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'Dogs Veteran D-Man Chris Bartolone Announces His Retirement

August 18, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Arizona Sundogs News Release

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - The Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League announced today at a team press conference that player/assistant coach Chris Bartolone will retire and join Head Coach and General Manager Marco Pietroniro behind the bench as a full-time assistant coach for the 2010-11 season. The team also introduced recently signed defenseman Tyler Butler during the media event.

"After playing professionally for 20 seasons in Europe and North America, I've decided to retire from the sport of hockey as a player and begin my coaching career," said Bartolone. "Coaching is something I've wanted to pursue once my playing days came to an end. I've had an extremely fulfilling career as a player and I'm looking forward to giving back to the game as a coach. I'm excited to join Marco behind the bench and help guide this team as a full-time coach."

Bartolone appeared in 260 total games with Arizona over four seasons recording 56 goals and 182 assists. He averaged nearly a point-per-game during the regular season tallying 210 points (49g/161a) in 232 contests and matched a point-per-game average during the post-season registering seven goals and 21 assists in 28 playoff games.

"Chris was one of the smartest and most productive defensemen in the league during his time as a player in the CHL," stated Pietroniro. "He's a complete professional. He's been a leader both on and off the ice for our team as a captain and player/assistant coach. I'm confident that his leadership skills will translate well behind the bench."

The 40-year-old owns numerous franchise records having been with the club since its inception. He recorded the first goal in team history on October 20, 2006 in a 6-3 win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and ranks first all-time in games played (260), assists (182), points (238), power-play goals (42) and shots (857).

He also co-owns the franchise record for most assists in a single game (4) and shares the second-longest goal scoring streak in team history at five games. Bartolone led the team in power play goals in 2006-07 (12) and twice led the team in assists in a single season (2006-07, 2008-09).

Bartolone appeared in his 1,000th pro game last season against the Tulsa Oilers on December 13, 2009. He saw his consecutive CHL regular season games streak come to an end at 232 contests after an injury on January 23, 2010 sidelined him for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.

During the 2008-09 campaign the veteran of more than 1,000 games finished tied-for-fourth in scoring among CHL defensemen with 52 points (11g/41a) in 64 appearances and helped guide the Sundogs to their first-ever Ray Miron President's Cup title during the 2008 playoffs, finishing first among defensemen in scoring and fourth overall with 19 points (5g/14a) in 17 games.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound blue-liner finished second among defensemen in scoring and set career-highs in both points (66) and assists (53) during the Sundogs' inaugural season in 2006-07.

Throughout his two-decade playing career Bartolone participated in nine World Championships in Italy, Sweden, Austria and Finland, played for eight seasons in the German Elite League (DEL) and skated for Team Italy during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

The Clinton Township, Michigan, closes out his playing career with 1,017 career games under his belt totaling 261 goals and 548 assists.

The Sundogs will celebrate their fifth season in the Central Hockey League beginning this October at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Season ticket packages are available for as low as $295. For more information call (928) 759-6600 or visit www.arizonasundogs.com.

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