By Dan Sernoffsky
Lebanon Daily News
HERSHEY, Pa. – There was no question about it. Even though the Hershey Bears had a dual affiliation, they had some serious problems along the blue line. Thanks to injuries, and some decidedly uninspired play, Hershey general manager Doug Yingst decided to bring in some reinforcements from the ECHL.
It was the 2003-04 season. The Bears, the primary affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, had signed a secondary affiliation with the Tampa Bay Lightning. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which were some gaping holes on defense, the Bears really weren’t going anywhere. Still, one of the guys that got called up from the Reading Royals, a defenseman named Dean Arsene, attracted some notice. He didn’t score, but he made life extraordinarily difficult for opposing forwards trying to score on the Bears.
Arsene played in 22 games for the Bears that season. That parlayed into a contract with the Bears for the following season, and Arsene has been in Hershey ever since.