July 14, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) - Utah Grizzlies
West Valley City, Utah - Utah Grizzlies Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Colley announced today that the team has signed veteran forward Nathan Gillies to a contract for the 2009-2010 season.
Gillies has played 446 career professional games, including 152 in the ECHL with Charlotte and Phoenix. He split this past season in England, playing with Sheffield and with the Central Hockey League\'s Rocky Mountain Rage; tallying a combined total of three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in 26 games while adding 39 penalty minutes.
"I played with Nate when I was with Bridgeport and loved what he brought to the locker room," said Colley. "He is tenacious, knows how to change momentum and is very feisty. Just having, now, an older guy who knows how to bring that kind of leadership is hard to come by. I think it\'s a great signing by us and the fans are going to love him."
Prior to 08-09, the 28-year-old Ontario native spent three seasons with the ECHL\'s Charlotte Checkers and the final half of 2007-2008 with the Phoenix RoadRunners where he totaled 35 goals and 54 assists for 89 points and 208 penalty minutes in 152 games; including 2006-2007 when he had a career high of 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 62 games.
"I\'m excited to come in to Utah and lead the boys in whatever job that is," said Gillies. "I played a few games there when I was with Phoenix a few years ago and it was an unbelievable building and I\'ve heard nothing but good things about the organization."
The forward now occupies one of four total veteran spots allotted to an ECHL roster.
The Grizzlies open the 2009-2010 season Friday, October 16 in Las Vegas with the home opening E-Center weekend being Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 when they will host Idaho.
Utah enters their fifth year in the ECHL and their third-straight season as an affiliate of the New York Islanders. Head Coach Kevin Colley returns to the Utah bench this upcoming season after signing a multi-year contract extension on April 20, 2009. Colley, who at the age of 30 is the youngest coach in the ECHL, led the Grizzlies to the playoffs for the third time in four years during his rookie head coaching campaign.