Wednesday, October 26, 2005

IceDiggers make bevy of roster moves

The Alpena IceDiggers have announced a series of moves including a trade that sends veteran defensemen Adam Snead to the Cleveland Barons for forward Anthony McIntyre and defenseman John Kivisto.

McIntyre (left) is in his second NAHL season as he played nine games with the Soo Indians last year before going back to play midgets with HoneyBaked halfway through the season.

"This guy is going to move the puck north and south and he will fill the role we are looking for and that is scoring goals," said Alpena coach-GM Kenny Miller. "He can flat out play."

Miller hopes Kivisto can come in and make an impact as well.

"John will step in and become a big part of our defensive core," Miller said. "He will help our defensemen in all situations. John also has a good bloodline. His older brother, Kurt, who played with him in Cleveland last year, is at Michigan State as a recruited walk-on."

Miller is also looking to improve the IceDiggers roster with the signing of forward Gilles Hickey from Upper Canada College Prep School. Hickey is the son of former NHL player Pat Hickey who played 644 games in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.

"We are very pleased to add Gilles to our lineup," said Miller. "He is a good skater who we feel has the potential to be solid forward in the NAHL. He should also be able to score goals for us during the season."

Also being added to the roster is forward Austin Rugal as he was obtained from the Traverse City North Stars for a fifth-round draft pick next year.

"The trade will give Austin an opportunity to get more playing time," Miller said. "He will have to come in here and earn his ice time. The move not only helps us right now, but also into the future. Austin scored over 85 points last season at the midget level with Belle Tire."

McIntyre, Kivisto, Hickey and Rugal are expected to report this week and could be in an Alpena uniform as early as Friday night when the IceDiggers host the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-17 Team this Friday and Saturday at the Northern Lights Arena.

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