tested while playing for Canada at the World Championships this past spring.
He underwent surgery this summer to remove the cancer and is expected to play for the Vegas Golden Knights this season.
Theodore, 24, played for Seattle from 2011 through 2015 and is the Thunderbirds top-scoring defenseman in franchise history. In 258 games with Seattle, he scored 58 goals with 154 assists for 212 points. He was named WHL Defenseman of the Year in 2015.
The Anaheim Ducks selected Theodore in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft and he was traded to Vegas during the 2017 expansion draft. He’s appeared in 193 NHL games between Anaheim and Vegas, scoring 23 times with 83 points.
Theodore also announced that he will be donating money to early detection causes for every point he scores this season and the Golden Knights will match the amount. The Golden Knights encourage public donations as well through the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation.
Here is the latest news surrounding the Thunderbirds
Trade winds blow early
Seattle general manager Bil La Forge has been busy this past week. Monday, he swung a deal with the Red Deer Rebels to pick up forward Alex Morozoff who promptly scored two goals in his debut the next night.
While the Thunderbirds are flush with forwards, Morozoff’s addition was needed because there are a number of injuries up front. Most notable is Tyler Carpendale, who has an upper-body injury that La Forge said would keep the big forward out indefinitely.
Morozoff, 18, was playing center in Tuesday’s preseason finale, and that may be where he’ll start the season.
“That’s his natural position and preferred position,” Seattle head coach Matt O’Dette said. “We wanted him to come out of the gates comfortable and in a natural position. I think he’s capapble of playing all the forward positions so we’ll see how it shakes out.”
Thursday afternoon, La Forge cleared more room from the forward group by swinging a trade with the Swift Current Broncos. Seattle sent forward Brecon Wood and a conditional eighth-round pick in the 2021 draft for forward Ashton McNelly.
McNelly, 16, played last season for the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers and is the younger brother of Thunderbirds defenseman Cade McNelly. The younger McNelly has yet to sign a WHL contract.
Wood, 18, was acquired from Moose Jaw by Seattle last season and played 46 games with the Thunderbirds, scoring three times.
Roddy Ross, Henrik Rybinski, and Matthew Wedman to NHL main camps
The three NHL drafted Thunderbirds have all moved onto the main training camp with their respective clubs.
Ross (Philadelphia Flyers) and Rybisnki (Florida Panthers) will be returned to the Thunderbirds at some point but their status for opening night on Sept. 21st is up in the air. The Thunderbirds are watching Wedman’s situation carefully as he is eligible to play with the Florida Panthers American Hockey League affiliate this season. If the Panthers sign the 20-year-old to a contract, they could place him in Springfield and he would not return to Seattle.