By Michael Walters
The San Diego Gulls announced today that they signed forward Stu Bickel and defenseman James Melindy each to a one-year contract.
Bickel recorded 6 total points(2 G + 4 A) with 148 penalty minutes (PIM) and a -2 on ice rating in 26 games with San Diego last season. He also recorded one assist with two penalty minutes in the Calder Cup Playoffs with the Gulls. Bickel has recorded 48 total points(10 G + 38 A) with 724 PIM in 280 games during his eight seasons in the AHL with Iowa Chops (2008-09), San Antonio (2009-10), Syracuse (2010-11), Hartford/Connecticut (2010-14), Iowa Wild (2014-15), and San Diego (2015-present). He has appeared in 76 career NHL games with Minnesota (2014-15) and the New York Rangers (2011-13) recording 10 assists with 203 PIM.
Bickel is a physical player at 6’4″ 207 pounds, but he can take costly penalties and doesn’t produce regularly on offense. He is a physical depth player that has seen limited action in the NHL.
Melindy has recorded three total points(2 G + 1 A) with 67 penalty minutes (PIM) in 52 career AHL games with San Diego (2017) and Portland (2012-15). He spent the most of the last season with Wichita recording 17 total points(3 G + 14 A) with 229 PIM in 68 games. He also played in three contests with the Gulls in 2016-17, collecting one assist with an on ice rating of 0 and 27 PIM.
Melindy is a two-way defender with size at 6’3″, 203 pounds. He is a tough defender but can make untimely turnovers. He is willing to drop the gloves and stand up for his teammates. Melindy is a good passer but has limited production offensively so far in his minor league career.
Stu Bickel was on Mighty 1090 AM a few months ago talking about his hockey career. Listen here: Bickel 1090 AM
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July 31th, 2017