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Rivermen Announce 2019 Protected List

May 10, 2019 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) - Peoria Rivermen News Release

Peoria, IL - The Peoria Rivermen today announced the team's 13-man protected list for the 2019 offseason, including seven forwards, five defenseman, and one goaltender, all of whom spent time with the Rivermen during the 2018-19 season. The Rivermen retain exclusive SPHL negotiating rights with all protected players during the offseason and throughout the 2019-20 SPHL campaign.

Among Peoria's seven protected forwards are 2018-19 Rookie of the Year and scoring champion Ben Blasko, captain Alec Hagaman, veteran winger Mike Gurtler, high-scoring winger Joe Kalisz, winger/center Will Smith, and rookie wingers Austin Vieth and Beau Walker. Protected from Peoria's 2018-19 blueline corps will be veteran Ben Oskroba, as well as Kevin Patterson, Nick Neville, Ralfs Grinbergs, and Jacob Hamilton. Peoria rounds out its 2019 protected list with rookie goaltender Stephen Klein, who led the SPHL with a 1.86 GAA in his inaugural pro season, finishing third in the league with 22 wins and a .923 saves rate.

All 13 of Peoria's protected players are eligible to sign SPHL training camp tryout agreements with Peoria prior to October's training camp period or sign professional contracts once the season begins. Protected players are also free to negotiate and sign with any team in other professional leagues, including the ECHL and AHL.

Season tickets for Peoria's 38th season of professional hockey presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center are on sale now at the Toyota Box Office in the Peoria Civic Center, or by phone at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040.

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