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Crunch, Aeros announce player swap

The Houston Aeros have received left wing Jeremy Reich on loan from Syracuse in exchange for loaning right wing/defenseman Jason Beckett to the Crunch.

Reich, 26, has totaled nine points (4g, 5a) and 189 penalty minutes in 50 games with the Crunch this season. In 2003-04, Reich had a career-best 51 points (14g, 37a) and 150 PIM for Syracuse. His play helped him to a nine-game recall to the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he notched one assist and 20 penalty minutes. Reich served as an alternate captain with the Crunch this season.

“Jeremy gave his heart and soul to this team for five years and we wish him the best of luck in the future,” said Howard Dolgon, Crunch President and CEO. “It was a situation of, when healthy, having too many veterans, combined with a desire to bolster our defensive unit for the playoff run.”

In 315 career AHL games, all with the Crunch, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Reich has recorded 119 points (47g, 72a) and 840 PIM. The Craik, Sask., native played his final two-and-a-half junior seasons for Aeros head coach Todd McLellan at Swift Current (WHL), and was Chicago’s second-round pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

“He’s got some very good leadership qualities,” said McLellan of Reich. “He’s a tenacious player who leaves his mark on every game. He has also shown in the past that he’s got the ability to score. He’ll help us.”

Beckett attended training camp with the Aeros and has totals of 25 points (9g, 16a) and 112 PIM in 57 ECHL games with Pensacola in 2004-05. He spent the entire 2003-04 season with Houston, recording 11 points (4g, 7a) and 168 PIM in 72 games.

A second-round draft choice by Philadelphia in 1998, the 24-year-old Beckett has played 229 career AHL games with Houston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, totaling 10 goals and 31 assists for 41 points.