The off-ice report

Wednesday, 6th July 2005
Coventry Blaze have signed a blast from the past of Mancunian hockey in the shape of ex-Stormer Barrie Moore.  The former Buffalo Sabres forward netted eleven goals in thirty five games for the Storm, and has also iced for the Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and Rochester Admirals, among others.  Blaze Coach Paul Thompson is delighted with Moore's signing, saying "Barrie has a lot of experience of playing at a high level.  We've never had a player with so much AHL experience.  He will be there for his point scoring ability, but also has a great attitude and will be a great leader on and off the ice.  He is only just 30 but has a lot of hockey behind him and has nearly always worn the A or the C in his previous clubs."
Coventry have also confirmed that they will be keeping Tom Carlon on a two-way contract with Telford, and will be using Carlon as injury cover as and when needed. Paul Thompson says of Carlon, "Tom still has a lot to learn but he did well last year on the two-way contract from Telford.  He was able to develop his game in training with us and gets regular ice time in Telford and he made a noticeable improvement.  Now it's time for him to step up a level and show that he can perform in the Elite League more regularly.  It is the best of both worlds for him - an opportunity I'm sure he will make the most of."
Basingstoke Bison have added some bulk to their blue line with the signing of six feet three, 225 pound defenceman Ryan O'Keefe, whose role is being made clear by Head Coach Mark Bernard.  "Ryan is a big strong guy and we missed that this past year on our backend," says Bernard.  "He moves the puck very well and isn't afraid to hack and whack in order to move someone."  O'Keefe comes to the Bison following a season with the Pensacola Ice Pilots in the ECHL.
British forward Mark Richardson has put pen to paper for the Cardiff Devils for the forthcoming season, following his withdrawal from signing for the Bison earlier this summer.  Richardson made quite an impression at this year's England v Scotland challenge match at the Elite League Play-Off Finals weekend, and has iced for the past two seasons with Bracknell Bees of the BNL.  Devils Coach Ed Patterson is pleased to sign the Brit.  "He will have a huge impact on our third line," says Patterson. "He's 6ft and weighs in at 185lbs so he has some size. He can skate really well and has great hockey sense.  He is young so he is only going to get better."
Edinburgh Capitals have signed netminder Martin Kucera for the forthcoming season.  Kucera has spent the past four seasons with Skalica HK 36 of the Slovak League.
Dion Darling has made a move down the M1 from Sheffield, signing for arch rivals Nottingham Panthers.  Darling rejoins former coach Mike Blaisdell, who left the Steelers at the end of the 2003-2004 season.  Blaisdell is looking forward to bringing Darling to the Panthers squad, proclaiming that "Dion is a real team player, he demands the best of himseld and his team mates at all times, he hates to lose, and he knows what it takes to win.  He's great in the locker room and brings the best out of his teammates, he's worked well for me in the past, I know what to expect from him, he knows what to expect from me.  It isn't always about money you know!"
London Racers have re-signed defenceman Mark Gouett for the forthcoming season, with Gouett rejoining team-mates Jason Robinson and Mark Thomas on the Racers' blue-line. Coach Dennis Maxwell is pleased with the signing, seeing the value of the experienced D-man.  "Gouett will be a great leader next seaon," says Maxwell. "He is a true professional who can teach younger players a lot of things.  His presence on the blue line will be really important if we want to succeed."
by Richard Allan