The Gwinnett Gladiators announced the signings of Dirk Southern and CJ Lee on Wednesday morning. The ECHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League now has five players on the roster for the coming 2013-14 campaign.
Southern and Lee join Evan Bloodoff, who was signed last Wednesday, Devon Krogh and Jonathan Narbonne, both of which had signed previously. Bloodoff, Southern, and Lee are forwards, while Krogh and Narbonne are both defensemen.
Bloodoff was a 20-goal man in 52 regular season games with the Gladiators last season and added five more in ten playoff games. It was his first full season with Gwinnett and he finished third on the team in points (38) and goals.
The re-signing of Bloodoff has been the biggest news of the signing period so far for Gwinnett and new head coach Rick Emmett explained why.
There are multiple reasons why getting Evan back is so important for us. He has an American Hockey League pedigree, is motivated to improve, and is a terrific locker room guy. Evan is one of the most explosive players in the league; very few players can be considered game-breakers but he is one of them.
Bloodoff stepped up big in clutch situations last season. He led Gwinnett with five game-winning goals in the regular season, and had a seven-game point streak from October 28th to November 11th, as well as a five-game goal-scoring streak from February 19th to March 2nd.
The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the Premier "AA" Hockey League and are affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.
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