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By Courtesy of the Bakersfield Condors
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
As a teammate at Boston College, Condors assistant coach Ryan Murphy saw first-hand the skill set Chris Collins brought to the ice.
As an assistant coach with Hershey, Pa., in the American Hockey League, Condors coach Troy Mann saw the damage Collins could inflict as an opponent at that level.
Now Condors fans will get a look at the prolific scorer as the Condors announced the signing of the veteran left winger on Wednesday.
"Ryan Murphy deserves a ton of credit for this signing, having played with Chris at Boston College," Mann said. "I've seen Chris play a bunch with Wilkes-Barre (in the AHL) and he will be a dynamic force in the ECHL. He certainly should be a top-line player for us this season."
Longtime Condors fans might remember the name as Collins spent most of his first year in pro hockey with the Long Beach Ice Dogs, netting 37 points in 57 games on a team that was not very good -- ninth of 10 in the National Conference.
The year before, he was putting up uncanny numbers as a senior at Boston College, leading the team, and all of Division I hockey, with 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists) in 42 games.
As a pro, Collins, 29, has spent the majority of his career in the AHL, registering 81 points (38 goals, 43 assists) in 190 games with the Providence (R.I.) Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pa.) Penguins.
Collins also had success overseas, putting up 112 points (48 goals, 64 assists) in 125 games in the DEL, the top league in Germany.
He also played eight games for the Las Vegas Wranglers briefly last season, scoring a goal and an assist -- both of those in separate mid-November, 2012 games against the Condors.
"Any time I've played in Bakersfield I've always been really impressed with the rink, fan base and the city," Collins said. "I'm a close friend of Murph (Ryan Murphy) and when he made the move to Bakersfield, I was definitely interested in coming. Everywhere I have been, I've been a younger guy, so this year I'm looking forward to being an older player and helping the younger guys have a successful season."
The Condors also announced the signing of rookie defenseman Nick Pageau, who spent the past four seasons playing at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Prior to college, Pageau played four season in the Ontario Hockey League.
"Nick came highly recommended from his college coach, Brad Peddle, who I played with and certainly trust his opinion," Mann said. "He's a strong skater who should be a good two-way defenseman for us. Nick's a right shot which are hard to come by and I'm looking forward to seeing what he will bring to the table."
The Condors open training camp on Oct. 4 and open the ECHL regular season at home on Oct. 18 against Colorado.