Offseason Headquarters

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For the hockey operations department of an ECHL team, the summer months are a major piece of the puzzle in assembling a roster that can contend for the Kelly Cup the following June. It's the time of year when the coaching staff begins the process of roster construction and fans find out the answer to their favorite off-season question: “Is [my favorite player] coming back next year?”

It can take quite a while to explain all of the factors that go into whether a player returns from season to season, but we'll do our best to keep you up to date this summer. Near the bottom of this page you will find a list of players who completed the 2022-23 campaign with the Solar Bears (and some others) and where they stand heading into the 2023-24 season.

Stay up-to-date on league deadlines and player signings right here throughout the 2023 offseason leading up to the 12th season of ECHL hockey for the Orlando Solar Bears. This offseason headquarters will provide news on departing, returning and new players to join the Solar Bears, as well as information regarding key offseason dates.

Before getting started, we have to remind you that ECHL rosters have the tendency to change considerably from year to year. Some players may opt to take their talents overseas to Europe, where the schedule is lighter, players can command a higher salary and some European leagues do not count toward veteran status in the ECHL or AHL should they decide to make a return to North America. Other players may opt to also quietly retire from the sport altogether.


KEY DATES

JUNE 8
Protected Lists Due (3 p.m. ET)

Consider this more of a housekeeping list for the ECHL. Simply put, any player not on an AHL or NHL contract that finished the 2022-23 season under an ECHL Standard Player Contract with the Solar Bears is eligible to be included on the list; this also includes players that were loaned to an American Hockey League club and remainded up in the AHL for the duration of the season, players who left for Europe after signing with the Solar Bears and were placed on team suspension, or players who were given a qualifying offer in the offseason prior and instead of signing played overseas. There is no limit on the number of players that can be named to the Protected List.

VIEW THE PROTECTED LIST

JUNE 20
Future Considerations Trade Deadline (3 p.m.)

Any trade during the season that occurred for “future considerations” gets completed by this deadline. It is important to note that sometimes specific parameters need to be met in order for the teams involved to fulfill those future considerations.

VIEW THE RESULTS OF THE FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS DEADLINE

JUNE 22
Season-Ending Rosters Due (3 p.m. ET)

Up to 20 players can be included on the Season-Ending Roster, reflecting the players whose rights the Solar Bears wish to keep. Only players who were signed to an ECHL contract during the 2022-23 season can be included as part of the Season-Ending Roster. The Solar Bears have until 11:59 p.m. on June 30 to either sign a player on the Season-Ending Roster or offer up to eight players a qualifying offer to retain their rights (see section on qualifying offers below) 

VIEW THE SEASON-ENDING ROSTER

JUNE 23
ECHL Begins Approving 2022-23 Player Contracts

As players age out of major junior hockey, graduate from college and/or enter free agency in their pro careers, there are a number of players who now become eligible to sign to an ECHL contract with the Solar Bears for the 2023-24 season. Any player not already included on Orlando’s Season-Ending Roster is eligible to be signed by other teams. Teams are prohibited from announcing player signings until contracts have been approved by the ECHL.

JULY 7
ECHL Qualifying Offers Due (11:59 p.m. ET)

The Solar Bears are entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the Season-Ending Roster by extending a qualifying offer no later than June 30. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans. Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1. The Solar Bears retain full rights to these players and they are prohibited from signing with any other team in the ECHL (but are free to sign in other leagues). Any player not already signed with the Solar Bears, or did not receive a qualifying offer, becomes an unrestricted free agent.

VIEW PLAYERS WHO RECEIVED QUALIFYING OFFERS

JUNE 30
NHL Qualifying Offers Due

NHL teams reserve the right to extend qualifying offers to their players who are considered Restricted Free Agents; typically this includes players on their entry-level contracts that they first signed coming out of the amateur ranks. Ocassionally, you will see some NHL teams move on from players within their pipeline and decline to extend a qualifying offer, at which point they become an NHL Unrestricted Free Agent - Michael Brodzinski, who was assigned by San Jose to Orlando in the 2018-19 season, is a perfect example of this. After his entry-level deal with the Sharks expired and San Jose declined to give Brodzinski a qualifying offer, Brodzinski opted to sign an ECHL contract with the Solar Bears for the 2019-20 season. The players who come out of this deadline without a qualifying offer may sign contracts with AHL or ECHL clubs if there are no NHL contracts available for them, and they still wish to continue playing professional hockey in North America.

    2022-23 Players and their Status for 2023-24

    The players in the table listed below are players who were under an ECHL contract with the Solar Bears during the 2022-23 season, along with players who had received qualifying offers from Orlando last summer, as well as players who were placed on team suspension in order to protect their ECHL rights. Additionally, players on AHL or NHL contracts who were on the Solar Bears roster in the final game of the regular season are also included so that you can follow their status for the 2023-24 season.

    POS

    NAME

    NOTES

    G

    Drennen Atherton

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/1

    D

    Max Balinson

    Received Qualifying Offer - Signed with Espiraten (Germany); NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER

    F

    Matthew Barnaby

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    F

    Tyler Bird

    Veteran for 2023-24; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    F

    Luke Boka

    SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/17

    D

    Michael Brodzinski

    Veteran for 2023-24; Received Qualifying Offer - ; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    F

    Nathan Burke

    Rookie for 2023-24; Recevied Qualifying Offer - ; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER

    F

    Maxim Cajkovic

    NHL Contract – TB; Traded to MIN 7/2

    F

    Joe Carroll

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/14

    F

    Ryan Cox

    Acquired from Toledo in Future Considerations Trade 6/20; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/22

    D

    Jack Dougherty

    Suspended by Team 2/15 - Signed Kölner Haie (DEL); 

    F

    Jaydon Dureau

    NHL Contract - TB - signed through 2024-25

    F

    Shawn Element

    AHL Contract – SYR – signed through 2023-24

    F

    Eric Esposito

    Rookie for 2023-24; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    D

    Tyson Feist

    AHL contract - SYR - Not signed; Signed by Chicago (AHL) for 2023-24 season

    F

    Hunter Fejes

    Suspended by Team 2/14 - Signed HC Kosice (Slovakia); Signed with HC Kosice (Slovakia) for 2023-24. 

    F

    Alex Frye

    Rookie for 2023-24; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/9

    F

    Brayden Guy

    AHL Contract - SPR- Not signed - Unrestricted Free Agent 

    D

    Chris Harpur

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 7/25

    D

    Kenny Johnson

    Rookie for 2023-24; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    G

    Jack LaFontaine

    AHL Contract - SYR - Not signed; Unrestricted Free Agent

    F

    Tristin Langan

    Veteran for 2023-24; Received Qualifying Offer - signed with Stavanger (Norway); NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    F

    Ottoville Leppanen

    Signed with Jukurit (Finland) for 2023-24 season

    F

    Aaron Luchuk

    PROTECTED BY RECEIVING QUALIFYING OFFER FOR 2022-23 SEASON; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 7/20

    F

    Bennett MacArthur

    NHL Contract - TB - signed through 2024-25 season

    D

    Jimmy Mazza

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 9/1

    D

    Luke McInnis

    Future Considerations Trade to Indy 6/20 

    D

    Andrew McLean

    Suspended by Team 11/15/22; Signed with Glasgow (EIHL); Future Considerations Trade to Norfolk 6/20

    F

    Grant Mismash

    NHL Contract – TB – Not qualified - Unrestricted Free Agent; - Signed with Östersunds IK (HockeyAllsvenskan) for 2023-24 season. 

    D

    Steven Oleksy

    Suspended by Team 11/14; Retired

    F

    Ross Olsson

    Retired

    D

    Chris Perna

    Acquired in Future Considerations trade with Tulsa 6/20; NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/22

    G

    Jimmy Poreda

    Not Qualified - Unrestricted Free Agent

    D

    Jay Powell

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    D

    Michael Renwick

    Rookie for 2023-24 season; Received Qualifying Offer - Commited to Queens University (USports); NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; 

    F

    Jamie Rome

    SIGNING ANNOUNCED 8/9

    D

    Dmitry Semykin

    NHL Contract – TB – Not Qualified - Unrestricted free agent; 

    G

    Garret Sparks

    NAMED TO SEASON-ENDING ROSTER; Signed AHL contract (Wilkes-Barre, 7/18) 

    F

    Shawn Syzdlowski

    Not Qualified - Unrestricted free agent

    D

    Pavel Vorobei

    Not Qualified - Unrestricted free agent

    2023-24 Player Signings/Transactions