WEST VALLEY CITY — A veteran goaltender and two centers are the first three players signed by the Utah Grizzlies in preparation for their first ECHL season that begins Oct. 21 when the team hosts the Las Vegas Wranglers in the E Center.
Coach Jason Christie brings in goalie Alfie Michaud, who played part of last season for Christie with the ECHL Peoria Rivermen and also played some in Worcester of the AHL, the league the Grizzlies left following last season.
Michaud set a career low in goals-against average and a career-high with six shutouts at Worcester. He was the 2002-03 ECHL goaltender of the year and has played 215 pro games, including one in 1999 with the NHL Vancouver Canucks.
Also among the team's first trio of players are centers Jeff Miles and Kris Kasper.
Miles, a ninth-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2001, averaged nearly a point a game last season with Reading (ECHL) and also spent 28 games in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs.
"We're extremely excited to have Jeff in Utah. He had an outstanding college career, and his pro career is off to a nice start," Christie said.
The 24-year-old played collegiate hockey at the University of Vermont, where he tallied 127 points (45 goals, 82 assists) in 132 games.
Kasper also split last season, his first as a pro, between the ECHL and the AHL with Peoria and Worcester, tallying 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and 201 penalty minutes.
"Kris is a gritty center; his hard work paid off last year with an AHL call-up," Christie said.