The beat goes on for the hometown team as the countdown is on for the monumental move into the new Downtown Evansville Arena now officially known as “The Ford Center,” the new home of the AA/CHL Evansville IceMen. With that in mind, the IceMen have continued to move forward as well in formulating their roster for the exciting new season coming soon!
On this date, IceMen General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm has announced that the Evansville club has signed seasoned veteran left wing MIKE SGROI to a new one-year contract for the rapidly approaching 2011-12 Central Hockey League season. Adhering to club policy, terms of the contract deal were not disclosed.
SGROI (s-GROY), 33, will be embarking on his 12th pro season overall and his third campaign in the CHL. The strapping 6-5, 230lb hulkster will be making his first-ever appearance in Evansville as under the employ of the IceMen. Having attained a long-running reputation as one of the most feared, revered, intimidating physical specimens in minor pro hockey lore and annals, Sgroi brings his unique blend of talents to Southwest Indiana to inject another important dimension into the IceMen team’s on-ice persona.
A pro veteran of 523-career games, amassing an astronomical 1,805-PIM, the Toronto, Ontario native divided the 2010-11 season between a triumvirate of teams in a pair of leagues including the CHL. It was with the latter league that he saw service in a combined 35-games with Colorado and Texas, collecting 5-points with 1-goal, 4-assists and 114-PIM. During the same campaign, he also achieved elevation to the AHL and the NHL New York Islanders primary affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, performing his act for two games there.
GM/Coach Kromm points to the importance of Sgroi’s presence in his club’s lineup this year. “Mike will certainly add a strong physical presence in our lineup for the upcoming season. He is especially strong in the corners, goes to the net hard and always plays hard. There should be more room on the ice when he is on the ice. Also, we can’t lose sight of the fact that he brings a real wealth of experience to our club and that he has the ability to be a versatile player for our team.”
The ‘wealth of experience’ that the coach references comes in many and varied forms and pro circuits. Sgroi has been a sound and solid performer in the ECHL, UHL and AHL as well as globetrotting overseas in the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) in the United Kingdom with the Sheffield Steelers where he averaged nearly a point a game in 2009-10; 20(4-14-18) with 47-PIM. One season earlier, in 2008-09, he averaged a point a game in the ECHL with Elmira 17(9-8-17) 64-PIM. Perhaps, his best season production-wise came in 2007-08 in the ECHL with Pensacola 26(12-10-22) 65-PIM and Johnstown 27(13-12-25) with 192-PIM for a combined output of 53(25-22-47) with 257-PIM. The later total in PIM represent a single season career high for the ruffian, rock-ribbed forward.
For his pro career, Sgroi’s totals read: 523-games; 90-goals, 102-assists, 192-points; 1,805-PIM.
Today’s signing of left wing MIKE SGROI increases the IceMen roster to 18-players including one goaltender; 7-defensemen and 10-forwards. The IceMen signed players include: goaltender BRIAN GILLIS; defensemen MATT GENS, ADAM KNOPP, JORDAN LITTLE, STEVE MAKWAY, JAKE OBERMEYER, PHILIPPE PLANTE, NICK SCHNEIDER; left wings JOSH BEAULIEU, MARK CODY MATT PIERCE; centers BRIAN BICEK, NICKLAS LINDBERG, TODD ROBINSON, BRAD SMULDERS; right wings DUSTIN JOHNSON, SEAN O’CONNOR.