Manchester Phoenix have moved to add more goalscoring to their line-up with the signing of American hotshot Luke Stauffacher.
Hailing from Sun Prairie in Wisconsin, 26-year old Stauffacher led the Quad City Mallards of the United Hockey League last season with 42 goals and 29 assists for 71 points in 76 appearances.
Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand commented, “I’ve felt for a little while that we needed to add some more goalscoring and Luke should fit that bill. He plays with an edge and his record indicates exactly the attributes I’ve been looking to add to the roster. I spoke to Sean Starke about him as well as other references and I’m looking forward to him joining us.”
Standing 5ft 8ins and tipping the scales at a little over 170lbs, Luke Stauffacher brings a big game to the table. Speaking from his home in Madison Wisconsin minutes after watching his beloved Green Bay Packers thrash the Kansas City Chiefs, he noted, “my game is all about work ethic and energy and I play that way every shift. I play an aggressive forechecking style and hope to pick up in the goalscoring where I left off last season.”
Last season he was a linemate of Phoenix forward Sean Starke and he added, “Starkey and I built up a good understanding of where each of us was on the ice, we had good chemistry and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him again. I’m not the biggest guy in the world, but I work hard and I’m looking forward to getting to Manchester as quickly as possible.”
Luke Stauffacher also finished last season with 221 penalty minutes and a number of major penalties on his record. He laughed as he explained, “that’s not the main part of my game at all. The team I was on lost its tough guys and I just kinda took on the role of standing up for my team mates. Hey, you win a few, you lose a few, but I’d rather hurt the other team by scoring against them. I’m coming to Manchester to hopefully make a mark on the scoresheet in all the right areas.”
And on his favourite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers he noted, “they’re my team. They’re a blue-collar club and the biggest sporting thing near where I live in Madison, everyone is a Packers fan. I understand soccer is the biggest thing in England, so maybe I’ll get a chance to take in a game while I’m in Manchester and see what that’s all about.”
Phoenix are processing the work permit application and are hopeful of receiving approval in time to get Luke Stauffacher on a flight to Manchester ahead of the coming weekends home games against Cardiff and Basingstoke.