Scott McKenzie out, Bari McKenzie in at Manchester Phoenix
Manchester Phoenix player-coach Tony Hand has reshuffled his roster in a bid to get his team's EPL title challenge back on track, replacing forward Scott McKenzie with former Cardiff Devils man Bari McKenzie.
Livingstone-born Scott McKenzie (pictured) arrived at the Altrincham Ice Dome in the summer from Telford Tigers and he will rejoin his former club, who are currently bottom of the EPL, after this weekend's games against Bracknell Bees and Milton Keynes Lightning.
The 26-year-old has been an ever-present on Manchester's second line this season, registering six goals and eight assists for a total of 14 points.
Hand said: "Scott is a good lad and worked his socks off for the team. However, I felt we needed a change and, after talking to him, the upshot was that he would move back to his old club in Telford.
"The whole squad and myself wish Scott all the best and hope everything works out well for him."
Bari McKenzie arrives with a wealth of experience in both the EPL and the Elite League, having started his career with Milton Keynes at just 17.
He jumped across the pond in 2006 after two league championships and a trio of playoff winner's medals to ice for the New Brunswick-based Restigouche Tigers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
The 26-year-old returned to the UK the following season with the Belfast Giants and Chelmsford Chieftains.
After a successful stint with the Edinburgh Capitals, he moved to Cardiff at the start of this season and won a number of admirers in the Welsh capital for his work rate and scoring ability.
An injury disrupted his campaign before he was released earlier this week to make way for Mark Richardson, who has returned to Cardiff from Kazakhstan.
Welcoming his new signing, Hand said: "Bari is an experienced player both in the Elite League and our own English Premier League. He will bring a different dimension to the team as we look to get back on track in the chase for the league title."
McKenzie said: "It was disappointing to leave Cardiff under the circumstances but these things happen in hockey.
"I had talks with several clubs but when Tony Hand called, I felt that this was the right move for me. Tony had spoken to me in the summer but I committed to the Devils. It felt good to know he was still interested and I have heard only good things about Phoenix so it did not take long to make up my mind to come to Manchester."
McKenzie has played 158 games in the Elite League with 28 goals and 52 assists. He also has 27 goals and 20 assists in 115 EPL matches.
By Andy Jowett