And the award for best summer vacation story…

…goes to recently re-signed Reign defenseman Chad Starling.

Starling, who is spending this summer in his native Delisle, Saskatchewan, said he ventured up to his uncle’s property in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where he had to carry a unique piece of cargo when he went running.

“You have to run with bear spray,” Starling said. “Either that or run with a rifle over your shoulder.”
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Reign re-sign Starling, Walker

The Reign have re-signed veteran defensemen Chad Starling and David Walker, two of their alternate captains during their inaugural season.

Starling, 28, recorded two goals and seven points while becoming one of three Reign players to appear in all 73 games last season. The tall (6-foot-6) defensive specialist added an assist in seven playoff games.

Walker, who turned 30 last month, set career highs with seven goals and 28 points in 70 games last season. Known primarily for his defense, Walker proved capable of handling the power play at times. The former Long Beach Ice Dog was also capable with his fists: His 136 penalty minutes led the team.
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Reign qualify eight.

The Reign extended qualifying offers to defensemen Dan Knapp, Andrew Martens and Darren McMillan, forwards Jason Techjma, Dale Reinhardt, Mike Howe and Dusty Collins, and goaltender Kellen Briggs.

ECHL teams were not required to protect players who have signed a Standard Player Contract prior to July 1. Players that were not signed by July 1 or extended a qualifying offer by July 1 became unrestricted free agents. Each team was entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the season-ending roster list of 20.

Meet Brian Kilburg.

Brian Kilburg is less than a month away from earning his economics degree from Minnesota State-Mankato. After he gets his diploma, he’ll embark on a very different task: Playing hockey for the Reign.

Coach Karl Taylor called the 6-foot-3 defenseman a player with “all the physical skills.”

“He loves to hit, he’s a very aggressive player,” Taylor said. “He plays hard and takes pride in what he does. We still have to teach him the correct pace for the pro game and how to make the correct reads.”

Kilburg, 25, gave Reign fans a bigger slice of what they can expect …
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