The off-ice report

Monday, 6th June 2005
Coventry have revealed their first new signing for the forthcoming season, in the shape of former Mississippi Sea Wolves and Rochester Americans forward Jeff Hutchins.  Hutchins joins the league champions with a view not only to play but also to further his education, accepting a place at Coventry University as a part of the deal to bring him to these shores.  Coventry coach Paul Thompson is looking forward to seeing Hutchins in action, saying "I've heard a lot of good things about Jeff.  I like the fact that he is a feisty, committed player who will stand up for himself and who will score some points.  Getting players with the right attitude is crucial for us if we are to repeat our success of last season and Jeff will be a gutsy player for us."
Hutchins looks set to replace Dan Carlson, who is leaving the Blaze to play at EHC Munchen in Germany.
Cardiff Devils will be without the services of Jon Cullen this season, with the forward signing with REV Bremerhaven.  The former St Cloud State University player iced for the Devils last season amassing 27 goals and 36 assists in all competitions.  Joining Cardiff this season will be new signings defenceman Mike Garrow and centreman Louis Goulet.  Garrow joins the Devils following a season in which he iced for the Mississippi Sea Wolves, the San Diego Gulls and the Utah Grizzlies, whereas Goulet joins from the Augusta Lynx, and is a direct replacement for the departing Jon Cullen.
Basingstoke Bison have retained Tony Redmond for a tenth season, and Redmond is pleased to be back.  "This is home to me and I'm thrilled to be able to pull on the Wella Bison jersey again," says the Bison veteran. "The fans have always been great to me here and I look forward to treating them to a fantastic season of hockey."
Basingstoke have also announced the signing of Michael Wales on a two-way contract with MK Lightning.
Ex-Manchester Storm forward David Longstaff has put pen to paper on a one-year contract with Newcastle Vipers.  Longstaff was a product of the Whitley Bay junior system, earning himself a place on the Warriors team before spending a six-season spell with Sheffield Steelers, then moving to Djurgardens Stockholm before returning to Tyneside.  Newcastle Vipers Chairman Paddy O'Connor is pleased to see the forward sign up for another season, saying "David's certainly had plenty of attractive offers on the table, he's reached a stage in his career where he had to make a decision for the benefit of himself and his family.  With this in mind I am delighted that David has agreed to return for his fourth season with the Vipers."
by Richard Allan