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Mudbugs Opening Night Roster Set

October 16, 2008 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs News Release

BOSSIER CITY, LA - The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs have settled on the 17 players they will have on the active roster when the 2008-2009 Central Hockey League season opens on Friday night at CenturyTel Center against Texas. Today was the league-wide deadline for all CHL teams to trim their rosters to 19 active players. Three more players who have been in camp with the Mudbugs are still with the team but will not be eligible to start the year because their immigration status is not finalized. Bossier-Shreveport also released three more players today in order to meet the league's roster requirements.

Among the 17 players on the season opening roster, seven are returnees from last year's Mudbugs team, six are newcomers with prior professional experience, and four are rookies just beginning their pro careers. The 'Bugs currently have nine forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders available to suit up for Friday night's 7:05 pm tilt against the Brahmas.

Returning players on this year's Mudbugs include: Chris Brassard (7th year with the team), Kevin Cooper (2nd), Neil Poulsen (2nd) and Brett Smith (4th), defensemen Quade Lightbody (6th) and Dale Lupul (3rd), and goaltender Ken Carroll (8th). Brassard will once again wear the Captain's "C" for Bossier-Shreveport, while Quade Lightbody returns for his fourth season as an Alternate Captain. Brett Smith will take over the other Alternate Captain position for the first time in his career.

The class of newcomers is headlined by offseason acquisitions Joe Blaznek and Travis Clayton. Blaznek begins his 11th pro season and sixth in the CHL with the Bugs, while Clayton is kicking off his 12th campaign as a pro and first with a team other than the Wichita Thunder. Defenseman Simon Mangos was a college teammate of Brett Smith and brings four prior years of experience into this year, while forward Evgeny Saidachev and blueliner J.R. Bria each enter the second season of their careers. Saidachev was a rookie last year with the IHL's Fort Wayne Komets, who captured last year's Turner Cup Championship. Goaltender Janne Kurikka is playing in North America for the first time after playing his entire junior and pro careers to this point in his native Finland.

This year's rookie crop consists of four players coming out of the college ranks. Forward Dallas Costanzo and defenseman Marcus Wiebe were college teammates at the South Alberta Institute of Technology, with Costanzo serving as the Trojans' Captain. Defenseman Clay Thoring comes out of the University of Regina and play-making forward J.J. Martin played at Brock University in Canada.

Forward B.J. Radovich, defenseman Henrik Ivarsson and goaltender Jon Horrell were released by the Mudbugs today after attending the team's training camp.

Forward Dominik Rozman, defenseman Todd Paul and goaltender Ryan Mior have not been released by the team but are not currently eligible to play. All three players are awaiting approval of their immigration status and will not start the season on the active roster.

The Mudbugs take the ice for the first time in 08-09 against the same team that eliminated them from the 2008 playoffs. Bossier-Shreveport will be looking for retribution against former division rival Texas at 7:05 pm on Friday night at the CenturyTel Center. Individual tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster and season and group packages can be purchased through the Mudbugs office at 318-752-BUGS.

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