Friday, March 02, 2007

K-Wings make big deals at trade deadline

The Kalamazoo Wings announced the completion of two trades this afternoon.

Kalamazoo added to their offensive arsenal by finalizing a deal with the Elmira Jackals. The K-Wings will receive all-star right-winger Brent Cullaton from the Jackals in return for forwards Glenn Detulleo, Andrew Leach and defenseman Joe Markusen.

Cullaton, who was the Jackals leading scorer with 57 points, turned heads at this year’s UHL All-Star Classic by recording four points en route to receiving the game’s MVP honors. Earlier in the night, Cullaton was dubbed the league’s fastest skater during the skills competition.

“We (K-Wings) want guys who want and know how to win championships,” said Kalamazoo GM Paul Pickard. “He (Cullaton) has had success everywhere he has played and we feel he will adapt quickly to our team philosophy.”

An 11-year pro, Cullaton brings recent championship experience to Kalamazoo, as the forward has hoisted the Miron Presidents Cup (CHL) two-times with the Laredo Bucks (2003-04, 2005-06).

In a separate trade, the K-Wings completed a deal with the Bloomington PraireThunder. During the off-season, Kalamazoo and Bloomington made a trade that sent defenseman Jeff Brown and a player to be named later to the K-Wings for forward Tyler Rennette. To complete the agreement, Kalamazoo will receive veteran defenseman Ryan Gillis. The K-Wings will also send defenseman Casey Handrahan and cash considerations to the PrairieThunder.

“To receive a player the caliber of Gillis this late in the season will be a huge catalyst for our playoff push,” said Pickard. “Besides being a solid defenseman, he brings leadership and championship experience to our locker room.”

Gillis is an 11-year pro that has played in some of the most elite leagues in hockey, including the International Hockey League and American Hockey League. The addition of Gillis brings the veteran back to one of the cities he started his career. During the 1996-97 season, Gillis spilt time between the Dayton Bombers (ECHL) and the Michigan K-Wings and played for the IHL K-Wings for three seasons (1996-99).

The native of Moncton , New Brunswick was drafted in the 7th round (176th overall) by the Calgary Flames during the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Before turning pro, Gillis played four seasons of Junior A hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the North Bay Centennials, where he was a member of their 1994 OHL Championship team.


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