ESTERO, FL – After the Florida Everblades took a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the 2018 Kelly Cup Finals to the Colorado Eagles, the ‘Blades are back with a vengeance with one mindset to claim a Kelly Cup championship.
Nuts and Bolts:
2017-18 Record: 53-13-2-4, 112 points, Brabham Cup Champs
Division/Conference Finish: 1st in South Division, 1st in Eastern Conference
Playoff Finish: Dropped Game 7 of 2018 Kelly Cup Finals, series ended 4-3.
Goals For Per Game: 3.63 (3rd in ECHL)
Goals Against Per Game: 2.38 (3rd in ECHL)
Power Play: 17.1% (T-14th in ECHL)
Penalty Kill: 86.2% (3rd in ECHL)
As head coach Brad Ralph enters his third season, it’s safe to say Ralph wants redemption for the entire final series of last season. Ralph has produced every title the Everblades could capture, he’ll be working with his coaching staff to put the sting of the loss behind them and bring Everblades the Kelly Cup.
The ‘Blades preseason roster included only eight players from last years dynamic program. Notably, the group includes Fort Myers native Logan Roe and forward Joe Cox as well as last seasons leading goal scorer John McCarron.
The home of the Everblades will now be known as Hertz Arena, instead of Germain Arena. Hertz has signed a naming-rights agreement with the ‘Blades that will rename the Everblades home to Hertz Arena. Fans can expect a few surprises on opening night that feature Hertz’s signature yellow color scheme.
John McCarron – McCarron re-signed with the ‘Blades after tallying 60 points including 24 goals and 26 assists in his 59 games played last season. McCarron is set to become the face of the franchise as he’s seasoned and familiar with Ralph’s coaching style.
Sam Warning – Warning joined the ‘Blades towards the end of the regular season. Almost immediately, his speed and ability to post points were quickly noticed. In his three regular season games with the ‘Blades he scored three goals before he added 14 points in his 21 postseason appearances.
Steven Lorentz – Lorentz, 6-foot-4, 201-pound forward was just assigned in time for preseason from ‘Blades American Hockey League affiliate the Charlotte Checkers. The Kitchener, Ontario native played 62 games for Florida and finished ninth in scoring. The 22-year-old is set to shine in his second year on the roster, pending call-ups by Charlotte.
Gone But Not Forgotten:
Mitchell Heard – Signed overseas with the Straubing Tigers
Martin Ouellette – Signed to an AHL contract by Syracuse Crunch on June 27, assigned to Orlando Solar Bears on September 29.
Brett Bulmer – Signed overseas with Fife Flyers of the Elite Ice Hockey League.
Sin Bin Swami Sez:
Florida has unfinished business, the returning players and coaching staff after experiencing last year’s Game 7 loss will give the team more drive and motivation to claim the Kelly Cup. Anything but first will be a huge shift for Florida, the program knows what is at stake, they are #EverRising after all.
What Say You?