Toughness Times Two
The phrase ?Things are tough all over? will apply to the Tulsa Oilers roster for the 2008-09 Central Hockey League season, in large part due to the two most recent signings by head coach Dan Hodge.
Hodge has signed right winger Denis Sicard, and defenseman/forward Chris Kovalcik, both noted for their prowess in the physical aspects of the game.
?We?re not going to into other team?s buildings and be intimidated. These two help us in that regard,? Hodge said.
Oiler fans have seen Sicard who played five games with the team at the start of the 2007-08 season, notching 12 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 183 pounder made an impression with his scrappy play, and finished the season with Richmond of the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he racked up 210 penalty minutes in only 38 games. Both he and Hodge are excited to have Sicard returning to Tulsa.
?He?s got a year of pro hockey under his belt and is more seasoned,? Hodge said. ?His energy will definitely be welcomed. He was an instant fan favorite for good reason, and he should pick up right away again.?
Sicard agrees the stint in Richmond helped him.
?I wasn?t quite ready for it, and it wasn?t the right time. It was more of a developmental stage for me,? he said. ?But I?m glad to be coming back. I love the city. My whole thing is I get the fans excited to watch, just skating around and hitting everyone.?
Kovalcik brings a little more experience to the Oilers, entering his fifth professional season. Last year, the 6-foot-4 220 pounder registered a goal and four assists but 201 penalty minutes in 63 games with Muskegon and Kalamazoo of the International Hockey League.
?He?s a big kid who is willing to protect his teammates and is comfortable as a forward or a defenseman. Guys who are tough have to be able to play, and he can play,? Hodge said.
?I?ve always been a guy who can play forward or defense, whatever the team needs. I?m not afraid to scrap,? Kovalcik said. ?Showing up is half the battle. It always tends to find me,? he added with a laugh.
The Oilers will play their first home game in the BOK Center, on Saturday October 25th, against the arch rival Oklahoma City Blazers. Season tickets for the Oilers 2008-09 season in the new BOK Center are available by calling the Oilers at (918) 632-PUCK (7825).