After a year off the ice, the Quad City Storm are showing signs of coming back.
Along with acknowledging partnerships with various corporate sponsors on their social media accounts, the Storm also released their protected player list for the 2021-22 season Friday.
The Storm decided to opt out of the 2020-21 season, joining four other Southern Professional Hockey League teams in taking a year off, citing COVID-19 restrictions.
Although a schedule has yet to be announced, the protected player list — which includes players from the team's 2020-21 training camp roster that was established prior to the cancellation of the season — is the first real indication of a return to hockey this fall.
The following players are not eligible to sign a training camp contract for the 2021-22 season with any SPHL team other than the Storm — forwards Connor Fries, Brett Gravelle, Gregg Burmaster, Shane Bennett, Joe Widmar, Taylor Pryce, Cole Golka, Nick Mangone and Carter Shinkaruk; defensemen Ricky Kramer and Joe Sova; goaltenders Peter Di Salvo and Bailey MacBurnie.
Fries, 26, who scored 12 goals and tallied 14 assists in 37 games with the Storm in the 2019-20 season, played in the Federal Prospects Hockey League last year, scoring 12 goals and adding 14 assists in 21 games, winning the league's championship with Columbus.
Gravelle, 25, played his rookie season last year in FPHL Elmira, scoring 13 goals and adding 10 assists in 20 games.
Burmaster, 26, scored five goals and added two assists in 11 games with the Storm in 2020. He played in 61 games with the ECHL's Tulsa Oilers last year, scoring 12 goals and adding 14 assists.
Bennett, 27, scored 10 goals and added 14 assists in 34 games with the Storm in 2019-20. He has scored 24 goals and added 30 assists in 68 career games with the Storm and is the franchise leader in goals and point. He did not play last season.
Widmar, 26, scored one goal and added three assists in six games with the Storm in 2019. He played 26 games in Poland last season, scoring six goals and adding five assists.
Pryce, 28, scored 15 goals and added 16 assists in 42 games with the Storm in 2019-20. He played for Birmingham, Pensacola and Huntsville last season, scoring nine goals and adding nine assists in 35 games.
Golka, 26, played three games with the Storm in 2020, scoring one goal and adding two assists. He did not play last season.
Mangone, 25, played his rookie season last year with Columbus, scoring eight goals and adding three assists in 20 games.
Shinkaruk, 29, played last year with FPHL Elmira, leading the league with 31 points, scoring eight goals and adding 24 assists in 24 games.
Kramer, 26, played 11 games for the Storm in 2020, scoring one goal and adding six assists. He did not play last season.
Sova, 33, scored five goals and added 12 assists in 32 games. He has played in 440 AHL, ECHL and SPHL games in his career but did not play last season.
MacBurnie, 26, did not play last season after being on the Storm's training camp roster. He last played collegiately for UMass-Boston.
Di Salvo, 30, has played two seasons for the Storm, going 22-33-0 in 66 games. Last season, he played 21 games for the Knoxville Ice Bears, going 10-6-4 with a 2.67 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. He also became the all-time SPHL wins leader during last season with the Ice Bears.
Season tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. Call 309-277-1343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.