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Scarsella signs with Manchester

Vinny Scarsella decided to go back to Europe.

The St. Francis and Canisius College alum signed with the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain.

"A lot of it is the owners," Scarsella said. "They have a good amount of money and are really committed to the team and the league. And Manchester is a place I've always wanted to see."

This will be the third season Scarsella has played in Europe.

After racking 133 career points with the Golden Griffins (many of those 93 assists were feeds to all-time leading goal scorer Cory Conacher), Scarsella played a season in Germany and in Sweden.

He came back to North America to play the last two seasons in the East Coast Hockey League with Utah and Stockton.

The deal in Manchester is better financially and gives Scarsella, 25, another chance to take advantage of the opportunities presented through playing hockey overseas.

"I always wanted to go back to Europe and explore some other countries that I didn't see before," Scarsella said. "Cory's going to be in Switzerland and I'm sure I'll be taking a flight to see him. I have a couple other buddies in Europe and it will be a good experience for me.

"I know what I need when I'm over there and what to expect," he said of being a few years older with more life and hockey experience. "It will be easier because I'm not worried about the language barrier. You don't have to worry about communicating with your teammates and it makes getting settled a lot easier."

The Manchester Storm is an expansion team after the previous team in the city folded for financial reasons under different ownership. But Scarsella has talked with a variety of people and feels confident that all th pieces are in place.

"From what I've been hearing and what people are telling me, the ownership is fully committed to try and make this a team that's going to be there for years to come," he said. "I've nothing but good things talking to my agent, the GM and the coaching staff. Obviously you're wary of going to an expansion team in Europe but I'm not worried one bit about it any more."

The season starts early for Manchester with its first preseason game Aug. 26 with the regular season beginning in early September.


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