IceHogs bulk up lineup with Watson

Hockey stick - Don't get Checked!

Rockford, Ill. - The Rockford IceHogs, proud members of the United Hockey League, announced that they have signed left-winger Bruce Watson. IceHogs Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Steve Martinson made the announcement on Thursday. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Watson was an original member of the inaugural IceHogs during the 1999-00 season. After playing just eight games in Rockford, Watson moved onto the Asheville Smoke where he played for the following two seasons. During the 2000-01 campaign, the 6-3 winger racked up 16g-15a-31pts while accumulating 401 penalty minutes, fourth most in the "U". He helped lead the Smoke to the Colonial Cup Finals.

"The thing that I like about Watson is he's 6-3, 225 and he's like a freight train," said Martinson. "He's not a fun guy to play against. He's a combination: 225 pound freight train and a guy who can put the puck in the net with a cannon for a shot."

The 2004-05 season marks a reuniting with Martinson as well for Watson. The forward skated for the Taylor Cup Champion San Diego Gulls, Martinson's fifth championship, during the 2002-03 season. Watson appeared in 12 regular season games with the Gulls and racked up 6g-4a-10pts.

"Martinson is the best coach I've ever played for and he knows how to win," said Watson. "When I got to San Diego we had a great group of guys who also knew how to win and I want to win again this season."

The 04-05 season will be Watson's seventh in the pro ranks. The Pembrooke, Ontario native began his career during the 1998-99 season when he suited up for the now defunct Port Huron Border Cats. After nearly two seasons in Asheville, Watson skated for the Wheeling Nailers during the 2001-02 season. Watson began his fifth professional season with the Cape Fear Fire Antz (ACHL) and he registered 20g-21a-42pts, 268 PIM's in 26 games.

"I plan on scoring a little more and helping the team in that department this season," said Watson. "When I was (in Rockford) I loved it. The fans were great, I really liked the town and I want to help bring a championship to Rockford."

Last season Watson served as an assistant coach for the Miami Manatees (WHA2) after an injury cut his season short. Watson appeared in six games with Cape Fear before being forced behind the bench for the remainder of the campaign.

Season Tickets Available: Season tickets for the 2004-05 season are now on sale. Ticket packages start at just $98 and there are great seats available. Be a part of the action all season long! For more information call (815) 986-6465 and ask to speak with a season ticket representative.

Web posted on July 15, 2004

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