The off-ice report

Monday, 17th July 2006

Cardiff Devils have bolstered their blue line with the signing of Tyson Teplitsky, taking him from Florida Everglades on a two year deal whilst he continues his academic studies.  Devils Coach Ed Patterson sees the potential in the signing, saying "Tyson Teplitsky is a great defenceman with offensive capabilities.  In his first year of pro hockey he got nine goals and twenty nine assists and he's committed to coming here for the next two seasons, finishing his Masters and playing hockey at the same time which is outstanding for us."

Cardiff will be without the services of netminder Mike Brabon and forward Phil Manny this season, with the duo having signed for Solihull Barons.  Cardiff defenceman Kirk DeWaele also looks not to be returning, having reportedly signed for Charlotte Checkers in the ECHL.

Basingstoke Bison have announced the signing of former Sheffield Steelers winger Gavin Farrand, who moves on after three seasons at the Hallam FM Arena.  Bison Coach Doug Sheppard likes the grit that Farrand demonstrates, saying "Gavin is an extremely hard working player, he is always in oppositions' faces,  he makes it very uncomfortable for opposition teams to play against him."

Basingstoke have also added to their defence with the signing of Canadian blue-liner Eric Braff, who moves to Basingstoke following a season with Pensacola Ice Pilots in the ECHL.  "I am extremely excited to be coming to the Elite League to play for the Bison," says Braff. "I am very much looking forward to working with Doug Sheppard and Duncan Dalmao, meeting the fans and winning some hockey games."

Hull Stingrays have announced the re-signing of netminder Miroslav Bielik, with team owner Mike Pack proclaiming that "Miro is a big presence in nets and he is continuing to improve and mature.  I am sure that he will do a great job for us.  I know that he relishes the challenge and wants to perform on the big stage.  He had some outstanding moments in the Stingrays shirt last season and is looking to achieving even more next year."

Coventry Blaze have signed Canadian forward Sylvain Cloutier, taking him from Adirondack Frostbite in the UHL.  The former Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Vipers and Houston Aeros player has been a prime target for the Blaze, with Coach Paul Thompson expressing relief at finally making the signing.  "I don't think in my entire career that I've spent so much time trying to sign a player," says Coach Thompson.  "A few weeks ago I thought I'd lost the chance to sign Sylvain as he had a big offer back home.  But I persisted and he has agreed to come over and play for Coventry.  For the first time that I spoke to Sylvain I wanted him wearing a Blaze jersey this season.  He has seen it, done it and still wants it. I think he could be the signing of the season.  He is a very strong face-off specialist. Sylvain is a rugged centre with similar attributes as Joel Poirier, but he has played at a much higher level.  His ability and his leadership will be key for the Blaze this season."

Newcastle Vipers captain Jonathan Weaver has announced his return to the club for a fourth season, with the native Tynesider reportedly turning down an offer to move to Belfast.  Vipers Coach Rob Wilson is enthusiastic about the news, saying "We are absolutely delighted that Weaves has agreed to come back, I have never had to work so hard for a player's signature.  Weaves was highly sought after and that was no surprise to us, in our opinion he was probably the best player in the league last season and was certainly the Play-Off MVP."

by Richard Allan