The Brampton Beast enter the Central Hockey League for the 2013-14 season as the first ever Canadian team in the league inaugurated for the 1992-93 season. The Beast will play out of the Powerade Centre, recently vacated by the Brampton Battalion. The Battalion have, of course, moved to North Bay. The Beast hope to fill much more of the 4,800 seat arena than the Battalion did. The CHL average in 2012-13 was 3,707 per game.
The Central Hockey League will consist of eleven teams in 2013-14, up one from 2012-13. In are the Beast and the St. Charles Chill. Out are the Bloomington Blaze who have jumped to the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The Chill are the reincarnation of the Laredo Bucks, a CHL franchise that ceased after 2011-12.
Mark DeSantis – Head Coach
DeSantis is an Ontario Hockey League grad who didn’t play for the Battalion but was born in Brampton. Mark played four years in the OHL from 1989-90 to 1992-93, before the Battalion came into existence. He played for what is now the Sarnia Sting franchise, his first three years with the Cornwall Royals and his final year with the Newmarket Royals. In 232 regular season OHL games, the blue liner scored 39 goals and assisted on 147 for 186 points.
Mark played por from 1993-94 to 2008-09 in the IHL, ECHL, AHL, WPHL, CHL and EIHL (Great Britain). In 2000-01, his only year in the WPHL, DeSantis was named the league’s most outstanding defenseman. With the New Mexico Scorpions that year, he scored 21 and assisted on 42 for 63 points in 67 games.
Over his pro career, DeSantis played 378 regular season games in the CHL. he was player/coach with the Amarillo Gorillas in 2002-03 and 2003-04. He played for the Rapid City Rush in his final year.
2012-13 was Mark’s first year as solely a head coach. He was behind the bench of the Fayetteville FireAntz of the SPHL.
Brent Hughes – Assistant Coach
At 5’7″, at a quick glance, it might look to some that Stan Butler is still behind the bench at the Powerade Centre. Brent Hughes played a full 68 game schedule with the Brampton Battalion in 2001-02, his only full year in the OHL. In 2000-01, he played eight games with the Peterborough Petes.
Hughes played pro hockey from 2003-04 to 2011-12 in the CHL, IHL and EIHL. His last four years were spent in the the British EIHL, His last two as player/assistant coach of the Dundee Stars. Brent played 216 regular season games in the Central Hockey League, scoring 63 and assisting on 89 for 152 points. In 2006-07, he was a member of the Colorado Eagles, a team that won the Ray Miron President’s Cup as CHL playoff champions. Colorado has since jumped ship to the ECHL.
2012-13 Central Hockey League
This past season was not upsetting in the CHL. The first place Allen Americans won the Ray Miron President’s Cup, beating the second place Wichita Thunder. Each of the ten teams in the league played a 66 game schedule. Sebastien Thinel of the Missouri Mavericks led the league in scoring with 96 points.
Brad Smyth of the Denver Cutthroats was the highest scoring OHL grad with 78 points. Smyth played 3 years with the London Knights back when Mark DeSantis was in the league (1990-91 to 1992-93). The former 68 goal scorer in the American Hockey League is not signed for 2013-14 as of yet.