Alaska Aces coach Rob Murray today said NHL skater Brandon Dubinsky of Anchorage will play for the club Monday night, when it entertains the Las Vegas Wranglers in an exhibition game at Sullivan Arena.
Dubinsky is on a tryout agreement and that permits him to play exhibition games. If he wanted to join the Aces full-time for the regular season, he would have to sign a standard ECHL contract.
In any event, Murray said Dubinsky will center an all-veteran line with left wing Matt Robinson and right wing Joey Crabb, the NHLer from Anchorage who has signed an ECHL deal with the club.
Also in the lineup will be rookie defenseman William Wrenn of Anchorage and defenseman Dustin Molle of Anchorage.
"It's an Anchorage-laden lineup,'' Murray said.
Murray said NHLer Nate Thompson will play in Tuesday's exhibition against Vegas. Returning Aces Garry Nunn and Jordan Kremyr, who were in camp with AHL Abbotsford, will also play Tuesday, the coach said.
Many established players often just play one of the Aces' two annual preseason games. For instance, defenseman Steve Ward and center Nick Mazzolini won't play Monday, but will play Tuesday, Murray said.
Also, veteran defenseman Sean Curry, who has been out with a strained groin, was back practicing today, Murray said. But Curry won't play in the exhibitions and isn't likely to play in the season-opening series Friday and Saturday nights on the road against the Colorado Eagles.
"We'll probably err on the side of caution with him so we don't chance a long-term injury,'' Murray said.
Murray said the ice at recently repaired Sullivan is still setting up, so the team practiced this morning at adjacent Ben Boeke Arena. Murray said the Aces will take their game-day skate Monday morning on the ice at Sullivan.
Anyhow, if you want to see a couple of NHLers skate for the Aces, as NHL center Scott Gomez did for the club during the NHL lockout of 2004-05, the Aces' offices at 15th and Gambell open at 9 a.m. Monday, and The Blog figures they'd be willing to sell you a ticket.