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Enforcer Role Not Enough For Bain

October 16, 2006 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Florida Seals News Release

CELEBRATION, Fla. - Being a hockey team's enforcer - the guy who everyone knows is the designated protector - can be a thankless job. Spending more time dropping the gloves to fight than lifting them to celebrate a goal can get a guy typecast.

Chris Bain would much rather prefer a different script, one with goals and a championship included along with providing the muscle.

Florida Seals Head Coach/V.P. of Hockey Operations Tommy Stewart and General Manager Bryan Elliott announced today that they had reached an agreement with Bain to join the Seals at their training camp this week.

"I'm learning more about how to play the enforcer role as a team player and not just somebody that's out there looking for a fight," Bain said. "I've learned along the way what to do and what not to do and I feel pretty comfortable with it."

"I'm hoping to chip in this year with some good goals and be a more all around player. If it's fighting I have to do, that doesn't matter to me one bit. I'll do that."

When it came time for the 21 year old from Sudbury, Ontario to play junior hockey, he signed on with the London Knights, one of the premiere programs in the Ontario Hockey League. It also helped that the Knights were being coached by Mark and Dale Hunter. Bain credits the Hunters for cultivating his rugged style of play.

"They were a couple of NHLers that have a lot of experience. It was definitely a good place to come into the league and learn exactly what the game is all about, its caliber and what it takes to make it to the next level," he said. "Both of them kind of played the same gritty style that I play. They helped me in parts of my game just learning how to fight."

Bain proved to be a very quick study. During his first two seasons with the Knights, he amassed 356 penalty minutes in 120 games during the regular seasons to go with four goals and one assist during that same period. He spent just four games in London during the 2003-2004 season before being sent to the Mississauga Ice Dogs where in 54 games he tallied two goals and nine assists in 54 regular season contests along with 187 PIMs. In the playoffs, he tacked on four goals and seven assists to 68 penalty minutes in 24 outings.

Following a 12-game stint with the Saginaw Spirit in 2004-2005, Bain found himself at a crossroads. The decision he had to make: continue his education or continue his hockey career. The decision was made when he received a call from an old foe who gave him an invitation to head to Wichita, Kansas.

"I talked to Mark French who coached against me in North Bay when I was in the OHL," Bain said. "He persuaded me to come down there (Wichita) and join my first year as a pro. I decided to give it a try."

Despite having to adjust to the new pro lifestyle and playing in the CHL, Bain quickly made friends. He scored only one goal but was the team's enforcer, putting 191 penalty minutes onto the score sheets in 40 games.

"It was good. I liked it," Bain said about his time in Wichita. "It was tough adjusting at first but once you got going there was great group of guys there. We all stuck together and got the year going pretty good."

Toward the end of the season, Bain was traded to Fort Worth and put up 72 PIMs in a mere 15 games.

During the summer, Bain kept in contact with former Wichita teammate Ryan Coghlan. It was Coghlan who talked Bain into contacting the Seals and Coach Stewart.

"He (Coghlan) was telling me that Florida was going to be a great place to play," Bain said. "I talked to Tommy and he said they were going to have a good team coming in and that's what I want. I want to be part of a good team this year - a team that has a good chance to win it all."

Being that this is just his second year as a pro, Bain looks at playing for the Seals as an important part of his development as a player.

"I want to get a lot of ice time and be able to improve my overall game while helping the team," he said. "I'm definitely looking forward to this year where I can have an opportunity to play and give it my all out there."

To reserve your season tickets or find out more about partnerships with the Seals call the office at (407) 343-PUCK or go to www.floridaseals.com. Season tickets for exciting Seals hockey start as low as $285.

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