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Kings and Bugs Complete Deal for Minard

September 12, 2006 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release

LUBBOCK, TX: September 12, 2006 - The Central Hockey League's (CHL) Lubbock Cotton Kings and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs completed a trade agreement with Lubbock receiving the rights to defenseman Craig Minard in exchange for forward Brian Sutherland. Lubbock also agreed to terms with Minard and have him under contract for the 2006/2007 season.

"Acquiring a player of Minard's ability is exactly what we have been looking for to complete our veteran allowance," said Cotton Kings Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Chris Dashney. "An offensive defenseman with continuous play-off experience will compliment the players we will have on the squad this season."

Minard (meh-nard) joins the Cotton Kings after leading the North Conference Champion Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs defense in scoring last season. The Orangeville, Ontario native registered a career best 4 goals and 33 assists for 37 points last season to rank 15th in the CHL. He also led the team and ranked fifth among CHL blueliners with a 26 plus/minus rating. Minard entered last season ranked third on the 'Bugs all-time scoring list for defenseman and leaves the Ark-La-Tex region with 19 goals and 99 assists for 118 points in 253 games spanning parts of five of his six pro seasons.

The 5'10" 180-pound defenseman turned pro in 00/01 with the ECHL's Greenville Grrrowl for five games after closing out a five-year college career (96/97 - 00/01) at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, NB), where he was part of the 1998 CIAU University Cup Championship team and combined for 17 goals and 67 assists for 84 points in 124 games. He continued with the Grrrowl in 01/02 through December before departing to the Mudbugs. In 03/04, Minard began the season in training camp with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres). He returned to the 'Bugs and was named to the Northern Conference squad for the 2004 CHL All-Star Game. Minard also began the 04/05 season away from Bossier-Shreveport, joining the British National League's (BNL) Hull Stingrays for 10 games before rejoining the Mudbugs. The 31 year-old blueliner has been part of two Northern Conference Championship squads in Bossier-Shreveport (03/04, 05/06), with each team losing out to Laredo in the President's Cup Finals. His overall pro career totals include 24 goals and 114 assists for 138 points in 297 games.

Sutherland leaves Lubbock without ever joining the active roster. The rookie out of Acadia University had signed with the Cotton Kings earlier this summer. He joins his brother Robbie, who recently signed with the Mudbugs.

The addition of Minard gives the Kings 14 players announced for the 06/07 season. He joins goaltender Brett Koscielny, defensemen Chris Barth, Stacey Bauman, Jason Beatty, Marc Bianchi, Troy Neumeier and forwards Bobby Brown, Jimmy Callahan, Philippe Lacasse, Andrew Luciuk, Paul McBrien, Jaydyn Murray, Corey Rutt and Trevor Weisgerber on the 06/07 roster. With 297 pro games played, Minard surpasses the mark of 280 classifying him as a "veteran". He is the fourth veteran (joining Brown, Luciuk and Neumeier) under contract for the Kings, who are allowed a maximum of four veterans on the roster. Media members seeking an interview with either Bianchi or Head Coach Chris Dashney, can contact Chris Due at 806-549-4228.

The Cotton Kings are currently preparing for their eighth season of professional hockey in the South Plains. The season opener is set for Saturday, October 21st, as Lubbock hosts the Odessa Jackalopes at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Season ticket and corporate sponsorship information for the upcoming season is available by contacting the Cotton Kings office at (806) 747-7825. Additional 'Kings info can be found online via their official site at www.cottonkings.com.

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