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Tarantulas sign first player

June 16, 2004 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Topeka Tarantulas News Release

Topeka, Ks, June 16, 2004-The Topeka Tarantulas of the Central Hockey League have signed their first player, veteran center Troy Mann, head coach, Joe Coombs, announced today.

The 5’10”, 185 lbs. center from Campbellton, New Brunswick became the first player signed by the team In addition to his on-ice duties Mann will also serve as assistant coach.

Mann brings eleven seasons of experience as a player to the Tarantulas. That includes a two-year stint in the Swedish Second division, as well as time in the East Coast Hockey League, United Hockey League and the CHL. In 570 games over 11 professional seasons, he has scored 541 points (255 goals-286 assists-541 points) in 570 games. That includes a better than a point-a-game average in each of his first four campaigns.

Mann’s career highs are 33 goals for the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL in 1996-97 and 44 assists for the San Angelo Saints of the Central Hockey League in 2002-03. During his season with San Angelo, Mann finished in the top 25 in CHL scoring and third in the league with 14 power play goals

As an assistant coach Mann’s duties will include recruiting, promotions, speaking engagements, attending to community events, organizing road trips and occasionally running practice. Last season he held the same position under Lonnie Loach of the Missouri River Otters of the United Hockey League.

When asked about working with Coombs, Mann said, “Joe and I have the same vision”. Mann went on to say he ultimately wants to become a head coach.

One of Mann’s strong points is working with young players. Speaking of the current state of the CHL, Mann said, “the new CHL has a very excellent caliber of player, professionalism is along the lines of the ECHL”.

Mann has additional leadership experience having served as an assistant captain for the Mississippi Sea Wolves and Jackson Bandits of the ECHL, the Saginaw/Ohio Gears of the UHL and the San Angelo Saints of the CHL. During the 1998-99 season, he served as captain for the ECHL playoff champion Mississippi Sea Wolves.

The Tarantulas will begin play in the CHL in October. Season tickets are available by contacting the front office at 785-235-9466.

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