Matt Robinson doesn’t mind his role as the player obtained in the Johnstown Chiefs’ biggest offseason trade.

The former Alaska Aces forward is comfortable skating at Cambria County War Memorial Arena and feels no added pressure knowing that he was acquired in a deal that sent former Johnstown all-star Alexandre Imbeault to Anchorage.

“I was excited because after the season in Alaska I had asked to be traded and I wanted to be traded somewhere on the East Coast,” said Robinson, a 6-foot-1 left wing. “I was excited because Ian Herbers wanted me to be one of the top guys. Replacing Imbeault, I knew Imbeault was one of their top guys.”

Last season, Robinson netted 19 goals and 37 points for the Aces. In two seasons with Alaska, he combined for 40 goals, 71 points and 99 penalty minutes in 117 regular-season games.

“What I’ve seen from Matt in the dressing room is even more important,” Chiefs coach Ian Herbers said. “He’s very positive, always smiling, happy to be here. He’s ecstatic about the chance he’s getting here in Johnstown. On the ice, he has the size, he can skate well and he goes to the net. He has a good shot.”

Herbers put Robinson and captain Randy Rowe on the same line, rotating different centers between them.

“Right off the bat we had instant chemistry,” Robinson said. “Randy is fast with the puck. We just both know where each other are on the ice. It’s pretty exciting playing with him. Hopefully we can carry it on into the season.”

“I’m very comfortable with them together,” Herbers added. “Matt brings more strength on the wing that we were lacking a little bit last year.”

A native of South Surrey, B.C., Robinson had hoped to migrate onto the continental United States in order to have a better opportunity for career advancement.

“In Alaska, it was a great city (Anchorage) and great fans,” Robinson said. “It’s just that it was a little tough to get called up. Obviously, they’re not going to call many guys up from Alaska when they need them right away. A lot of people were telling me that on the East Coast side it’s a little easier to get called up because everyone is a little closer.

“That and I wanted a new start. It was a little tougher in Alaska because they had a lot of guys that had been there before, a lot of veterans, and they weren’t playing the younger guys as much. This is a fresh start.”

The new beginning also provided Robinson with a blast from hockey’s movie past.

As usually is the case with new players here, he immediately checked out the arena for links to “Slap Shot,” the 1977 Paul Newman movie filmed in Johnstown.

“Everybody I talked to said, ‘You’re going to the War Memorial,’” Robinson said. “As soon as I saw it I immediately thought of the Charlestown Chiefs. They have a (Slap Shot) gallery to the movie. It’s cool to be here. The town is nice. It’s kind of a little country town and I like that. This is a great group of guys. I’m excited to get the season going.”

Herbers on Wednesday released three tryout players: Defenseman R.J. Roy, forward Alex Sciangula and forward Todd Taylor.

“I thought all three guys came in here and worked very hard,” Herbers said. “They gave it all they had. They had great attitudes. With the depth we have there really wasn’t much of a chance. I wanted to get them into an exhibition game but at the same time I knew they weren’t going to be here at the end, so it was better to release them and give them a chance to hook on with another team somewhere else.”

The Chiefs travel to Wheeling Friday for an exhibition game then host the Nailers on Saturday.

In other Chiefs news: The AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters assigned goaltender Ian Keserich to the Johnstown Chiefs on Wednesday.

Keserich, 22, was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Colorado and Lake Erie are affiliated with the ECHL’s Chiefs.

Keserich split the 2007-08 season in the Central Hockey League with the Colorado Eagles and Mississippi RiverKings, going a combined 15-9-3. He played two seasons at Ohio State University (4-3-0 record) and had a 26-win season in the USHL with Tri-City in 2006-07.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound netminder is from Parma, Ohio.

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