The Stockton Heat bolstered their veteran/tough forward quota today by signing the former captain of the Syracuse Crunch Mike Angelidis, a 2016 AHL All-Star and member of the 2011-12 Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.
If this is a sign that the Flames are moving away from stocking their AHL roster with “character guys” like Colton Orr, then I am all for it. Angelidis was widely loved in Syracuse and has at least some ability to score. Let’s meet Mike Angelidis after the jump!
WHO IS MIKE ANGELIDIS?
It is no great surprise that the Heat added a veteran forward to their squad, especially a rugged one given that nearly every AHL team has players like him on their roster. One player who filled that role for the Heat last season was Blair Riley, and it was announced today that Riley will be playing for the Belfast Giants next season. You have to check that link out for a few reasons: a) That amazing picture of Riley staring deeply into your soul and b) the fact that apparently Belfast have a player-coach.
Adding to the European exodus, Stockton’s captain from last season, Aaron Johnson, will be plying his trade with Abbotsford Heat legend Jon Rheault and Marcel Goc for the Manheim Eagles of the DEL next season. Though merely speculative, there’s a pretty good chance that Angelidis wears the ‘C’ next season in Stockton, given that dearth of AHL veterans and the fact that he was the captain of the Syracuse Crunch last season.
During his time in Syracuse, it certainly appears as though he was a well-liked player, given the evidence supplied by this post at the Tampa Bay Lightning blog Raw Charge. In the article, Angelidis’ leadership qualities were highly praised and the extent to which he’d be missed was made explicitly clear:
Honestly Mike, I was never more proud than when you were selected to the All-Star team this past season. Everything you had done in this city over the previous four seasons was brought out into the spotlight during your publicity work for the event, and it felt so good to see you get attention for everything you’ve done here. The emphasis on your charity work with children with cancer was especially heartwarming. Syracuse has not just lost a well-known sports figure with the reality of you moving on, it’s lost a dear friend that truly cared about some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Angelidis himself actually responded to the post on Facebook, publicly thanking the author, fans, and organization for their support in what is one of the more memorable AHL sendoffs I can remember. There seems to be a great deal of good will in Syracuse for Angelidis and I am sure that he’ll be looked upon to provide leadership in Stockton.
That is not to say that Angelidis is purely a father figure in the room; there is some evidence that he can score goals. Angelidis has scored 20 goals in the AHL twice, most recently in 2014-15 in Syracuse. However, Angelidis is far better known for his rugged play, garnering 374 penalty minutes over his past three AHL seasons. He also fights a great deal as well, as documented by his lengthy HockeyFights.com database.
Despite this penchant for pugilism it seems to me that as far as AHL veterans go, Angelidis is a pretty good guy and a passable producer. The Heat could certainly do worse.