The off-ice report

Monday, 22nd May 2006
As with every summer, the signing rumour mill is grinding along at full speed, but this summer it seems that the rumour mill is being endorsed by the Elite League with the offiical league website carrying stories of rumours as well as confirmed signings. One of the biggest topics of speculation at the moment is the future of Play-Off winning Vipers Jan Krajicek and Matus Petricko, with both Sheffied Steelers and Manchester Phoenix rumoured to be in the running to sign the pair.  Neither team is commenting at this point.
Coventry Blaze have recaptured the signature of former team member Dan Carlson, who will be icing alongside former strike partner Adam Calder this forthcoming season.  Carlson has been signed from EHC Munchen, and will be returning to the team with whom he played a key role in the Grand-Slam winning season of 2004-2005.  Coventry Coach Paul Thompson is pleased to see the forward return, saying "I didn't want Dan to leave Coventry at the end of the season before last, just like I didn't want to lose Adam Calder.  I am delighted that we have them both back in harness as it gives me two quality players who can feed off each other as the basis for the cornerstone of the team."
Andre Payette will be remaining on Tyneside having chosen to stay with his latest team, Newcastle Vipers.  It had been rumoured that Payette would be returning to Coventry, however the former Philadelphia Flyers draft pick has been reported as saying "I love it here in Newcastle and I have been treated well by everyone up here.  It was nice to be linked with a move to Coventry, but they had me and then let me go."
Sheffield Steelers will be without the services of sharp-shooting forward Mark Dutiame, with the Canadian putting pen to paper for Elite League rivals Belfast Giants.  Dutiame has spent the past four seasons with Sheffield, so the move comes as a surprise, but a welcome one for the Northern Irish team.  Belfast Coach Ed Courtenay is over the moon with the signing, saying "He was a tough opponent to come up against, and I'm delighted that he will now be icing for the Coors Giants.  Mark made it clear that he was looking for a change and when we talked I knew he would be a good fit into our team."
Jonathan Phillips has made the move from Cardiff to Sheffield, leaving the Devils to sign for the Steelers to play alongside GB Team-mate Paul Sample.
Basingstoke Bison have annouced the return of Greg Owen for another season, the signing being secured by outgoing coach Mark Bernard.  Owen is quoted as being 'very happy' about his return, saying "Basingstoke is such a great fit for me and my family at this point in our lives, it allows me to continue playing the greatest sport while also looking after my future with my University courses."
by Richard Allan