Kyle Hagel coming home..........
Red Wings grad signs with Bulldogs
By Mark Newman, News Staff, Hamilton Mountain News
The 27-year-old defenceman and Hamilton native signed a one-year contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday.
As soon as I heard Hamilton, I got excited, said the free agent and former Hamilton Red Wing, who was with the American Hockey Leagues Peoria Rivermen last season.
The St. Jean de Brebeuf graduate will have some catching up to do upon his return.
Hagel figures he has spent only two weeks in Hamilton in the past two years.
He attended the training camp of the St. Louis Blues, Peroias NHL parent club, last September before returning to the Rivermen where he played seven games up front, collecting one assist and 15 penalty minutes, before dislocating his right shoulder that resulted in season-ending surgery.
Known for his rough and tumble style of play, Hagel said the shoulder has been reconstructed and is ready to go and hes looking forward to crashing in the corners at Copps Coliseum this fall wearing a Bulldogs sweater.
Hagel, who played four seasons at Princeton University with pro stops in the East Coast Hockey League followed by the AHLs Rochester Americans and Rockford IceHogs, said five American Hockey League clubs were interested in his services.
He said he chose the Bulldogs because they offered the best opportunity for ice time, possible advancement to the NHL parent club Montreal Canadiens, an opportunity to play in his home town and a modest salary increase.
(Hamilton) was the best in every category, said Hagel, who is spending the summer in Vancouver working with a friend who has what he calls a high-tech start-up company.
Hagel said he was known to Canadiens executive vice president and general manager Marc Bergevin prior to the signing with Hamilton.
Bergevin was an assistant GM with the Chicago Blackhawks when Hagel was with the Blackhawks farm club in Rockford.
In 96-career AHL games Hagel has five goals, nine assists and 301 penalty minutes.