ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears are proud to announce that former Solar Bears forward Mike Liambas made his NHL debut Saturday afternoon, becoming the 607th player in ECHL history to advance to the NHL when he suited up for the Nashville Predators against the New Jersey Devils. Liambas took eight shifts for 4:42 of ice time in the Predators’ 5-4 overtime loss to New Jersey.
Liambas, 27, has become the first player in team history to reach the NHL while developed on an ECHL contract. He also becomes the 16th Solar Bears player with NHL experience, and the fourth to reach the NHL after first seeing development time with Orlando, joining Darcy Kuemper, Garret Sparks and Christopher Gibson.
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound native of Woodbridge, Ontario was originally acquired by the Solar Bears in a trade with the Cincinnati Cyclones on Oct. 30, 2012. In 32 games with Orlando during the Out of Hibernation season in 2012-13, Liambas tallied nine points (2g-7a) and racked up 151 penalty minutes while coached by current Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky. Later that season, the bruising forward made his American Hockey League debut after he was loaned to the Milwaukee Admirals and ultimately parlayed his professional try-out agreement into a standard player contract with Milwaukee.
In the summer of 2015, Liambas signed his first NHL contract with the Chicago Blackhawks and played the entirety of the 2015-16 campaign with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs before signing an NHL contract with the Predators this past offseason.
In 201 career AHL games, Liambas has posted 20 points (11g-9a) and 716 penalty minutes with Milwaukee and Rockford. He also has 21 points (3g-18a) and 403 penalty minutes in 87 games split between Orlando and Cincinnati, and put up four points (1g-3a) and 146 penalty minutes in 25 games with the International Hockey League’s Bloomington Prairie Thunder.
Prior to turning pro, Liambas suited up for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, where he earned 13 points (5g-8a) and 357 penalty minutes in 124 games. He also played a season with the University of British Columbia, scoring nine points (3g-6a) and 82 penalty minutes in 25 games.
The Solar Bears continue their fifth season of ECHL hockey when they battle the Florida Everblades in a Wawa Sunshine Cup Series game tonight at 7 p.m. at Germain Arena.
NEW APP: The Solar Bears have released a brand-new mobile app, presented by BB&T, giving Solar Bears fans everything they need right in their pocket. The app is also home to the brand-new Loyalty & Rewards Program, which provides Solar Bears fans with opportunities to accumulate points and redeem them for exclusive prizes. The new app is FREE and available for both iOS and Android devices.
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Follow the Solar Bears at OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com, Facebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following SolarBearsHockey.
Season tickets, Corporate Flex vouchers, and Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on all of the Solar Bears ticket packages, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.