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The New England Journal of . . . Hockey?

There's a nice article on Carl Corazzini today, courtesy of Nick Gagalis of the New England Hockey Journal. I didn't comment on the signing at the time; Lowetide had a good take on things, viewing Corazzini as a depth option for the Oilers, a guy all but certain to end up on the top line in the AHL. Most Oiler fans have had the same impression; certainly I do. Kevin Prendergast is quoted in Gagalis' article, and he essentially confirms things:

Kevin Prendergast, vice president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers, said he thinks Corazzini can play that part in the organization.

"Through speaking with him and talking to other teams, we have found that Carl has three things that we look for in a player: He’s a hard worker, a good person, and a real team player, all of which fit very well into our plans," Prendergast said.

Prendergast also said he liked Corazzini’s speed and scoring ability. He added that Corazzini is a player who could make some serious waves in training camp and could be the guy to be called up when the big club is lacking in depth.

There's a lot of history on Corazzini, who has never strayed far from the East Coast to play hockey. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts, Corazzini played for Boston University, and then for the Providence (RI) Bruins. He saw games in Atlantic City, NJ in the ECHL as well as with the Boston Bruins. He's also spent time in Chicago (pictured above, falling down with Fernando Pisani after a Jason Smith hit), Norfolk, Hershey and Grand Rapids. Chicago is the westernmost team on that list.

Corazzini describes himself as a different player post-lockout. In 2004-05, Corazzini gained 20 pounds (he describes himself then as "fat"), and the lack of interest in him by other teams forced him to re-evaluate how he viewed the game.

In 2005-06, Corazzini joined the Norfolk Admirals, playing under Mike Haviland, who had kept him in hockey after Corazzini was assigned to the ECHL. Corazzini recieved more ice-time, playing on the top powerplay unit. Now, he appreciates what his role is:

I want to be a player in the organization that improves our depth, and is able to push the other guys along. I want guys on the verge of making the leap to the NHL to lean on me, watch how I play the game, and ask me questions that will help them develop and take the next step. I relish the opportunity to play that role."

He sounds like a solid addition to Springfield's roster; the kind of player who could really benefit the bubble players/prospects.

In other minor league news, the Stockton Thunder have signed Nathan Saunders, who was a Ducks' late round draft pick back in 2003. He's largely been an ECHL goon, although he's also seen some AHL time. He's an ex-captain of the Moncton Wildcats, and in 2004-05 won the QMJHL Best Defensive Defenseman award, named after Kevin Lowe. If he spends half the season at the AHL level, it'll have been a wildly successful season for him.