ESTERO, Fla. Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush along with Head Coach Greg Poss announced Tuesday that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Tyson Gimblett and forward Mike Merrifield for the 2013-14 season.
Gimblett, 27, registered nine points (5g, 4a) and 180 penalty minutes in 66 games split between the Everblades and the Bakersfield Condors last season. The 6-3, 212-pound defenseman also made ten playoff appearances with the 'Blades last spring, logging an assist and 16 penalty minutes. Gimblett was acquired by Florida from Bakersfield on February 9 of this year.
"Tyson is one of the tougher customers in the league," said 'Blades Head Coach Greg Poss. "He can play both forward and defense, and he is more than capable of standing up for his teammates."
During the 2011-12 season, Gimblett registered 12 points (3g, 9a) and 153 penalty minutes with Bakersfield. During the same season, he added an assist and 62 penalty minutes in eight games played with the Augusta Riverhawks of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).
The Newtonville, Ontario, native played five seasons at the University of Prince Edward Island from 2006-2011. He amassed 16 points (1g, 15a), with 262 penalty minutes during his collegiate career with the Panthers
From 2001-06, Gimblett totaled 20 career points (4g, 16a) in 152 games played in the Ontario Hockey League in stints with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, Owen Sound Attack, and Saginaw Spirit.
Merrifield, 23, returns after posting 16 points (7g, 9a) in 36 appearances with the Everblades during his rookie season last year.
"Mike is a high energy player who fits in well with our forechecking system," said Poss. "We expect him in his second year as a pro to take his game up to the next step."
Prior to his professional career, the 5-9, 175-pound forward registered 29 points (16g, 13a) in 91 career games at Michigan State University.
The Beverly Hills, Michi., native amassed 34 points (18g, 16a) in 38 appearances with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) during the 2008-09 season. In the 2007-08 season, Merrifield posted 57 points (18g, 39a) in 57 games played with the St. Louis Bandits (NAHL).