May 14, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Missouri Mavericks
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks Head Coach Scott Hillman announced at a press conference today at Independence Events Center the Mavericks have signed the first three players for the 2010-11 season. Forwards Carlyle Lewis and Bill Vandermeer return after playing for Missouri in the team's inaugural season, and forward Olivier Filion was introduced as the newest member of the Central Hockey League (CHL) club.
"This is a big start for our organization," said Mavericks' President and General Manager Brent Thiessen. "Starting today, we are building for a championship."
Lewis, 32 (3/1/78), is entering his 12th professional season and second with the Mavericks. The Middleton, Nova Scotia native finished second in the CHL with 252 penalty minutes during Mavericks inaugural season. Starting on December 15, 2009, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward was named Captain of the Mavericks, a title he held for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. In total, he has played in 652 games in his professional career with 268 points (116-152268) and 2,311 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Mavericks, Lewis played 166 games in the American Hockey League and 230 in the ECHL. He had a career-high 21 goals and 39 points with the Columbus Cottonmouths in 2003-04.
"Each year we want to set a firm foundation upon which we can build a better team on and off of the ice," said Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman. "There was no better place to start than with our Captain. Carlyle led this team last year and carries a presence in the locker room that few players can match."
Vandermeer, 26 (5/3/84), was a member of the Mavericks inaugural team and is entering his sixth season professionally. The Caroline, Alberta native has played the previous four seasons in the CHL with Amarillo, Oklahoma City and Missouri. In 227 games in the CHL, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward has 252 points on 115 goals and 137 assists. Vandermeer had three consecutive 30-plus goal seasons in his first three seasons in the CHL including a career-high 37 goals in the 2006-07 season with the Amarillo Gorillas. He was second on the Mavericks roster in scoring until an injury midway through last season that kept him off the bench for 24 games.
"Bill Vandermeer had some frustrations with injuries starting right in training camp, but is a proven performer in this league and showed in the playoffs that he is ready to help lead this team," said Hillman.
Filion, 27 (10/3/82), fills the second veteran spot on the Mavericks roster and is entering his eighth professional season. The Montreal, Quebec native played the previous two seasons in the ECHL with the Victoria Salmon Kings where he accounted for 24 goals and 71 assists in 132 games. Before joining Victoria, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound center played four seasons with ECHL Alaska. For his Aces' career he participated in 277 regular season games collecting 208 points (69-139208) and picking up 246 minutes in penalties. In 60 career Kelly Cup playoff games with Alaska, Filion has notched 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points. He was also a member of the Aces 2005-06 Championship team. His professional career began in the UHL with the Richmond Riverdogs during the 2003-04 season. He contributed nine goals and 23 assists for 32 points in 66 contests.
"Olivier is a player that has excelled in the ECHL and won a championship with the Alaska Aces in 2006," added Hillman. "He is a proven veteran player that looks forward to helping us lead and develop our young players."
The Missouri Mavericks will begin their second season in the CHL in October 2010. Season tickets are on sale now by calling (816) 252-7825 or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for more information.