Aces moves aplenty ahead of tonight's game with Las Vegas

The Alaska Aces, who tonight face the visiting Las Vegas Wranglers in the middle game of a three-game ECHL set, made a slew of roster moves today involving four players.

Center Tim Coffman (lower-body injury) and winger David Eddy (lower-body) were placed on reserve; forward Merit Waldrop of Anchorage, who has helped the club on many occasions, was signed to furnish some depth; and defenseman B.J. Crum was suspended by the club in a procedural move -- coach Rob Murray said Crum today told him he wasn't enjoying hockey any longer.

"He told me that when the time came that he wasn't enjoying it, he'd walk away,'' Murray said.

Murray said he offered to trade Crum, but Crum told him he didn't want to play elsewhere. Suspending Crum maintains the Aces' rights to him, Murray said, and if the player has a change of heart, for instance, and wants to play but closer to home back East, Murray said he would try to accommodate Crum.

"I respect his decision,'' Murray said.

With wingers Evan Trupp and Jordan Kremyr up with AHL Abbotsford, and winger Andy Taranto (shoulder) still out, the absences of Coffman and Eddy mean the Aces have very little depth up front. Hence the Waldrop signing. Also, defenseman Dustin Molle will play at wing tonight, Murray said, to give the Aces the full complement of 10 forwards. Ben Parker will go back in the lineup at defense to give the Aces the full complement of six blueliners.

Las Vegas, meanwhile, signed Philip Ischi of Kenai, who played nine games for them earlier this season. Ischi, a forward, has played 15 career games for the Wranglers.

In news involving a former Ace, the AHL's Texas Stars have signed defenseman Russ Sinkewich. He's played six games with them on a tryout deal, with one goal and one assist. He has also played for AHL Lake Erie this season (one game, one assist) and played 20 games for ECHL Toledo (0-10--10 totals).

Sinkewich, who was part of Alaska's 2011 Kelly Cup team, has played for six different AHL clubs for 69 games of experience in the league one step below the NHL.