Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jaeger signs with EIHL Champions

Brahmas mainstay will play in the UK next season

A huge loss for the Texas Brahmas is a tremendous gain for the Coventry Blaze. Head Coach Paul Thompson confirmed today that he has completed the signing of Brett Jaeger to fill the void created by (Blaze goalie) Peter Hirsch’s decision not to return to the team. Hirsch, who led the team to the 2009-10 Elite League Championship decided not to return and will instead take up a post with the Danish national ice hockey federation.

The decision by Jaeger was no doubt a difficult one, but ultimately what he thought was best for his future. Although the British pound hasn't done so well against the dollar lately, the Elite League pays better than the Central Hockey League and also offers the possibility to move up to higher levels of play.

"I’m very excited about the opportunity to play hockey overseas and with the chance for that to be representing the Coventry Blaze in the United Kingdom,” Jaeger said. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about both the team and the organization."

“This will be my first experience in the UK and I’m looking forward to helping the Blaze continue with its strong hockey tradition in the Elite League. I’m thrilled that I’m going to be playing in front of the enthusiastic and great fans the team has in Coventry and I’m expecting nothing less than our team having great success.”

Thompson declared himself equally pleased that Jaeger will be joining up with the Blaze.

“We’ve been very fortunate in Coventry to have had three outstanding championship winning goalies in Lehman, Koenig and Hirsch and I really believe that Brett has all the skills and ability to join that Elite group."

“Whether he’s been playing junior, in the East Coast League or with Texas in the CHL, his stats have been outstanding and he’s been a key player for every team he’s played for. He’s an athletic goalie and handles the puck exceptionally well but most importantly, he knows how to win.

“It takes a special kind of goalie to handle the pressure of looking to win every night and chasing championships so having signed a goalie who not only handles it, but thrives on it, is great news for our organization.”

After joining the Brahmas for the 2007-08 season, Jaeger made 104 regular season starts for the team, posting an impressive save percentage of 91.9% and goals against average of 2.52 per game over three seasons. In playoff action, his stats improved further to a 92.6% save percentage and 2.45 goals against average in 32 post season games. During his time with the Brahmas he also collected a string of CHL Goalie of the Week and Month honors.

The highlight of Jaeger’s professional career came in the 2008-09 season when his outstanding net minding led the Brahmas to the CHL title – with Jaeger posting career best figures of 2.2 goals against and a 93% save percentage in 16 play off games.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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