Caught up with Karl Taylor on the Reign signing defenseman Reggie Traccitto. He was able to add some context to the 20-goal season Traccitto just had with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. Their home rink, Jate Gatecliff Arena, is rather small and certainly helped, but Taylor was sold on Traccitto’s skills.
“He’s a good offensive guy who took advantage of the arena,” Taylor said.
Taylor said that Traccitto has “grown a lot the last few years” since converting from winger to defense, and is looking at him only as a defenseman.
Robert Pearce, who played in 46 games for the Reign last season, has signed with the Idaho Steelheads according to the Idaho Statesman.
Pearce didn’t score much – five goals and 16 points – but the winger was a steady contributor on the penalty kill and was among the team’s more disciplined players (30 PIM). Pearce was not among the eight players sent qualifying offers on July 1.
The 27-year-old will be reunited in Idaho with Dustin Friesen, a college teammate at the University of New Brunswick, where the two won CIS University Cups together in 2007 and 2009.
About halfway through my conversation with Greg Hogeboom, I told him that this sounded a lot like the conversation I had with Andrew Martens, his Reign teammate last season who also signed in the Central Hockey League. Martens inked a player/assistant coach deal with the Wichita Thunder, and Hogeboom signed a player/assistant coach deal with the Texas Brahmas.
Hogeboom’s motivation was slightly different — at least, he said he didn’t sign up for the same reasons that Martens did …
Reggie Traccitto can score, fight, and skate at defenseman and forward. The 20-year-old rookie, coming off an overage junior season with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, is bringing his diverse skill set to the Reign next season.
Traccitto becomes the third defenseman confirmed be to joining the Reign, joining veteran Chad Starling and rookie Eric Doyle. A converted forward, Traccitto led all OHL defensemen with 20 goals last season for the IceDogs. He also contributed 18 assists in 65 games, after having never scored more than four goals or 15 assists in a single OHL season.
More details as we get ‘em…
Reign center Jon Francisco is hosting a three-day adult hockey camp this September at Riverside Ice Town. The camp is open to anyone 18 and over.
For full details, download the flier
Greg Hogeboom, the Reign’s leading scorer in 2009-10, became the second member of the team to sign in the Central Hockey League, joining the Texas Brahmas.
The 27-year-old winger had 32 goals and 27 assists last season, his first with the Reign after spending two years in the Swiss “B” League. The Brahmas, who play in Fort Worth, Texas, will be his sixth team in five seasons.
“Greg is a player who has proven to have offensive skill, but aside from his play on the puck, he is the type of forward who can be held accountable on both sides of the ice,” Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong said in a statement.
Defenseman Andrew Martens has already signed with the CHL’s Wichita Thunder for 2010-11.
Curtis Darling didn’t know where he would wind up after the 2009-10 season ended, but unless he got a call from the American Hockey League, it wasn’t going to be in a hockey crease somewhere.
Darling, who played in 57 games last season – the most ever for a Reign goalie – was done chasing the dream.
“That’s the thing with hockey,” he said. “It’s so much fun to play, and I had such a good year in Ontario. For me, anyway, it’s the ultimate golden carrot, where there’s always a little light at the end of the tunnel and you can get caught chasing the dream forever.
“There were ECHL offers, but the goal is to keep moving up. Most people can understand that – you want to keep moving up in life. It’s time to pursue other interests. That’s what it boiled down for me.”
Darling didn’t have to wait long for his next job.
Karl Taylor wants a more balanced goaltending tandem than he had last year, when Curtis Darling served as the starter and Mike Zacharias the backup (except in late-season shootouts).
Signing Garrett Zemlak seems like a good start.
Mike Egener checked in this morning to share his thoughts on signing with the Florida Everblades for 2010-11. My questions, and his answers: