(Team Release) - The Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League announced the re-signing of Team Captain Serge Dube, and fifth-year forward Steve Simoes for the upcoming 2007-08 season. The announcement was made to the media and a large number of fans at a star-studded press conference at the Laredo National Banks Main Office Building in downtown Laredo.Those in attendance included Bucks owner/chairman Glenn Hart, Bucks owner/CEO Julian Kiki De Ayala, Bucks President John Beckelhymer, and head coach/GM Terry Ruskowski.
Dube, who has been with the Bucks since their inaugural 2002-03 season, is the Bucks all-time leader in games played with 267coming in 13 games shy of Veterans status. Dube was honored with the 2006 CHL Most Outstanding Defenseman award, and is a two-time CHL All-Star (04, 06).
Im very happy to be back, Dube said, For the past five-years Laredo has felt like home to me.
In his five seasons in Laredo Dube is among the all-time franchise leaders in several categories. Besides being the all-time Bucks leader in games played, Dube is fourth all-time in goals scored with 62, second all-time in assists with 176, and third all-time in points with 228. In addition, Dube is tied for fourth all-time in single-season assists, handing out 50 during the Bucks first CHL championship season of 2003-2004. Dube is also tied for fourth with six game-winning goals during the Bucks second CHL championship season of 2005-06.
"Serge is our security blanket, once we have him on board we know we are going to get a tremendous effort from him, Ruskowski said. Its a luxury to have Serge because he can play forward or defense. We rely on him for his leadership and his great ability. He gives one-hundred percent on the ice, hes played with injuries, he is a very valuable part of our team, said Ruskowski.
Last season Dube played in 60 regular-season games, netting 16 goals, 37 assists, totaling 53 points. As always, Dube performed well on special teams, scoring two short-handed goals, and had 16 power-play assists. He also scored five game-winning goals. During last seasons playoff run, Dube scored one goal with 11 assists for 12 points.
Dube had his best statistical season in Laredo during the 2003-04 championship season. In 59 games Dube posted a career high 18-goals, with 50 assists, for 68 points, in helping the bucks to a CHL-best 48-8-8 record- best all-time in the CHL.
During the 2004-05 season Dube struggled with injuries, and missed a portion of the season. When he returned to the line-up on February 23rd, 2005, the Bucks were struggling with a 23-22-2 record. With Dube back in the line-up the Bucks finished up the regular season an incredible 12-0-1, capturing both the Southeast Division Title, and the Southern Conference Championship, before falling in the Presidents Cup Finals.
SIMOES BACK FOR FIFTH SEASON
In his four seasons in Laredo, Simoes has played in 186 games, scoring 48 goals, with 58 assists, for 106 points. On special teams he has netted six power-play goals, scored four short-handed goals, handed out five short-handed assists, and has seven game-winning goals. Simoes, who has won two CHL Presidents Cup Championships with the Bucks, has played in 69 playoff games, scoring 12 goals, with 18 assists, for 30 points, including three game-winning goals.
Its great to be back in Laredo, I cant wait to get the season started, Simoes said. We are all very excited to get back on the ice.
Simoes scored game-winning goals in games one and five of the 2004 championship series against Bossier-Shreveport, and scored at least one point in games five, six, and seven of that series. In the 2006 CHL Playoffs, Simoes scored at least one point in eight of the 16 games he played in, including scoring at least one point in a string of five straight playoff games.
When Steve is not on our team we are not as good, Ruskowski said. He has great tools; I really think he could have a breakout year for us this season.
Simoes split last season between the Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL, before making his return to Laredo on February 16th. Combined last season Simoes played in 58 games, netting 13 goals, with 17 assists, for 30 points. With the Bucks in 2006-07 Simoes played in 18 games, scoring six goals, with eight assists, for 14 points, including one power-play goal, two power-play assists, one short-handed goal, and one game-winning goal. In the 2007 playoffs Simoes buried six goals, with four assists, for 10 points, including one power-play goal, and one game-winning goal.
Steve is one of the hardest hitters Ive ever seen, Ruskowski said. He is an Ambassador to hockey, and an Ambassador to Laredo. Hes the first guy out in the community for charity events, and speaking at schools. We are very proud to have him back here, Ruskowski said.