Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mad Hatters sign Eric Linkowski

The Danbury Mad Hatters have made another signing:

(DANBURY, CT) – The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signing of defenseman Eric Linkowski. As per club policy, the terms of the deal was not disclosed.

Linkowski is a 5'10" defenseman born in Mt. Vernon, NY, but currently resides in Danbury. In four professional seasons Eric has played for Chesapeake and South Carolina in the ECHL, Macon and Fayetteville in the CHL, and New Haven in the UHL. In 175 regular season games, he scored 21 goals and added 39 assists while recording only 97 penalty minutes. In 13 career playoff games, he has 4 assists and only 4 penalty minutes. After his last professional season, he coached a high school team in Cross River, NY.

Before his professional career, he was a four-year letter-man at the University of Connecticut. In his senior year, he was named a Division III, second team All-American. 

"Eric hasn’t played in a while because he's been coaching, but he got the itch to play again and is very anxious to get back in pro hockey," General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said. "He's a defenseman that puts D first and stays out of the box. He will bring leadership and experience to the team."

"He brings a tremendous amount of experience to this team, and with his coaching experience he brings a tremendous amount of leadership as well," Mad Hatters Head Coach Dave MacIsaac said of Eric.

The Mad Hatters are scheduled to play 50 games this year and will open their inaugural season on November 1 at 7:30 pm at the Danbury Ice Arena against the Rome/Copper City Chiefs.

Linkowski's coaching will certainly give him a leadership position on the ice and in the locker room as well. Seeing him as a veteran of minor league hockey, don't be surprised if he is the first captain in Mad Hatters history or, better yet, a player coach (Reggie Dunlop anyone?). He will be 33 years old when the season starts. In the press release, it mentions he was on the 2nd All American team in Division III hockey. That same year Chris Drury, Tom Poti, Dan Boyle, Brian Gionta, and Jason Blake were All Americans. Those guys were Division 1 but it shows the guy has been around for a while and his leadership on the blue line will certainly help some of the younger players the team is getting together. 
Remember, for any hockey players that are 20+, the Hatters are holding tryouts for the team. Click here for more information on how to get involved with that.

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