Rampage sign five, add Charron to staff

San Antonio Rampage Director of Hockey Operations Matt Loughran announced on Sunday that the club has signed goaltenders Travis Scott and Patrick DesRochers, forwards Josh Olson and Serge Payer and defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski to AHL contracts for the 2004-05 season.

The parent Florida Panthers also announced that assistant coach Guy Charron has been named associate coach for the Rampage until the NHL season begins.

Charron, 55, had spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens. He worked as an assistant in Anaheim from 2000-02, assuming the head coaching duties during 49 games in his first season with the Mighty Ducks. Charron made his debut as an NHL assistant with Calgary (1990-95) before joining the New York Islanders’ staff for two seasons, and later served as head coach for two seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins (1998-2000).

A part of Canada’s coaching staff at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Charron’s 12-year playing career included a stint with the AHL’s Montreal Voyageurs in 1969-70, when as a rookie he tallied 37 goals and 45 assists for 82 points in 65 games and helped the Vees to the best record in the league.

Scott, 29, led the AHL in saves last season with 1,903, the fourth-highest total in the AHL in the last 30 years, while going 26-31-6 in 64 appearances with the Rampage. A native of Kanata, Ont., Scott owns a record of 115-110-19 in 262 career AHL games with San Antonio, Manchester, Lowell and Worcester. His 20 shutouts are tops among active AHL goaltenders.

DesRochers, 24, appeared in 50 AHL games with Lowell last season, recording a mark of 23-25-1. In 211 career AHL appearances with Lowell and Springfield, DesRochers has a record of 79-100-16. The native of Penetanguishene, Ont., was the 14th overall pick (by Phoenix) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Olson, 23, set career highs in games played (73), goals (22), assists (16) and points (38) with the Rampage in 2003-04, finishing second on the team in goals scored and fourth in points. The Grand Forks, N.D., native made his NHL debut with Florida on Mar. 11 in Montreal, tallying a goal in his first contest. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound left wing was the Panthers sixth choice (190th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Payer returns to San Antonio after one year with the Ottawa Senators organization. The 25-year-old center appeared in 67 games with Binghamton (AHL) last season and recorded 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists). The Rockland, Ont., native spent the 2000-01 campaign with the Panthers, scoring five goals with one assist, and was the club’s nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy. Payer posted the best numbers of his professional career during the 2002-03 season when he notched 41 points (10g, 31a) in 78 games with the Rampage.

Kwiatkowski, 27, set NHL career-highs in games played (80), goals (6), assists (6) and points (12) while playing with the Washington Capitals last season. The native of Saskatoon, Sask., has tallied 24 goals and 64 assists for 88 points in 216 career AHL games with Binghamton, Grand Rapids and Cincinnati, and has seven goals and 11 assists in 149 NHL matches with Washington and Ottawa.