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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 12:39 UK

Coventry Blaze sign Jeff Smith for Elite League season

Jeff Smith
Smith won the AHL Calder Cup Championship in 2005

Elite League side Coventry Blaze have signed former Philadelphia Phantoms defenceman Jeff Smith.

The Canadian, 29, has been brought in to support the Blaze's defensive line, following confirmation that Jason Robinson would not return to the side.

"I'm delighted that Jeff will be joining us in Coventry," said Blaze head coach Paul Thompson.

Smith added: "I'm a big, stay-at-home defenceman, I compete hard every time. It's a fantastic opportunity for me."

The former Phoenix Roadrunner was the first player in National Hockey League history to play more than 50 games in both the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League after he signed for the Philadelphia Flyers organisation in 2001.

I've obviously heard quite a lot about Coventry and the League and the added opportunity to take part in the Continental Cup next season means I'm really looking forward to the season

Jeff Smith

"He's a really huge man and throughout his career used his size really well," Thompson added.

"He also has the advantage that if I feel I need to shuffle the pack and play him up front for certain games, he has the ability to do that."

The Saskatchewan-born player recently spent two seasons in the Netherlands with Nijmegen Devils and had previously spent time at Trenton, Columbia Inferno and the Alaska Aces.

Smith continued: "I can't wait to play in the Elite League next season.

"Having played in Europe for the last two years, I've obviously heard quite a lot about Coventry and the league and the added opportunity to take part in the Continental Cup next season means I'm really looking forward to the season."



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