Florida Everblades

The Florida Everblades are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Estero, Florida, in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area. They play in the ECHL and are affiliated with the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL) as of the 2019–20 season. Their home games are played at Hertz Arena.

Florida Everblades
2021–22 ECHL season
Florida Everblades Logo.svg
CityEstero, Florida
LeagueECHL
ConferenceEastern
DivisionSouth
Founded1998
Home arenaHertz Arena
ColorsGreen, white, and navy blue
     
Owner(s)David Hoffmann
General managerCraig Brush
Head coachBrad Ralph
AffiliatesNashville Predators (NHL)
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
Franchise history
1998–presentFlorida Everblades
Championships
Regular season titles4 (1999–00, 2008–09, 2017–18, 2020–21)
Division Championships7 (1999–00, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19)
Conference Championships4 (2003–04, 2004–05, 2011–12, 2017–18)
Kelly Cups1 (2011–12)

The Everblades were founded in 1998. They play in the South Division of the Eastern Conference in the ECHL. They have failed to qualify for the playoffs just once in team history (2013–14) and have made four appearances in the Kelly Cup finals, winning in 2012.[1]

HistoryEdit

 
Swampee, the mascot of the Florida Everblades

The team was founded in 1998 by Craig Brush, Peter Karmanos Jr., and Thomas Thewes and was named based on the Florida Everglades. The Everblades' logo features a gator-head design fused in the form of an ice skate. Barnstorm Creative Group, a Vancouver graphic design company, designed the logo. Barnstorm was contacted by Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr., who came up with the idea of choosing the Everblades' colors as blue and green, in tribute to the Hartford Whalers team that Karmanos moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. The Everblades' inaugural home opener featured a pre-game ceremony in which a large alligator was brought onto the ice to pay tribute to the team's name and logo, as well as Florida's vast population of reptile species. The Everblades won their first Kelly Cup on May 23, 2012, against the Las Vegas Wranglers.[2] Brandon MacLean scored the championship-winning-goal in overtime during game five.[3] Everblades goaltender, John Muse, was named the most valuable player of the 2012 Kelly Cup playoffs.[4]

2004 American Conference finalsEdit

In game five of the 2004 American Conference finals, the Everblades faced the Reading Royals in the final game of an epic series. Florida won the first two games at home, but Reading evened the series at home, the next two of the best-of-five series. In game five, the score was tied at the end of regulation, 2–2, so the game was sent to overtime. John McNabb of the Everblades scored on a breakaway to defeat the Royals in front of a record crowd of 7,080 fans at Hertz Arena.[citation needed]

2005 playoff brawlEdit

One famous event that stands out among Blades' fans was during the 2005 ECHL playoffs. With the Everblades hosting the Greenville Grrrowl on April 22, 2005, for the first game of the American Conference semifinals, the teams engaged in a third-period line brawl that would see both teams combine for 197 minutes in penalties.

The brawl stemmed from previous incidents throughout the game. Prior to the brawl, Everblades forward Greg Hornby checked Greenville's Vladimir Gusev hard into the boards behind the net, causing Gusev to leave the game injured. As a result, the pace of the game, as well as checking, would pick up.

With the Blades up 4-1 with under six minutes to play in the third period, Greenville pest Krys Barch screened the net during a Greenville shooting attempt. Everblades defenceman Tim O'Connell checked Barch from behind numerous times, hoping to clear him from in front of the net. Barch, having been fed up with being pressured, turned around, attempting to sucker-punch O'Connell. Instead, O'Connell quickly skated away from the crease before Barch turned around. Barch ended up punching Everblades goalie Tyler MacKay. O'Connell then jumped on top of Barch, and all the players on the ice dropped the gloves for a wild line brawl that saw Florida goalie MacKay and others getting ejected for fighting.

After the mayhem, Craig Kowalski took MacKay's place as netminder. Shortly thereafter, the Everblades' Simon Tremblay fought Greenville's Adam Nightingale as the last fight of the evening. The Everblades went on to win the game, 4-1, and eventually to sweep the series, three games to none. Barch was assessed a one-game suspension for his role in the brawl.[5]

Game two featured no fights and the Everblades won in overtime, 3–2.

2012 Kelly Cup FinalsEdit

 
The Everblades celebrate their victory in game five of the Kelly Cup Finals on May 23, 2012.

Florida won the 2012 Kelly Cup playoffs with a 4–1 victory at home in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 7,290.[6] The first period saw Las Vegas Wranglers goalie Joe Fallon beaten by Justin Shugg and Mike Ratchuk, but Las Vegas edged back to even the score by the third, with Ash Goldie and Peter MacArthur beating John Muse to force the overtime.[7] At 4:54 into the overtime, after Ryan Donald passed to Matt Beca, who in turn sent the puck to Brandon MacLean, who beat Fallon and secured the victory.[8]

The win earned Florida the 2012 Kelly Cup and secured a perfect home record of 11–0 in the postseason (two victories over Greenville and three each over Elmira, Kalamazoo, and Las Vegas). Additionally, John Muse earned the Kelly Cup Finals MVP award.

In April 2013, owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. announced he would be selling the team along with Germain Arena to "simplify things" in his life, as he had just retired from the company he founded, Compuware.[9] The team was made for sale and was being shopped by Park Lane, a sports investment-banking firm that specializes in the sale of sports teams.[10] Since that time, no formal announcements have taken place on the progression of the sale. In 2018, Karmanos gave up majority control of the Hurricanes to new majority owner Thomas Dundon. After the 2018–19 season, the Everblades dropped the Hurricanes affiliation for the first time and partnered with the Nashville Predators.[11] It was then announced on August 5, 2019, that Karmanos had sold both the team and arena to David Hoffmann, a Naples, Florida, resident and real estate investor.[12]

LogosEdit

Through the Everblades' history, they have had four anniversary logos: the fifth anniversary logo in 2002–03, the 10th anniversary logo in 2007–08, the 15th anniversary logo in 2012–13, and the 20th anniversary logo in the 2017–18 season.

Season-by-season recordEdit

Season Conference Division Regular season Playoffs Individual and team honors
GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pct GF GA Head coach
1998–99 Southern Southeast 70 45 20 0 5 95 0.679 253 180 Bob Ferguson Won conference quarterfinal 3–0 vs. Birmingham
Lost conference semifinal 0–3 vs. Mississippi
John Brophy Award (Bob Ferguson)[13][14]
1999–00 Southern Southeast 70 53 15 0 2 108 0.771 277 181 Bob Ferguson Lost conference quarterfinal 2–3 vs. Augusta Brabham Cup[15]
John Brophy Award (Bob Ferguson)[13][14]
Plus Performer Award (Andy MacIntyre)[16][17]
2000–01 Southern Southeast 72 38 26 0 8 84 0.583 236 242 Bob Ferguson Lost conference quarterfinal 2–3 vs. Pee Dee Executive of the Year (Craig Brush)[18]
2001–02 Southern Southeast 72 37 27 0 8 82 0.569 207 221 Gerry Fleming Won division wildcard 1–0 vs. South Carolina
Lost conference quarterfinal 2–3 vs. Greenville
2002–03 Southern Southeast 72 35 23 0 14 84 0.583 239 243 Gerry Fleming Lost division wildcard 0–1 vs. Greenville
2003–04 Eastern Southern 72 37 25 0 10 84 0.583 239 221 Gerry Fleming Won division semifinal 3–2 vs. Roanoke
Won Division Finals 3–0 vs. South Carolina
Won conference final 3–2 vs. Reading
Lost Kelly Cup final 1–4 vs. Idaho
Gingher Memorial Trophy[19]
2004–05 American South 72 42 20 4 6 94 0.653 237 192 Gerry Fleming Won conference quarterfinal 3–1 vs. South Carolina
Won in Conference Semifinals 3–0 vs. Greenville
Won conference final 4–2 vs. Charlotte
Lost Kelly Cup final 2–4 vs. Trenton
Gingher Memorial Trophy[19]
Reebok Goaltender of the Year (Chris Madden)[20]
2005–06 American South 72 48 20 3 1 100 0.694 267 208 Gerry Fleming Won division semifinal 3–1 vs. Greenville
Lost division final 1–3 vs. Gwinnett
Sportsmanship Award (Steve Saviano)[21][22]
Reebok Equipment Manager of the Year (John Jennings)[23]
2006–07 American South 72 44 22 4 2 94 0.653 272 212 Gerry Fleming Won division semifinal 3–0 vs. Charlotte
Won division final 4–2 vs. Texas
Lost conference final 3–4 vs. Dayton
2007–08 American South 72 39 25 4 4 86 0.597 230 198 Gerry Fleming Lost division quarterfinal 0–3 vs. Columbia
2008–09 American South 71* 49 17 2 3 103 0.725 269 187 Malcolm Cameron Won division semifinal 4–1 vs. Gwinnett
Lost division final 2–4 vs. South Carolina
Brabham Cup[15]
CCM U+ Most Valuable Player (Kevin Baker)[24]
Leading Scorer (Kevin Baker)[25]
2009–10 American South 72 38 25 4 5 85 0.590 234 221 Malcolm Cameron Won conference quarterfinal 3–2 vs. Elmira
Lost conference semifinal 0–4 vs. Reading
2010–11 Eastern South 72 37 30 1 4 79 0.549 236 222 Greg Poss Lost conference quarterfinal 1–3 vs. Kalamazoo
2011–12 Eastern South 72 39 26 2 5 85 0.590 260 218 Greg Poss Won conference quarterfinal 3–0 vs. Greenville
Won conference semifinal 4–1 vs. Elmira
Won conference final 4–1 vs. Kalamazoo
Won Kelly Cup final 4–1 vs. Las Vegas
Gingher Memorial Trophy[26]
Kelly Cup[3]
Kelly Cup Playoff's Most Valuable Player (John Muse)[27]
2012–13 Eastern South 72 39 22 4 7 89 0.618 260 241 Greg Poss Won conference quarterfinal 4–2 vs. Elmira
Lost conference semifinal 3–4 vs. Reading
Leading Scorer (Mathieu Roy)
2013–14 Eastern South 72 37 27 3 5 82 0.569 240 222 Greg Poss Did not qualify for 2014 Kelly Cup playoffs
2014–15 Eastern East 72 49 16 2 5 105 0.729 267 208 Greg Poss Won division semifinals 4–2 vs. Orlando
Lost division final 2–4 vs. South Carolina
2015–16 Eastern South 72 46 23 1 2 95 .660 226 175 Greg Poss Lost conference quarterfinals 2–4 vs. Wheeling ECHL CCM Rookie of the Year (Matt Willows)
ECHL Community Service Award (Rob Florentino)
2016–17 Eastern South 72 46 21 2 3 97 .674 275 219 Brad Ralph Won division semifinals 4–3 vs. Orlando
Lost division finals 1–4 vs. South Carolina
2017–18 Eastern South 72 53 13 2 4 112 .778 261 171 Brad Ralph Won division semifinals 4–0 vs. Atlanta
Won division finals 4–1 vs. Orlando
Won conference finals 4–1 vs. Adirondack
Lost Kelly Cup finals 3–4 vs. Colorado
Brabham Cup
Gingher Memorial Trophy
John Brophy Award (Brad Ralph)
2018–19 Eastern South 72 50 16 5 1 106 .736 276 181 Brad Ralph Won division semifinals 4–2 vs. Jacksonville
Won division finals 4–1 vs. Orlando
Lost conference finals 1–4 vs. Newfoundland
2019–20 Eastern South 62 43 13 4 2 92 .742 227 156 Brad Ralph Season cancelled
2020–21 Eastern 69 42 19 5 3 92 .667 233 193 Brad Ralph Lost conference semifinals 2–3 vs. South Carolina Brabham Cup
Goaltender of the Year (Jake Hildebrand)[28]
Plus Performer Award (John McCarron)
Totals 1638 986 491 52 109 0.651 5721 4712 110–83 in playoffs 1 Kelly Cup
4 Brabham Cups
3 Gingher Memorial Trophies
3 John Brophy Awards
* The 2008–09 team played 71 games because of scheduling changes caused by the Augusta Lynx and Fresno Falcons ceasing operations mid-season. Four of the five teams (Florida, Charlotte, South Carolina, Mississippi) played 71 games, with Gwinnett playing 72.

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated October 30, 2021.[29]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
42   Alex Aleardi C R 29 2021 Fort Wayne, Indiana Everblades
44   Cameron Bakker D L 28 2021 Kenmore, Ontario Everblades
12   Nico Blachman RW R 23 2021 Aventura, Florida Everblades
11   Dylan Blujus D R 27 2021 Buffalo, New York Admirals
20   Xavier Bouchard D R 21 2021 Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec Admirals
10   Bobo Carpenter C R 25 2021 North Reading, Massachusetts Admirals
15   Jake Jaremko C L 25 2021 Nowthen, Minnesota Everblades
33   Cam Johnson G L 27 2019 Troy, Michigan Blue Jackets
2   Jake Kearley D L 26 2021 Newmarket, Ontario Everblades
40   Levko Koper LW L 31 2019 Edmonton, Alberta Everblades
23   Stefan LeBlanc D L 25 2020 Oakville, Ontario Everblades
3   Ben Masella (A) D R 28 2018 Montreal, Quebec Everblades
25   John McCarron (C) RW R 29 2016 Macomb, Michigan Everblades
26   Kody McDonald RW R 23 2021 Lethbridge, Alberta Everblades
27   Austin McIlmurray RW R 25 2021 Coral Springs, Florida Everblades
4   Jake McLaughlin D L 25 2021 Hinsdale, Illinois Admirals
24   Kyle Neuber RW R 32 2019 Sarnia, Ontario Everblades
13   Michael Neville LW L 28 2018 White Rock, British Columbia Everblades
22   Joe Pendenza C L 31 2019 Wilmington, Massachusetts Everblades
16   Nathan Perkovich RW R 36 2021 Canton, Michigan Everblades
6   Jordan Sambrook D R 23 2021 Markham, Ontario Everblades
37   Tomas Vomacka G L 22 2021 Trutnov, Czech Republic Predators
41   Blake Winiecki C L 27 2018 Lakeville, Minnesota Everblades

Retired numbersEdit

Florida Everblades retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
9 Ernie Hartlieb LW 2004–2011 October 19, 2012
10 Reggie Berg C 1999–2007 October 19, 2007
14 Tom Buckley C 1999–2004 October 19, 2007

Berg and Buckley's numbers were retired during a pre-game ceremony on October 19, 2007, as the Everblades hosted the Mississippi Sea Wolves, in what would be the Sea Wolves' first official regular season game after being placed on a two-year hiatus due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Banners made with their jersey numbers were hung to the rafters of Germain Arena.

Hartlieb's number was retired in a ceremony before a game against the Orlando Solar Bears on October 19, 2012. Hartlieb was presented with an ECHL Championship ring (he filled in on with the team in the 2011-12 regular season, but did not appear in the playoffs), and hoisted the Kelly Cup. A banner made with his number was hung to the rafters of Germain Arena next to Berg and Buckley's.[30]

Notable playersEdit

Florida Everblades alumni that advanced to play in the NHL after playing for the team:

 
Jared Staal warming up during the 2010–11 season.

Florida Everblades that played in the NHL before playing with the team:

Franchise records and leadersEdit

All-time franchise record holdersEdit

 
Mathieu Roy of the Everblades and Ryan Murphy of the Charlotte Checkers await a faceoff during a game on March 9, 2009. Roy is wearing the alternate green uniform of the Everblades.

Individual records and streaksEdit

Individual records

  • Most goals - game: 4 (5 times, last by John McCarron, Dec. 3, 2016 vs. Orlando)
  • Most assists - game: 4 (12 times, last by Brandon Fortunato, Dec. 18, 2019 vs. Atlanta)
  • Most points - game: 6 (twice, both by Jacob Micflikier, last on Nov. 5, 2009 at Charlotte)
  • Most shots - game: 12 (3 times, last by Kevin Baker, Jan. 13, 2009 at Charlotte)
  • Most penalty minutes - game: 37 (Kyle Kos Mar. 22, 2003 at South Carolina)
  • Most saves - game: 58 (Rob Zepp, Dec. 27, 2003 at Gwinnett)
  • Most saves - period: 25 (twice, last by Rob Zepp, Dec. 27, 2003 at Gwinnett (1st))

Individual streaks

ECHL Hall of FameEdit

Former Florida Everblades goalie Marc Magliarditi was inducted into the ECHL's Hall of Fame on January 23, 2013.[33] Magliarditi played for the Everblades from 1998 through 2001.[34]

Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on February 5, 2016. Brush has served as the team’s President and General Manager since the team's inception in 1998 and he oversees all aspects of both the hockey club and the sports complex. Brush also served as the Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors for three seasons from 2003 through 2006.

Awards and trophiesEdit

E.A. Gingher Memorial TrophyEdit

The Everblades have won the E.A. Gingher Memorial Trophy four times, in 2004, 2005, 2012, and 2018. In 2004, the trophy was given to the champion of the Eastern Conference; the Everblades beat the Reading Royals 3–2 to win the conference but lost the Kelly Cup to the Idaho Steelheads. In 2005, the Gingher trophy was given to the American Conference champion. The Everblades beat the Charlotte Checkers 4–2 to win the conference before losing to the Trenton Titans in the Cup finals. In 2012, the Everblades won the Gingher Memorial Trophy by defeating the Kalamazoo Wings 4–1 in the Eastern Conference finals and went on to win the Kelly Cup over the Las Vegas Wranglers. In 2018, the Everblades went 12–2 through three rounds of conference playoffs and won the Gingher Memorial Trophy before losing the Kelly Cup in seven games to the Colorado Eagles.

Brabham CupEdit

In the 1999–00, 2008–09, 2017–18, and 2020–21 seasons, the Everblades won the Brabham Cup, a trophy given to the team that has the best regular season record in the league. The Everblades took the trophy with 108 points in 1999–2000 and 112 points in 2017–18.[35] The 2008–09 and 2020–21 trophies were awarded to the team with the best points percentage due to imbalanced schedules, where the Everblades had 0.725 and 0.667 winning percentages, respectively.

Kelly CupEdit

The Florida Everblades won the Kelly Cup in 2012 taking the series 4 games to 1 over the Las Vegas Wranglers.[36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ECHL stats archive". Archived from the original on January 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "The News-Press". The News-Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The ECHL". Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "The ECHL". Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Kent, Andy (April 26, 2005). "ECHL Notebook: Grrrowl player suspended after brawl". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  6. ^ Hauth, Ed (May 23, 2012). "Everblades close out series over Wranglers to win Kelly Cup". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Dewey, Todd (May 23, 2012). "Wranglers fall short of Kelly Cup with Game 5 loss to Florida". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Wommack, Woody (May 23, 2012). "Everblades crowned champions". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  9. ^ "Everblades, Germain Arena for sale, but maybe not for long". Naples Daily News. April 30, 2013.
  10. ^ "Team for sale*". Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "ECHL hockey: Florida Everblades switch NHL affiliation to Nashville Predators". Naples News. May 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "Hertz Arena, Everblades being sold to Naples businessman David Hoffmann". Naples Daily News. August 5, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "John Brophy Award Winners". ECHL. Archived from the original on June 30, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Bob Ferguson Career Stats". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Brabham Cup Champions". ECHL. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Plus Performer Winners". ECHL. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  17. ^ "Andy MacIntyre Career Stats". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  18. ^ "Executive of the Year Winners". ECHL. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Gingher Trophy Winners". ECHL. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  20. ^ "Reebok Goaltender of the Year Winners". ECHL. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  21. ^ "Sportsmanship Award Winners". ECHL. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  22. ^ "Steve Saviano Career Stats". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  23. ^ "Reebok Equipment Manager of the Year Award Winners". ECHL. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  24. ^ "Florida's Baker Is CCM U+ ECHL Most Valuable Player". ECHL. April 9, 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  25. ^ "Kevin Baker Career Stats". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  26. ^ "Florida claims Eastern Conference title". ECHL (Press Release). Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  27. ^ Dorsey, David (May 24, 2012). "MVP John Muse saves the day for Everblades". Fort Myers News-Press. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  28. ^ "FLORIDA'S HILDEBRAND NAMED WARRIOR HOCKEY/ECHL GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR". ECHL. June 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "Florida Everblades playing roster". Florida Everblades. October 30, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  30. ^ Sodergren, Andrew (October 19, 2012). "Everblades honor Hartlieb, fall flat against Orlando". Naples Daily News. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  31. ^ Halford, Mike (April 5, 2012). "Boston has been the land of opportunity for goalies this season". Pro Hockey Talk. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  32. ^ "Individual Records". Florida Everblades. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  33. ^ Hardwig, Greg (December 3, 2012). "Ex-Everblades goalie Marc Magliarditi headed to ECHL Hall". Naples Daily News. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  34. ^ "Marc Magliarditi Career Stats". HockeyDB. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  35. ^ "Premier 'AA' Hockey League | ECHL Stats Archive". The Echl. October 8, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  36. ^ "Everblades capture Kelly Cup". Sports Illustrated. May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Brabham Cup
Champions

1999–2000
2011–12
2017–18
2020–21
Succeeded by
Preceded by Kelly Cup
Champions

2012
Succeeded by