More Blind River additions

July 11, 2016

Make that two more players who have formally committed to the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Beavers new head coach Kyle Brick has confirmed to that brothers Mark Bastianello and Anthony Bastianello have signed with Blind River.

Both are forwards, with Mark having a 1998 birth date and Anthony being born in 2000.

Mark skated for the Mississauga Rebels major midgets the past two seasons while Anthony moves up to the NOJHL and Blind River from the Toronto Titans minor midgets.

Earlier, the Beavers officially confirmed the signing of two other forwards — Caleb Serre and Anthony Pullicino.

A plum prospect, Serre is a 1999 birth-year skater and homegrown Blind River product, while Pullicino brings grit, grind and grizzle to Blind River as a 1996 birth-year winger.

The Beavers missed the playoffs in 2015-2016, finishing 11th overall in the 12-team NOJHL and the team has since undergone major change.

Since the end of last season, the Beavers have brought in the aforementioned, 30-year old Brick as their new bench boss after he spent two seasons as an assistant on head coach Jordan Smith’s staff with the two-time NOJHL champion Soo Thunderbirds.

Brick then hired Dylan King, a former Ontario Hockey League defenseman with the Soo Greyhounds, as an assistant coach and brought in Craig MacDonald as assistant general manager. Brick, King and MacDonald are close friends of each other and all three hail from Thessalon, which is about 30 miles west of Blind River along Highway 17.

Also on board as part of the new-look Beavers are a vintage collection of old hockey warhorses.

65-year old Charly Murray, who has spent parts of five decades in junior hockey, has returned to Blind River as senior advisor and scouting director.

Assisting Murray in the scouting area are three of his hand-picked associates — David Legree, (retired) Colonel Michael Carr and Jim Thomas.

Legree, a former standout OHL goalie with the Soo Greyhounds from 1974 to 1976, will scout the mid-west United States for the Beavers while based in Sioux City, Iowa.

Carr is a former NOJHL assistant coach/off-ice trainer with both the Soo Eagles and erstwhile Northern Michigan Black Bears.

Thomas is a former hockey coach at Sault College with scouting connections in the Sudbury and Manitoulin areas.

Murray, who also has a prior association with Blind River and the Soo among other NOJHL teams, said Carr will scout the Florida area for the Beavers. Thomas, on the other hand, will assist Murray with his recruiting duties.

The addition of the well-connected Murray to the Beavers and his subsequent landing of Legree, Carr and Thomas followed the hiring of Brick as head coach, King as assistant coach and the appointment of Dennis Lawrence as administrative general manager in what looms as a fresh start in Blind River.

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