MOLINE, Ill. – Signing season is in full effect for the Quad City Storm, as the training camp roster has now expanded to ten players since the beginning of July. A new name has been added to the team, while many familiar faces are set on taking the ice at the TaxSlayer Center this October. Meanwhile, a stretch down I-74, a not-so-friendly face has hung up the skates to join the coaching ranks, as well as two other rivals leaving Peoria while a friendly face has crossed over to enemy territory again.
A New Name With the Storm
The first new name to join the Storm is Carl Greco, formerly of the Swedish Division 2 team Grästorps IK. The defenseman began last season with the Fayetteville Marksmen before being traded to the Pensacola Ice Flyers one month into the 2018-19 SPHL season. Between those two teams, the blueliner totaled 25 games and amassed nine points (1G+8A). In Europe, he collected six points in the form of two goals and four assists over eight games.
Greco already made an appearance in the QC after his signing, as he participated in the 2019 National Dekhockey Association 3-on-3 Summer Tournament (July 10-14). In the five games the Storm dekhockey team played, he scored once and added one assist.
In a signing rush prior to the Dekhockey Tournament, four players were added to the training camp roster — Peter Di Salvo, Dalton Mills, Stephen Gaul, and Tommy Tsicos. These signings came just two days before that great celebration of hockey that draws fans from near and far, as all four were on the roster for the tournament. To be on the roster but not returning for training camp would leave players with lots of questions to be answered by fans between games, and that was avoided by this maneuver.
Di Salvo carried the brunt of the starts last season for the Storm, appearing in 38 games out of the 56-game schedule. Of those 38 games, he totaled a record of 13-19-1 and had a save percentage of .909. Of the players announced as returning so far, Mills and Tsicos led the team with 27 points each last season. Tsicos totaled 12 goals and 15 assists, while Mills racked up 10 goals and 17 assists. Both skaters appeared in 50 games for the Storm, but Mills had the higher plus/minus rating (minus-five) while Tsicos collected a minus-22.
Gaul, the last of the players who appeared at the dekhockey tournament, re-signed with Quad City after appearing in 19 games for the Storm last season. Through those 19 games, the Downers Grove, IL native added seven goals and three assists to the scoresheet. Gaul was acquired by the Storm in a trade with the Peoria Rivermen on February 4. The forward also spent 23 games with the FPHL’s Danville Dashers, scoring 16 goals and adding 11 assists.
Vincent Beaudry, another former player from the Rivermen, has also returned for the 2019-20 season. Beaudry appeared in 34 games for the Storm after arriving in the Quad Cities on December 30 via a three-team trade (from Peoria to the Macon Mayhem before being sent 90 miles north from the original team). The Montmagny, Quebec native scored seven goals and added 16 assists with QC, having already acquired four goals and one assist with Peoria in 14 games.
Alex Basey, who also was set to appear for the Storm dek hockey team, has re-signed after seeing a call-up during the playoff push. After making his SPHL debut with the Storm on February 26 (during which he picked up an assist), he appeared in three more games but was unable to add to the scoresheet again. Basey spent most of last season just 215 miles down I-74 with the FPHL’s Danville Dashers, with whom the defenseman skated in 42 games. In those 42 games, he scored twice and added six goals.
Rivals Leaving, Lines Crossed
Austin Vieth and Guillaume Naud are names not unfamiliar to Storm fans, as they each appeared numerous times in the 16-game series last year between the Rivermen and the Storm (known as the Cold War on 74). Both players have now signed with teams in Europe: Vieth with the Jokers de Cergy of the Fédération Française de Hockey sur Glace Division 1 (FFHG) [French Federation of Ice Hockey in English], and Naud with the Herforder EV in the Germany4 league Regionalliga.
Vieth appeared in 54 games for the Rivermen in his rookie season, amassing 24 goals with 14 assists in the regular season. In his two playoff appearances, he was unable to add to the scoresheet. Appearing in all but one of the 16 games against the Storm, he scored three goals and added four assists.
Naud, also in his rookie season last year, appeared in only 37 games for the central Illinois based team. Of those 37 games with Peoria, 11 were during the Cold War on 74 series. The defenseman scored four times and added eight assists with the Rivermen, six of those assists coming against the Storm. He also spent time in the ECHL with the Indy Fuel and Kalamazoo Wings, spending the lion’s share of his ECHL stints with Indy. With the Fuel, he was unable to make a contribution on the scoresheet, but acquired 24 penalty minutes in 16 games. His lone game with Kalamazoo saw the Augsburg, Germany native without a point as well.
Justin Greenberg has now retired from playing professional hockey, instead taking a position on the other side of the bench. It was announced on July 23 that the forward had been named the assistant coach for the Aurora University Spartans men’s hockey team. Greenberg won’t be going far from his last SPHL team, as Aurora University is located in Aurora, IL — just 117 miles north of Peoria.
Goaltender Eric Levine returned to the SPHL team that started it all for him, re-signing with the Rivermen on July 24. Levine spent the bulk of last season bouncing around in the ECHL with both the Fort Wayne Komets and the Newfoundland Growlers (winning the Kelly Cup with the latter). In his 11 SPHL games last season, the Wheeling, IL native had a .932 save percentage and a 2.53 GAA.
With under 90 days until the 2019-20 season opens, there’s still lots to happen before the season can begin. Stay tuned for promotional schedules and more signings, and be sure to follow @SinBinStorm for news and discussion.
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