Jeff MacMillan joins Phoenix blueline

Friday, 22nd June 2007

"A real solid stay-at-home guy, a great team guy, a leader on the ice and someone who gets the job done," was just one of the scouting reports the Manchester Phoenix received on latest signing, defenseman Jeff MacMillan.

Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand remarked of his latest recruit, "with over 500 appearances in the top two leagues outside of the NHL, Jeff can obviously play the game at a high level and that was what our research into him confirmed. Jeff will give us great size and strength at the back and if he can chip in the odd goal here and there, then that will be a bonus. He's a team guy and that's the kind of character and attitude we've been looking for to help the club move forward next season."

The 28-year old left shot played his junior hockey with the Oshawa General, before making his name in the American Hockey League with the Utah Grizzlies. In the 2003-04 season, he iced four games in the NHL with the Dallas Stars before moving to the New York rangers organisation signing for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Last season, he split the year between Vienna in Austria and the Phoenix Roadrunners in the East Coast Hockey League.

Standing 6ft 3ins and weighing in around 210lbs, the former Dallas Stars draft pick is looking forward to his maiden season in Britain. "I played in Austria part of last season and it was a good experience, but coming to Britain will be that much easier with no language barriers. At least I'll be able to read the menu," he joked. "My agent told me good things about Manchester and a close friend from England told me what a great place it is, so this is a great opportunity for me."

Having just returned from honeymoon with his new wife Jill, Jeff is keen to get down to business and hearing the plans for pre-season training and challenge games he added, "The schedule sounds good to me, the sort that allows you to hit the ground running. Last year, we trained for over a month beforehand. The shorter camp and straight into games suits me better. I know a couple of guys on the team already, so we'll have no problem settling in to a new city."

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