Another couple of signings announced today by the Alaska Aces: returning goaltender James Reid and newcomer forward Bobby Hughes.
Reid, 21, finally found a home as a rookie with the Aces late last season after stops in CHL Allen and AHL Lake Erie. He was the third-man-out in the goaltending situation in Lake Erie, so getting to Anchorage and getting some games – remember, this was when Aces goaltender Gerald Coleman, already signed for 2012-13 by the club, was lighting it up for Lake Erie – was the best thing that happened to him in his first pro season.
The unorthodox Reid – he’s neither a butterfly goalie nor a stand-up goalie, but a hybrid who will pretty much do anything to stop the biscuit – went 6-2-1 in the regular season for the Aces, with a 2.09 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. Figure him to be Coleman’s backup. (UPDATE: Duh, forgot that Coleman's offseason hip surgery won't have him back ready to play games until likely November or December, so Reid will likely be The Man initially).
Hughes, 24 and entering his sixth pro season, is tougher to get a handle on, mostly because he played just 10 regular-season games last season, and those came in a very low league in Germany. He was 6-9—15 in 10 games with ECH 80 Nurnberg. Two seasons ago, the former fourth-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes was 13-28—41 and +8 in 49 games with the CHL’s Wichita Thunder. Though Hughes, a former 40-goal scorer in the Ontario Hockey League, has played five pro seasons, he has played just 147 regular-season games, which is something of a red flag.
UPDATE: A little research shows Hughes has suffered a variety of injuries. He also was on board the AHL Albany River Rats bus that crashed on the Mass. Turnpike in 2009. He also faced a sexual assault charge brought against him in 2009 for an alleged 2008 incident, but rejected a plea agreement and was acquitted by an Albany jury in 42 minutes in the summer of 2010.
Today’s announcement gives the Aces 13 players they have revealed as signed – two goalies, three defensemen and eight forwards.