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By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Talks which started two months ago for a defensemen paid off with a more pressing need for the Condors on Wednesday -- a top-flight centerman.
The Condors acquired veteran center Ryan Garlock from Greenville, S.C. for future considerations, bolstering a position that was weakened when Joel Broda was loaned to Oklahoma City.
In addition, the Condors learned that Abbotsford, B.C. was returning power forward Brett Lyons to the Condors.
Lyon had been with the AHL team since training camp but only played in one regular-season game.
Garlock, 27, has played pro for seven seasons, spending the majority of his time in the AHL (321 games).
He has 71 games at the ECHL (most of it with Johnstown, Penn. in 2007-08) and has averaged 1.15 points per game at that level.
He played in Norway last season.
"I've been talking to Greenville for about two months about a defenseman but it just didn't work out," Mann said. "During our conversations about a D-man, (Greenville coach Dean Stork) told me because of contractual situations with his affiliations and salary cap that he was probably going to have to move a high-end center so I told him to keep in touch with me."
Mann said with Broda playing well at the AHL level he doesn't expect him back any time soon, which prompted the search for a quality replacement.
"With Broda up we needed to address the center position," he said. "Talking with the staff we felt we needed to add a veteran-type of presence up the middle so we did."
The Condors (0-1-1) have scored just one goal in 120 minutes of hockey and Mann is banking that the addition of Garlock, as well as other changes made this week, will turn that around.
Asked if Garlock could be an impact player, he said: "He should be, based on his resume. He has not spent a tremendous amount of time in the ECHL but he has produced over a point per game at this level."
Lyon (67-2, 195) will immediately add something Mann said his team was lacking -- size.
"He's a guy who is physical, can play and is not afraid to drop the gloves," he said.
Garlock and Lyon bring to five the number of new players who have, or will be arriving, this week.
Bakersfield added forward Michael Neal on Monday and forward Ned Lukacevic and defenseman Blake Kessel on Tuesday.
"We're going to have to make some decision (cuts) here in the next 48 hours," Mann said.
The Condors host Stockton on Friday night and Florida on Saturday night.