SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon announced Saturday the signing of five players on the opening day of free agency. The five players include forwards Chase Balisy and Connor Brickley, along with defenseman Reece Scarlett and goaltender Harri Sateri to one-year, two-way contracts. In addition, Curtis Valk was signed a one-year contract.
Chase Balisy led the Thunderbirds in points during the inaugural 2016-17 year after appearing in all 76 games, registering 17 goals and 28 assists. The forward out of Fullerton, CA was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round, 170th overall in the 2011 National Hockey League entry draft.
Connor Brickley appeared in 69 games with the Charlotte Checkers during the 2016-17 season. The forward out of Everett, MA tallied 26 points, scoring 11 goals and adding 15 assists. He is no stranger to the Florida Panthers organization, as he logged 23 games scoring a goal and registering four assists when Florida was affiliated with the San Antonio Rampage and the Portland Pirates. Brickley was traded from the Panthers to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Brody Sutter at the start of the 2016-17 season.
Reece Scarlett played one game for the Thunderbirds last season, and notched a goal on March 3 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Scarlett joined the Thunderbirds in a trade from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Shane Harper. Scarlett appeared in 50 games with the Albany Devils during the 2016-17 campaign, registering four goals and 17 assists.
Harri Sateri started in 42 games with the Chekov Vityaz in the KHL during the 2016-17 campaign. He had a record of 20-16-5, to go with a 2.50 goals against average, and a .929 save percentage with two shutouts. In addition, he was the KHL goaltender during the week of September 25, 2016. Prior to going to the KHL, Sateri played four seasons with the Worcester Sharks from 2010-14.
Curtis Valk appeared in 75 games with the Utica Comets during the 2016-17 year, registering 46 points with 16 goals and 30 assists. Valk was second on the team in scoring with the Comets and led them in assists. He appeared in 12 games with the Comets during the 2015-16 year registering two goals and four assists. He played for the Kalamazoo Wings for two years from 2014-16 scoring 25 goals and registering 36 assists.
The Springfield Thunderbirds will return to the MassMutual Center this fall as they will have their 2017-18 home opener on Saturday evening October 14th.