IceMen Obtain Star LW Jeff Christian
EVANSVILLE, IN.--- In their continued concerted efforts to make positive improvements and inroads in shaping and sculpting their 2010-11 inaugural AA/CHL season, the Evansville IceMen of the Central Hockey League have attained another significant step forward especially for the duration of this current campaign.
On this date, IceMen General Manager/Coach Rich Kromm has announced the acquisition of veteran star left wing JEFF CHRISTIAN, claimed off league waivers from the Mississippi RiverKings. The move is designed expressly to continue the IceMen bid to land a coveted CHL playoffs' berth in the franchise inaugural season.
CHRISTIAN, 40, is presently in his 21st professional season, his sixth in the Central Hockey League. This was his initial season in Mississippi with the RiverKings. A true testament of staying power and goal-scoring prowess, the 6-2, 215lb standout arrives on the Evansville pro hockey scene with a voluminous resume of majestic achievements through a magnificent pro playing career in the NHL, AHL, IHL, overseas and, now, the CHL.
The Burlington, Ontario product has played in 1,305 pro career games, amassing 1,272-points, including 538-goals and 734-assists along with 3.150-PIM. Thus far this season with Mississippi, the high-scoring left wing has not lost his zest and zeal for the game and his career. He was the RiverKings fourth leading scoring virtuoso, registering 39-points in 52-games on 14-goals, 25-assists with 1-SHG, 1-OTG and 3-GWG. Christian was second on the club in power play points with 20 through 5-PPG and 15-PPA while his 158-SOG topped his former team. In 8-meetings against Evansville this season, he was Mississippi's leading scoring ace against the IceMen, collecting 11-points on 3-goals, 8-assists with 8 of those 11-points recorded through the power play, again, the most on the Mississippi team.
GM/Coach Kromm expressed excitement with his club's latest acquisition. "We were in a position to obtain Jeff on waivers and took advantage of that opportunity. We feel that he can help us considerably and be instrumental in this important stretch drive coming up for us as we seek to achieve our goal of making the playoffs. Jeff has enjoyed a remarkably successful career in the NHL, AHL and, for that matter, all minor pro leagues. He is a proven scorer who still has the ability to contribute offensively, score the big goal and be a key component on our power play."
Following a sterling major junior `A' career in the OHL with the London Knights and Owen Sound Platers, Christian was selected in the second round, 23rd overall, in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
He launched his pro career in the AHL with the Utica Devils where he played for parts of three seasons. Christian later saw service in the IHL with the Cincinnati Cyclones, the Cleveland Lumberjacks and the Houston Aeros. In the 1996-97 season in Cleveland, he fired 40-goals and collected 80-points in 69-games while accumulating 262-PIM. In '98-99 with Houston, he amassed 86-points on 45-goals, 41-assists and 252-PIM.
From 2001 to 2005, he did some serious globetrotting, performing in the European theater with the Krefeld Penguins, DEG Metro Stars and Hanover Scorpions in Germany before moving onto the Sheffield Steelers in England. Upon his return from overseas, he continued his North America career in the CHL by signing with the Youngstown Steelhounds where he enjoyed his best two seasons ever in his illustrious pro career. In 2005-06, Christian authored a career-high 55-goals along with 107-points. The very next season, he crafted a career-best 116-points on 38-goals and career-best 78-assists, capturing the CHL league scoring crown and league MVP honors.
Playing for the Tulsa Oilers in 2007-08 and 2008-09, the newest member of the IceMen topped Tulsa in scoring in both seasons, engineering 83 and 79-points respectively. Last season, with the Missouri Mavericks, Christian, at the age of 39, showed that he still possessed the magic "Midas" touch averaging a team-high 1.4 points per game as he finished seventh in league-wide scoring with 55(29-49-78) and 110-PIM.
For his career, Christian has played 7-seasons in the IHL, parts of 6-seasons in the AHL and CHL, 5-seasons in Europe as well as parts of 5-seasons in the NHL with New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.
Jeff Christian is expected to make his IceMen debut this Friday night, February 25th when his new team begins the final playoff push by traveling to Dayton to be hosted by the Gems in a 6:30 pm opening face-off with broadcast time on WEOA-AM 1400 and the world-wide internet at 1400amweoa.com at 6:00 pm.
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