The mood was upbeat, almost festive, in the Missouri Mavericks office Wednesday afternoon.

The mood was upbeat, almost festive, in the Missouri Mavericks office Wednesday afternoon.

The second-year Central Hockey League team had just wrapped up a big day of negotiations by signing two familiar faces from last season and a couple of newcomers who coach Scott Hillman says will also become fan favorites.

 Forward Nick Sirota, a member of the CHL’s 2009-2010 All-Rookie team and defenseman Jared Lavender return for their second season with the Mavericks and join defenseman Dominic D’Amour and goaltender Rob Nolan.

“It’s a great day for the Mavericks with the signing of these four players,” Mavericks president and general manager Brent Thiessen said.

“We have signed players who were getting a lot of attention from other teams in the CHL. We’ve added quite a bit of scoring up front and solid defense, in addition to a goalie a lot of teams wanted. And we got him.”

 Sirota, 26, finished second for the Mavericks in scoring as a rookie last season with 45 points.

He was also a finalist for Rookie of the Year in the CHL after finishing third among all rookies in scoring. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward missed just two games with the Mavericks last season and led the team with a +5 rating.

“It’s great to come back to a great organization, great teammates and great fans,” Sirota said from his home near Beaver Dam, Wis. “I couldn’t be happier. We really finished strong last year, and lost to the eventual champion (Rapid City) in the playoffs.

“You always want to go a little bit farther and have the chance to win it all, but I think we will have a team this year that can do that. It’s great to see how hard the organization is working to bring back the core guys and then working hard to get new players who will fit in with the guys who are back from last year’s roster.”

Hillman couldn’t be happier to have his No. 2 scorer back from last season.

“Sirota was one of the top rookies in the league last year leading our team in plus/minus and was quite possibly our best player in the final series against Rapid City,” Hillman said.  “The fans saw what Nick meant to the team last year. We are very excited to have Nick back and look for him to be a major contributor this season.”

 Lavender, 26, is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound defenseman who competed in 49 games for the Mavericks as a rookie last season and finished with seven points on two goals and five assists.

 “Lavender is back for year two after probably being our most improved player in year one,” Hillman said.  “He skates very well on our blue line and plays a hard-hitting style. Having been one of the bigger players on our blue line last year, he will find himself one of the smaller defensemen this year which will allow him to play an even more physical game.”

 D’Amour, 26, enters his seventh professional season. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound defenseman was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round (88th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

“The minute Dominic steps on the ice, fans are going to realize that he is going to be a difference maker for our team this year,” Thiessen said. “He was a guy we targeted early on and really wanted to be a part of this team.”

D’Amour has played 267 games professionally in six different leagues with 111 points (37-74=111) and 521 penalty minutes in his career. The Lasalle, Quebec native had his best season as a pro last year when he had career highs in goals (13), assists (20), points (33) and penalty minutes (165) for the Nottingham Panthers (European Elite Hockey League).

“Dominic was a high draft pick and brings solid AHL experience,” Hillman added. “He adds more size, physicality and composure to our blue line. We will look for him and Blake (Forsyth) to really anchor our blue line; he has a very big shot and will be on the ice in most key situations.”

 The Mavericks are hoping that Nolan takes some of the sting away from losing Charlie Effinger, the team’s No. 1 goaltender from last season who is playing in New Castle, England this season.

“Oh, a lot of teams were very, very interested in Rob,” Thiessen said. “He’s a very good goaltender, a guy who can make a big impact on a game.”

Nolan, 24, enters his second pro season having played for the IHL’s Flint Generals last season. He is the third goaltender signed by the Mavericks this off-season joining Gerry Festa and Bobby Jarosz.

 The Sherwood Park, Alberta native played in 49 games last season for the Generals with a 19-22-4 record, 2.89 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

 Nolan helped his team reach the Turner Cup Finals where he had a .918 save percentage in 11 playoff games. Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-0, 170-pound goaltender played four seasons at Michigan Tech.

“Rob Nolan was one of the top goaltenders in the IHL last year as a rookie,” the Mavericks coach said. “As the third goalie we have signed this off-season, he carries the most professional games played although he is just a second-year player. The goaltending competition will be fierce in training camp.

“Our fans are going to love D’Amour and Nolan. We’re so pleased that we were able to work things out and bring them on board.

“These four key signings really start to round out our roster as we continue to try to improve our team for the 2010 season. We are happy with the players we have signed but will continue to focus on adding more scoring punch with our final few signings.”