Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Wranglers player leaves team for Norway

By Anthony Fenech

Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.

Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Shay Stephenson has chosen to continue his hockey career in Norway.

The decision to leave Las Vegas comes halfway through Stephenson's first year with the Wranglers and just two weeks after former teammate Robbie Bina made the same jump, from the ECHL to Norway.

"At this point in time, I feel like it's a good fit for me," Stephenson said. "I thought about it long and hard for a few days, but this fell into my lap and it seems like a good situation."

Stephenson said he received a phone call from a former teammate Sunday morning, notifying him that their club in Oslo, Norway, was looking for a forward.

"I'm not getting any younger so when there's a good opportunity knocking, you have to take it," he said

The 26-year-old forward said his pay in Norway would triple what he would bring in with the Wranglers for the rest of the season.

Stephenson tallied 19 points in 36 games this season with the Wranglers.

This will be his second stint overseas. He played the 2007-08 season in Milan, Italy.

"We had different philosophies," Wranglers coach Ryan Mougenel said. "Sometimes it just works that way. It was just a matter of deciding to part ways. I wish him all the best."

Stephenson is excited for the opportunity in Europe, where he will join team that is in first place. He also will miss his teammates in Las Vegas.

"I enjoyed playing here, I really did," he said. "It's a wonderful place to play with great fans.

"And this is one of the best groups of guys I've had a chance to play with. I'll be talking to the boys all year, so I'll be up to date."

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