Veteran defenseman and captain back for fourth season in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Solar Bears, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, have announced that the club has agreed to terms with veteran defenseman Eric Baier for the 2016-17 season.
“Eric Baier represents everything we want the Orlando Solar Bears to be about,” Solar Bears head coach Anthony Noreen said. “He possesses elite character, he’s a great player, is always willing to help in the community and he makes the people around him better.”
Baier, 28, completed his third season with the Solar Bears in 2015-16 by registering a career-high 38 points (10g-28a) and 12 penalty minutes in 66 games. The North Kingstown, R.I. native also completed his second tour of duty as team captain, a position he first held during the 2013-14 campaign. Additionally, Baier saw time in the American Hockey League, as he suited up in one game apiece with the Marlies and Stockton Heat while picking up an assist.
Baier shared the AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Month for October with Fort Wayne’s Drew Daniels and Jordan Southorn with a plus-minus rating of +7. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound blueliner became Orlando’s all-time regular season games played leader when he surpassed Scott Tanski by playing in his 153rd game with the team on Feb. 6. For his efforts in the regular season, Baier was recognized as the team’s most valuable player and was also named the recipient of the Rob Kenny Memorial Award for his community service efforts in the Orlando and Central Florida communities.
“I consider Orlando to be my home, so I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Solar Bears,” Baier said. “We have world-class fans here in Orlando, and with the roster the coaching staff is assembling, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to be a part of this special group for another season.”
In 176 career games with Orlando, Baier has recorded 81 points (28g-53a) and 59 penalty minutes. His 81 points are third in team history, and he is the club’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points by a defenseman. Since beginning his professional career in 2010-11 with the Reading Royals, he has suited up in 338 combined ECHL and AHL games with Reading, Portland, Trenton, Albany, Rockford, Providence, Charlotte, Orlando, Toronto and Stockton, totaling 117 points (37g-80a) and 105 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Baier played for Providence College, where he amassed 32 points (9g-23a) and 72 penalty minutes in 127 games for the Friars.
Fans can keep track of all Solar Bears offseason player movement by visiting the 2016 Offseason Headquarters.
The Solar Bears drop the puck on their fifth season of ECHL hockey on Saturday, Oct. 22 against the Florida Everblades at the Amway Center. On-sale dates for the purchase of single-game tickets will be announced later this summer. Full and half-season ticket plans are now available by visiting OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com.
The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, play all of their home games at the Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Follow the Solar Bears at www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com, Facebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following SolarBearsHockey.
Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on discounted group tickets and a list of group benefits, call 407-951-8200 or visit www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at: http://store.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/.
To read the Solar Bears Report to the Community, click here.