(Team Release) - The Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey league announced today that they have re-signed the franchises All-Time leading scorer Jeff Bes for the upcoming 2007-08 season. The announcement was made to the media and fans at a press conference today at the Whataburger location in front of the LEC. Bes, who lives in Laredo in the off season, will also serve as an assistant coach again this season.
Announced CHL Player Signings for 2007-2008
Bes, who was the 2003-04 CHL regular season MVP and scoring champion, as well as the 2006 CHL playoff MVP, is returning for his fifth season in Laredo. Bes is a two-time CHL All-Star, 2006 All-Star Game MVP, a three-time CHL player of the week, as well as a one-time CHL player of the month (January 2004).
Jeff Bes has been nothing but incredible to our franchise since hes been here, said Bucks head coach/GM Terry Ruskowski. Im very happy that we have him back again this season.
Its a great honor to be back playing in Laredo again, weve had tremendous success here. said Bes. But we also have some unfinished business losing to Colorado last year in the finals.
In his four seasons in Laredo Bes has carved his name at the top of most of the Bucks all-time career and single-season scoring records. He is first in career points with 344, first in career assists with 224, and tied for first in career goals with 120, a record that should fall early this season. As far as single-season records goes, Bes is well etched in those categories as well. He is first in single-season assists with 78 in 2003-04, first in single-season points with 117 also in 2003-04. Bes is second in single-season power-play goals with 16 in 2003-04, second in short-handed goals with 4 (2003-04), third in game-winning goals with seven (2006-07), and he is also third, sixth, and seventh in single-season goals scored, having netted 39 goals in 2003-04, 28 last season and 27 in 2005-06.
In my opinion Jeff is one of the top five players in the CHL, maybe in the top three. Thats how good of a player he is, Ruskowski said. He has an incredible work ethic. I cannot remember ever yelling at Jeff in practice for not trying his hardest, his work ethic is outstanding.
"I still love to play. I want to keep playing as long as I possibly can, and win another championship here, Said Bes.
Bes has always performed in the postseason as well, having been a major part of the Bucks two championship teams. In 68 career postseason games, Bes has scored 39 goals with 48 assists for 87 points, to go along with 13 power-play goals, 22 power-play assists, five short-handed goals, and 10 game-winning goals. In the 2006 CHL playoffs Bes was unstoppable, scoring 11 goals, with 20 assists, for 31 points, including six power-play goals, nine power-play assists, and five game-winning goals, picking up the Playoff MVP award while leading the Bucks to their second CHL Presidents Cup Championship.
In Bes first season in Laredo he captured the 2003-04 CHL Regular Season MVP, netting 39 goals, with 78 assists, for 117 points, including 16 power-play goals, 37 power-play assists, and six game-winning goals. In only his third game as a Buck, Bes handed out five assists in Laredos 7-2 win in Corpus Christi.
Last season Bes again led the Bucks in scoring despite missing 13 games due to injury. He scored 28 goals, 40 assists, for 68 points, including 10 power-play goals, 15 power-play assists, and seven game-winning goals last season.
Bes, who has Veteran status playing over 600 professional games, turned pro during the 1992-93 season with the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL. He was selected in the 3rd round (58th overall) by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. The 2007-08 season will be Bes 16th as a pro. He has played in six pro leagues for 16 different teams, including in the AHL for the Springfield Falcons in 1995-96. Bes is the third Buck who has Veteran Status for this season, joining Team Captain Serge Dube and Paul Elliott.
Laredo has become home for me. The people of Laredo are behind us 150%, they are very welcoming, Bes said. Without a doubt we have the best fans in the entire Central Hockey League.
This will be Bes second year as a player/assistant for Ruskowski. Jeff is a very good assistant coach, he helps me out tremendously on and off the ice, Ruskowski continued. Jeff is a good teacher to the young guys. There will be times where he quietly takes a young player aside in practice and points something out to them, but he never uses his authority on players as an assistant. He walks a very fine line trying to get along with the players and being their teammate, as well as getting along with me and being my assistant.
Id like to coach after I finish playing, Bes said. I love watching the younger guys improve during the course of the season. If I can help players in any way and help them move up to the next level thats a great feeling.