With the Alaska Aces set to announce another signing later this week, we know it won't be center Ryan Cruthers, a trade-deadline acquisition last spring, or rookie defenseman Brock Shelgren -- those two have signed with other ECHL clubs.
The expansion Orlando Solar Bears have announced Cruthers as their first signing. The Greenville Road Warriors announced they have agreed to a deal with Shelgren, who joined the Aces late last season from Michigan State.
Cruthers is a veteran beginning this season under ECHL rules (260 or more pro games; each team is allowed 4 vets, and goalies don't count), so his move to Orlando means the Aces have another veteran slot open. Two other veterans from last season -- center Brian Swanson and winger Wes Goldie -- retired after the season. Alaska's other two vets last season were defensemen and alternate captains Steve Ward and Bryan Miller. If defenseman Chad Anderson returns, he becomes a vet in the upcoming season.