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ECHL Report

Vandermeer's turn to give back

Friday, 07.30.2010 / 4:48 PM / ECHL Report

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

Peter Vandermeer played so little with Abbotsford of the AHL last year that at the end of the season he did what previously might have been the unthinkable.
He asked to be sent to Utah of the ECHL so that he could start having fun again.
"If I was asked three or four years ago if I wanted to play in the East Coast League, I would have said no," said Vandermeer, 34. "It was fun to be a bigger contributor (with the Grizzlies). You're a competitive guy. It was a great opportunity to go down there and get that many minutes in, get rejuvenated."
Last week, Vandermeer made sure his batteries would be charged from the start of the upcoming season. He signed a deal with Victoria that will likely make him an ECHL regular again for the first time since 1999-2000. Overall, Vandermeer, a combo forward/defenseman, is a veteran of 611 AHL games who racked up 130 points and 2,772 PIM with nine teams in that league.

Location counts for Ontario's Francisco

Thursday, 07.15.2010 / 10:26 AM / ECHL Report

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

As someone who used to work as a commercial real-estate appraiser, Jon Francisco appreciates the value of a good location.
Right now, he can't find a better one than Ontario, Calif.
The 29-year-old center has signed on for a third straight season with the Reign. He was one of only four Reign players to skate in all 72 regular-season games in 2009-10 and contributed 15 goals and 30 assists.
"I've played with enough guys to know where I stand. I'm fine with it at this point," Francisco said of his current career slot. "It's not something I stress about. I'm not going in there thinking I'm a top prospect. But I'm all right with that."

Stork brings winning attitude to Greenville

Friday, 07.02.2010 / 12:30 PM / ECHL Report

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

Dean Stork's new contract to be head coach of the fledgling Greenville Road Warriors must contain a moonlighting role as the area's tourism director.

If there's one thing he beams about almost as much as hockey, it's his new environs.

"Greenville is a fantastic city," he said. "You can drive 10 minutes and be in the mountains, or be in the city. You have the city life. There's lots to do. It's like a mini-New York City. You have all these little shops. I've been in this league for 12 years as a player and a coach. Greenville ranks in my top five cities to be in."

There's just one problem with Stork's surroundings -- he won't get to enjoy them much. He's already harried trying to put together a team in a new market, and preferably one that can quickly approach the success of the squad he left, Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati.

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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