Johnson released by Manchester.

An update from the AHL, where the number of Reign players on playoff rosters dropped by one Tuesday.

The Manchester Monarchs released Chaz Johnson just two days before their first-round series with the Binghamton Senators — Johnson’s last AHL employer — was scheduled to begin. Johnson appeared in four games with the Monarchs, skating as a bottom-six right wing, collecting two penalty minutes and no points in four games.

Still dotting AHL rosters are Dwight King, Bud Holloway, Jordan Nolan, Patrick Mullen, Jordan Hill, Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff (Manchester); Beau Erickson (Peoria); Geoff Walker (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton); Andrew Martens (Lake Erie) and Colten Teubert (Oklahoma City).

Including Jon Rheault, who ended the season with the Abbotsford Heat (who didn’t make the Calder Cup playoffs), that’s 12 former Reign players who ended the regular season at the next level.

The turnover on defense (pun intended).

Quick, how many Reign defensemen who played Wednesday were on the team to start the season?
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Forming the ECHL all-decade team.

The ECHL is taking nominations from fans for its all-decade team, the league’s best players and coaches from 2000-01 to 2009-10.

Here’s the process: Fans may nominate players for team from now through Sept. 24 by e-mailing ECHL@echl.com with the subject line containing “All-Decade Team Nominations.” The ECHL will present a list of qualified nominees in early October and fans will have the opportunity to take part in a final vote on ECHL.com to determine the All-Decade Team. The League will announce the team in November.

The criteria for nominees, per the ECHL: “Players or coaches must have made a significant impact on the ECHL from 2000 through 2010. An individual must have played or coached in parts of at least four seasons from the 2000-01 season through the 2009-10 season to be eligible for the All-Decade Team. Only those accomplishments, statistics, awards, honors and achievements earned during ECHL play should be taken into account when nominating players or coaches for the All-Decade Team. Final nominations will be based on voting and the meeting of certain criteria.”

So, who in the brief history of Reign hockey has the best chance of meeting those criteria?
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Taylor on Traccitto, CHL defections, Pearce.

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.
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Greg Hogeboom explains his decision to sign in the CHL.

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 …

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Hogeboom signs in CHL.

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.

Reign announce season-ending roster.

ECHL season-ending rosters were released today, the lists of up to 20 players from whom teams can qualify eight. The Reign’s season-ending roster included exactly 20:

Mike Egener, Chad Starling, Jon Francisco, Tim Kraus, Tony Voce, Peter Lenes, Curtis Darling, Chris Curran, Geoff Walker, Greg Hogeboom, David Walker, Sean O’Connor, Mike Zacharias, Jon Rheault, Dan Knapp, Luis Tremblay, Todd Jackson, Robert Pearce, Shawn Germain and James McEwan.

Of the players who finished 2009-10 on the Reign’s roster, five are missing:

• Defenseman Andrew Martens, who has signed in the Central Hockey League;

• Forwards C.J. Stretch and Jordan Nolan, who were playing on Amateur Tryout contracts, and therefore not eligible for the season-ending roster;
• Forward Michael Pelech and defenseman Colten Teubert, who were assigned to the Reign by the Kings.

In other words, the season-ending roster looks just as expected.

The next step in the process of whittling down who will be back next season is submitting qualifying offers.

Each team is entitled to qualify a maximum of eight players
from
the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of
the
eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular-season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2010-11
season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are
not
required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract
prior
to July 1.

Reign announce protected list.

There were no surprises on the Reign’s protected list, announced Wednesday:

Kellen Briggs, Dusty Collins, Chris Curran, Curtis Darling, Mike
Egener, Jon Francisco, Shawn Germain, Greg Hogeboom, Todd Jackson, Dan Knapp, Tim
Kraus, Peter Lenes, Andrew Martens, James McEwan, Sean O’Connor, Robert Pearce,
Jon Rheault, Chad Starling, Jason Tejchma, Luis Tremblay, Tony Voce, David
Walker, Geoff Walker, Mike Zacharias.
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Martens explains his decision to sign in CHL.

Andrew Martens will always have a big place in the history of the Ontario Reign. On October 11, 2008, he scored the team’s first two goals in a preseason game against the Bakersfield Condors. He scored the Reign’s first regular-season goal in Bakersfield seven days later.

Not surprisingly, Karl Taylor wasn’t the only one aware of Martens’ potential as a high-scoring defenseman. When Martens signed with the Central Hockey League’s Wichita Thunder last week, it marked the culmination of a lengthy pursuit by Kevin McClelland, who has coached in the Central Hockey League since the 2005-06 season.
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