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Swamp Hockey

A Fan blog for the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

Updated: 2018-03-05T11:00:15.123-05:00


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YouTube Tuesday


We're days away from opening night. Not months or weeks, days!

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If you missed it, the Blades received five players from Charlotte yesterday. There should also be a few more players from Syracuse and Brayden Irwin is expected to return from St. John. Friday can't come soon enough.

Recap: Preseason Blades vs. Bears


Recap: Preseason Blades vs. BearsWhen I guest recap I usually bring you five of my highlights from the game. Whether it’s the long summer or an over abundance of entertainment, Friday’s preseason game yielded 10 gems.1. Bobby Raymond’s Ever Changing NumberIn the 2010-11 season, his first with the Everblades Raymond sported the number five. Fans and jersey collectors alike snapped up the d-man’s jersey and squirreled it away for hockey seasons to come. Then in 2011-12 to the horror of his fan club he switched over to number 19. The fan club was reassured that this was Bobby’s preferred number so they buckled down and started once again collecting Raymond #19 merchandise. To the agony of his fans Raymond has done another switch. Sporting #21 in the preseason. Everblade newcomer Peter Kopecky is rocking the coveted #19. If Raymond stays with #21 you will see an abundance of mismatched Raymond paraphernalia sure to confuse fans for years to come. 2. Athletic RepublicAthletic Republic is the official training center of the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. They supply the team with the best conditioning in the league and in a pinch a few players. Sports performance coordinator Todd Pococke suited up for the Everblades in their preseason contest. A graduate of Ferris State University, Pococke played hockey for the division I Bulldogs, but hadn’t played competitively for a year and a half. “It (playing minor pro) wasn’t part of my plan,” said Pococke. “but I’m happy to get the opportunity and the chance.”Pococke was essentially neutral in the game having three shots on goal, but more importantly helping to fill out the roster. It’s likely that the Everblades will have a few more players sent to down in the coming weeks from their AHL affiliates. 3. A Hat Trick- AlmostTwo Everblades had multi-goal nights. David Rutherford and Corey Trivino. Rutherford a fan favorite, joined the Everblades after the NHL lockout forced an influx of players into the Checkers system. Trivino, is looking to rehab his image and career after an unfortunate incident during his time at Boston University. Trivino was a 2008 draft pick of the New York Islanders. If you can earn forgiveness by scoring goals, Trivino knocked two off his list.4. Money Money MoneyWinning the Kelly Cup has brought many things to Germain Arena, including sponsors. This years ice is decorated to the max with sponsorship logos. Some of the dasher board ads are creative and definitely got a laugh from me.5. The Solar BearsThere was much speculation about the newly resurrected Solar Bears team. A team built with several large and gritty players delivered what you’d expect. I’d say they were reminiscent of the 2010-11 Road Warriors to make a comparison.  While pesky, the Everblades are no slouch in the grit department so not too much to worry about. However, the Solar Bear uniforms are fantastic. Not as garish as years past the designers managed to incorporate teal accents and the distinctive solar bear sun burst into the primarily purple jersey. I give the jerseys two thumbs up.6. McLangetLongtime Everblades fans may remember red heads passed, Steve McJannet and Ryan Lang. McJannet was a feisty man known for his scrapping and was affectionately dubbed “Trouble” by the Swamphockey staff. Lang, showed flashes of brilliance, but eventually his time with the Everblades came to an end. Enter Brandon MacLean. MacLean earned his way into the Everblades memories scrapbook with his overtime winner that sealed the Kelly Cup for the ‘Blades. He’s not a scrappy as McJannet and has more talent then Lang, so McLanget may not be a fair moniker, but GWG doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same fashion.7. Unsung HeroJosh Martin, a defenseman on tryout with the Everblades had a big night with zero points. Martin, blocked shots and helped make chances. He was a +4 for the game and was probably the biggest unsung hero. With a shortage of d-men on the current Everblad[...]

It's Finally Here


  We're skipping the usual Friday Links post to bring you a special post featuring Chelsea's writing and my photos, a one two punch of mind-blowing blog-nificence to celebrate the long dull off-season finally being over. The morning has dawned on the Everblades first preseason game. The long summer is over, the ice is set and the Florida Everblades are set to take on the Orlando Solar Bears.  Four years ago I stopped by the Everblades training camp for the first time. I had just transferred down to Florida from Connecticut and I was still looking for my place in the universe. I sat alone in the main arena as the players took the ice and I had a moment of well being surround me.I’m not an athlete, I can’t skate to save my life, but hockey is my home. I’ve since decided to work in hockey and have gotten to experience some great moments. Walking into an empty arena with the hum of the air conditioner and the subtle (not subtle at ALL) hockey smell is soothing.As I made my yearly trip to training camp I saw some differences from previous years. This year I wasn’t the only one sitting in the stands. There were Everblades t-shirts and sweaters with little kids trying to peak over the glass.  There also weren’t many players on the ice. The AHL training camps over lapped with the ECHL this year. The early days of training camp brought back Everblades favorites and regulars like Mathieu Roy, Matt Marquardt, Trevor Bruess and long time emergency back up Brian Markowicz. The ‘Blades affiliates sent reinforcements yesterday. The Kelly Cup squad is reassembling with the additions of David Rutherford, Joe Sova, Matt Beca, Pat Nagle and Bobby Raymond. There are several newcomers for the season including goalie Rob Madore. So in the spirit of the season here are the three things you should know about tonights game:1. Which mascot would win in a fight?It’s Swampee versus a polar bear in sunglasses. While polar bears are ferocious, Swampee is an alligator on ‘roids. I may be biased, but I’m giving this round to Swampee. 2. Don't forget the goalies. It’s easy to talk goals and hits, but don’t forget the goalies. Last years playoff MVP was goaltender John Muse. While his play was superb, so were his idiosyncrasies and routines. Watch the warm up and see what you learn.3. Say cheese!Take pictures. It really is an experience and you never know what gems you’ll produce. You’ll also be able to get up close and personal in Breakaways after the game. Let the guys eat, but they’ll stop by and say hi and take photos. I hear Rutherford had his teeth replaced this summer so he’s ready for the camera.It should be a good match up with the resurrected Solar Bears. Don’t expect perfection, the preseason is a place of learning and experimentation, but do expect a good game. The Everblades almost always deliver.[...]

YouTube Tuesday


A preseason game this week and opening night next week?

Time to warm-up your lungs guys.

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Friday Links


We really are almost there. Training camp opens up tonight and we only have to wait two more weeks for opening night. Does it get any better?

As always, here's your weekly dose of links to get you through the day.

- The News-Press is celebrating the Everblades 15th season by posting the top 15 Blades moments. It's obvious which one is number 1, but I can't wait to see the rest.

- The ECHL has been posting stories about the league's coaches all week. Today's was our very own Greg Poss.

- Yadda yadda yaddda, cool cake!


- I'm always amazed at the creativity on Etsy, but this? It takes the cake.

- Why are Christmas jerseys always terrible? This Checkers Christmas jersey is certainly no  exception.

- Your Wikipedia Hockey Page for today: The Curse of 1940.

- Kitty time!

Friday Links


The end really is in sight. The Blades made their last roster announcements. Now, we wait for the AHL assignments, training camp, and opening night.

- The Blades also announced their new radio home this week. I guess winning a league championships means you get to move from AM to FM. I, for one, am happy that I wont have to listen through static or have games preempted by high school football.

- I know every week I claim to have found the most awesome hockey cake ever, but this one really is.


- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today: Hockey Contracts

- There are some pretty interesting jerseys up on eBay right now. If you have the cash, may I suggest this game-worn Rob Zepp? I'm assuming it's from his last season with the Blades in 04-05, because that was the only year out of his four with the Blades that they wore that style (fun fact: that's the first redesign of the Blades jerseys, the next redesign led to that horrid crossed tails logo).

- Bolt Prospects have been reviewing the minor pro roster in Syracuse, and by extension here in Estero.Best of all, they made some predictions about where everyone is going to land. Here are the links for goaltenders, defensemen, and wingers.

- This is quite possibly the coolest thing ever.

- And, the moment you've all been waiting for... kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday: Everblades Add Two


The Everblades announced what should be their final two signing of the off season as forwards Aaron Bogosian and Mike Merrifield.

An Aaron Bogosian highlight for you guys.

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Apparently, the Blades are going super gritty this season. Interesting.

You can also find both guys on Twitter here and here.

So Your Team is Locked Out: Florida Everblades 101


Also known as: Your hockey team is locked out and you desperately need a hockey fix. Unfortunately, you live in South Florida so the Juniors or the AHL are not really options. Also, everyone knows the Solar Bears suck so you decided to back a winner.I know you guys, it sucks more than biting your tongue... after you've already bit it twice before. I'll miss my trips to Sunrise and Tampa more than anything. However, it's not as though hockey season is a total wash for me (or you). Florida happens to be home to two minor league teams, the Florida Everblades (yay!) and the Orlando Solar Bears (boo!).I might be biased toward the Everblades, my hometown team, but they really are better (and they don't wear a hideous color like teal). Since I'm going to assume you've decided to make the wise decision and back a winner, I'm going to give you all the best tips and tricks you'll need to be the very best Everblades fan you can be.First, some important links:- A quick look at some basic Blades info. - The team's website.- The arena's website. - My list of Everblades players (current and former) on Twitter.- Basic info on the ECHL from Wikipedia.- More from HockeyDB.- The Leagues website.Next, logistical stuff:- The Arena is located just off of I-75 (so close you can actually see the arena from the Interstate). It's about a two and a half hour trip from Tampa or Sunrise, and I recommend getting off at exit 123, Corkscrew Road. It's the quickest and easiest route and reduces the amount of mind-numbingly stupid traffic.- The arena sits right next to a large outlet mall, and many choose to park there, eat and then walk to the arena. I'm sure some people park there to save themselves the $5 charge for parking too.- There are plenty of food stands in the arena. The stands are operated by local groups (youth sports teams mostly) that get a cut of the profits from their sales during the night. They sell typical arena food as well as some more unusual fare, wraps, make your own nachos, etc.- There are plenty of restaurants nearby as well. On top of the restaurants at the nearby outlet, there are also many located in Gulf Coast Town Center and a bit further away at Coconut Point, and several chain and fast food places in between.- There are also plenty of bars for post-game fun around. Any regular Blades fan under 50 could probably recommend a good place.  - Just like any place in Florida near an Interstate exit, there are tons of hotels nearby so it should be pretty easy to find one.Also, there are also plenty of touristy things to do if you want make a mini-vacation out of your visit here.- Ive already mentioned the excellent shopping opportunities so, no need to repeat myself.-I recommend Sanibel /Captiva island for the natural beaches, National Park, and low-key atmosphere (there is a toll to get to the island and into the national park). Ft. Myers Beach and Vanderbilt Beach are nice as well, but get a little congested and hard to navigate.-If you like a bit of history, you have to check out Koreshan State Park to hear all about the zany cult that used to call Estero home. You can also check out the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in nearby Ft. Myers, and maybe check out the downtown River District while you're there.- There's also other things like manatee tours (or visit the park), fishing charters, kayaking tours, swamp tours, etc (basically all the outdoorsy water related stuff you'd expect down here).- If you're coming from the East across Alligator Alley you should check out some of the Seminole Tribes attractions.- The Red Sox and Twins call Ft. Myers home for spring training (if, god forbid, the lockout lasts that long), and a few other MLB teams are in nearby cities. The Ft. Myers Miracle also play minor league ball at Hammond Stadium.But enough of that, the real stuff you need to know is how to fit in with [...]

Friday Links


We finally hit the one month till hockey season mark people. We've managed to survive this long and we don't have to limp along much longer. As always, here's your weekly fix of random links.

- I'm sure you've heard by now that the Bakersfield Condors offered Justin Beiber a contract. While everyone else was having a meltdown and pulling out chucks of hair over the worlds most obvious publicity stunt, some genius added the Beib to Elite Prospects.

- With the lockout looming, a lot of Floridian NHL fans are figuring out that their only chance at hockey this season may be the Blades or Solar Bears. That means that all the less than honest people flood eBay with product descriptions that aren't exactly true. Take this for instance. The Blades have never worn warm-up jerseys before games (unlike the K-Wings and their spectacular McDonalds warm-ups).

I will always share this picture at any given opportunity. Always.
- Along those lines, here's a story from the News-Press about how the NHL lock-out could affect the Blades.

- This is not hockey related, but this is the only way I have of remembering whether I should use affect or effect.

 - I love this cake!


- Here's a story about former Everblade Jared Staal and the make or break season ahead of him.

- I must have these awesome hockey skate cookies delivered to me once a month!

- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today is further proof you'll never know of every single professional hockey team to play in North America- " Arkansas GlacierCats"

- Kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


The Everblades announced their 11th signing of the off season this afternoon. The Blades newest defenceman, Jeff Dimmen,  is only the third new player to be signed by the Blades.

Germain won't be anything new to him however. He spent his college career at the University of Maine, a College Classic regular. He won a Calder cup last season with the Norfolk Admirals and was a part of their record breaking winning streak.

He also appears to be a pretty tough dude if you ask me.

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By the way, I adore this new contest the Blades are having on the teams Facebook page, but for the love of all that is holy, why aren't they better prepare and slightly punctual? At this point, I'm going to start adding 15 minutes to any time they announce.

Friday Links


To help you end another week of what has been an impossibly long off season, I give you... links!

- The good news? Trevor Bruess and Brayden Irwin are returning to the Blades.

- The bad news? This:

UnnnnBreeeaaak My Heeeaaaartttt

- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today- "Rink Hockey"

- If you feel like dropping $200 on a Blades helmet, here you go.

- Sometimes, you don't need elaborate cake decorating techniques to  make a fantastic hockey cake. This is a perfect example:


- Third String Goalie marks the one year anniversary of the Lokomotive crash.

- Did I really find a company that makes furniture out of hockey sticks? Yes I did.

- Is this the greatest thing you could possibly cover your overpriced smartphone in? Yes it is.

- Kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


No need to fear guys! I could never forget about your weekly helping of YouTube gold.

This week, I have a video of the Everblades newest signing, Taylor Ellington, doing what he appears to do best.

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Weird that I picked the video of a Wrangler getting his butt handed to him out of all the videos, eh?

Oh! Before I forget. The new guy just joined Twitter over the weekend. If you're into that sort of thing, you can follow him here.

Friday Links


We're slowly inching closer and closer to hockey season.

- Of course the Blades announced a player signing right after I give up waiting. Of course.

- The Blades also announced a charity golf tourney. Unfortunately, FEMA has banned me from any sport that includes equipment that can go flying into crowds of spectators after a minor debacle that involved a bat and a crowd just trying to enjoy a nice day of rec league softball. I'm sure you guys will have fun though.

-  You'd have to be living under a rock to have missed the issues the NHL and PHPA are currently dealing with when it comes to a new CBA. Luckily, the ECHL and PHPA don't have to worry about that until next season (yay?). If you are interested, you can check out the highlights of the ECHL CBA (or pay for the full document if that's what floats your boat).

- Which makes this week's Wikipedia hockey page an easy choice- "NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement"

- I love this hockey cake so much! The owner of the photo has turned off my ability to share, but it's certainly worth the click.

- Finding this Matheiu Roy card on eBay almost gave me a heart attack. Then I realized it was the slightly older AHL journeyman that everyone always confuses with our wonderful captain.

- It's always interesting to see how cheap hockey jerseys can be on etsy. This vintage Rangers jersey is no exception

- Kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


I had hoped there would be a signing announcement today, but alas, there has been now news from The Swamp.

I think this lovely video will cheer you up. Please enjoy Carrot Top sounding the siren in Vegas.

I still can't believe the Wranglers did that by the way.

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The Blades went on to win that game 7-2 and even the Kelly Cup Final series 1-1. Obviously, you guys remember what happened after that. Three home games, three wins, one Kelly Cup.

I wonder how long the curse of Carrot Top will hang over Orleans arena?

Friday Links


Slowly but surely we're getting through the off season. There was some pretty great Everblades news this week and the Jr Blades are starting to get things rolling as well. We're almost there guys.

- Another season of great hair behind the Blades bench? Aces.

- There's a lot of news coming out of Solar Bears land, hidden in all those words is a blurb about the Bears' plan to award a trophy named after former Bear Dan Snyder. Pretty cool of them.

- On a related note, how hilarious is it that the Solar Bears Photoshop the same chest in a jersey onto all of their players roster photos?

- This cake is the cutest thing ever

- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today- "Street Hockey"

- This scarf is pretty cool, for something bearing the Red Wings logo that is.

- Kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


The Everblades keep announcing signings I approve of. This week, they announced Matt Marquardt will be returning.


He was definitely my favorite trade acquisition last year. We received him from the Bakersfield Condors in exchange for Josh Van Dyk.

He ended up with 6 goals and 12 assists in the playoffs. My favorite goal from the playoffs has to be this beauty, an overtime goal in game three of the Kelly Cup Final.

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Obviously, that beauty of a goal was later overshadowed by the overtime goal we'll all remember forever, but it's still fantastic (and proof that the Wranglers had an awful ability to make the most heinous turnovers of all time at the worst possible time).

Friday Links


Another Friday, another set of fresh links for you guys.

- File this under fantastic news: The team announced that Leigh Salters is returning.


- The Checkers posted a great article on Justin Shugg. It's hard to believe he's only 20.

- I can't even believe someone has the gall to ask $20 for this Everblades shirt. It's obviously a freebie. Anyone have an idea when it came out? Then we'd be able to truly asses its collectability.

- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today- "Asia League Ice Hockey". If anyone finds themselves in Northern Japan, I want a Nippon Paper Cranes shirt.

- I wish I could pull off the kind of clothes that require cufflinks, because these are awesome. Alas, peplum jackets and cufflinks don't really go together.

- Friday means it's kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


I had really come to expect signing announcements on Tuesdays. In fact, it was the only thing that made Tuesdays decent. Hopefully, we get a signing announcement later this week because the lack of anything interesting happening this off season is driving me nuts.

Also, I've run out of interesting videos, so please enjoy an adorable boxer being silly.

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Friday Links


I don't know about you but this offseason is taking forever. Maybe your weekly serving of links can keep you busy for the 70-something days left in the offseason.

- The Blades signed some guy named Bobby Raymond yesterday. No big deal.


That was a total lie, I'm beyond excited about that news. Obviously there's still the possibility he'll sign an AHL deal (like David Rutherford), but if he plays in the ECHL at least we're guaranteed it'll be in a Blades jersey.

- I'm sure you guys won't be surprised by this link to the Third String Goalie blogs usual awesomeness.

- I know I normally share Blades stuff from eBay, but once I saw this Titans jersey I couldn't help myself. THE HORROR!

- Your Wikipedia Hockey Page for today: Goaltender Mask

- I can't share the photo of this hockey cake here on the blog, but I do encourage you to check it out, it's great.

- This is quite possibly the greatest project of all time. Every living room needs a coffee table made out of hockey sticks.

- Kitty time!

YouTube Tuesday


It looks like the Blades will not be making a signing announcement today (or at least, they won't until I post this).

Luckily, I found the most adorable video of all time to cheer everyone up:

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Hopefully we get some news about a signing later this week because this waiting stuff is the pits.

Friday Links


Another Friday, another serving of fresh links.

- Four games between the Solar Bears and Everblades were rescheduled.

- Up to 12 returnees from  last season squad? Yes, please.

- This jersey is so spectacularly hideous that I love it.

- Al Larson, the Blades official photographer, has an amazing photo book for sale that commemorates the Blades Kelly Cup season.

- Gummy bears playing hockey in an outdoor arena. In cake form! So amazing.


- Your Wikipedia hockey page for today- "Victoria Cup"

- It looks like Jaroslav Janus will be playing in Europe next season.

- This has nothing to do with hockey, but I love lists of weird holidays. Here's everything you can celebrate in August. Personally, I'm looking forward to National Bad Poetry Day. Mostly because that's the only kind I'm capable of.

- The Solar Bears are going to honor the IHL Solar Bear's Turner Cup and raise a banner. Pretty cool of them to respect Orlando hockey history.

- It wouldn't be a Friday around here without a kitty.

YouTube Tuesday


The Everblades announced their latest signing today and I'm pretty happy with it. You really can't beat a 6' 4'', 209 lb defensive defenseman.

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His stats:

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He might be familiar to you if you've been to the College Classic tournament the Blades hold every year. In seven games in Germain, he notched three assists, not too shabby.

You can follow him on twitter here.

Friday Links


Slowly but surely we're getting through the off season. As always (except for last week) here is your weekly dose of fun links.

- If you somehow missed the collective sound of Everblades nation's squeals of delight, and I don;t know how you did, it looks like our magnificent captain has returned.

- Normally, I don't go for those decorative signs with motivational messages everyone seems to love. Then I found this and it all made sense.

- It's not often you see a cake with an athletic cup. Somehow, it works (if you click on the picture you can see other views of the cake, including an air freshener).


- Your Wikipedia Hockey page for today- "Rendez-vous '87"

- Blah, blah, blah, Third String Goalie is being awesome as usuual, blah, blah, blah.

- While I would not pay anything over ten bucks for this era of Blades jersey (seriously, I hate that logo more than I hate people with 15 items in the 10 item or less line) it is obviously unworn and cheaper than a bran new jersey from the shop, so... have at it?

- Also, allow me to take a second to gloat about this beauty of a Stingrays jersey I recently won on ebay. It really is everything an ECHL jersey should be and it is now my third favorite jersey from my collection.

- How about a puppy for a nice change of pace?

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

YouTube Tuesday


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The Blades are just killing it with these signings so far. Bringing back the captain that led the team to it's first Kelly Cup? Très magnifique.