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Examiner
  • Hillman happy to land former MVP Christian

  • You don’t usually find a two-for-one deal when shopping for free agents.

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  • You don’t usually find a two-for-one deal when shopping for free agents.
    But that’s what coach Scott Hillman and the Missouri Mavericks found in Jeff Christian.
    “We’ve expanded our roster by one and our coaching staff by two,” Hillman announced.
    Christian, a 19-year veteran winger, will assist Hillman in running hockey operations.
    “Jeff will assist in all aspects of the team, including recruiting,” Hillman said.
    Christian is excited to help out and work with the Mavericks’ front office.
    “These are quality guys. They’re absolutely great to work with,” he said.
    Christian will be a dual package on and off the ice.
    “The league allows for two player-offseason coaches, often interchangeable with player/assistant coach. I’ll be doing both, living here year round and working together with Scott,” Christian said. “I’ve done this for five seasons, and I love to do it. I’ll be a true assistant, helping out in the offseason and during the season.”
    On the ice, Christian will be doing more than just playing and scoring goals.
    “I’ll also be teaching the younger guys as well, and it’s something I love to do,” he said.
    And it’s something he’s good at.
    “He makes the players around him better,” Hillman said of his marquee player. “The players like playing with a guy like Jeff. You can get a boost from taking some shifts with him.”
    The next few pieces of the roster are going to fall in quickly, according to Hillman and Christian, who have been getting a lot of calls from intrigued players.
    “I actually got a call on the way over (to the press conference),” Christian said. “And I’m sure Scott’s phone is ringing 24/7.”
    Hillman said he may have another signing in the next week.
    “We’ve got the cornerpiece in Jeff, and you’re looking for those key elements,” he said. “You need a goaltender, and you need a legitimate physical force, or an enforcer, that’s going to patrol the ice.”
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