With the start of the season rapidly approaching, two former Checkers that remained on the free agent market have found places to report.
Matt Marquardt, a fourth-line forward and reigning Man of the Year in the community this past season, is on his way to Munich to join Kaufberen of the German second division. Also Tuesday, the agent for Drayson Bowman, who spent parts of three seasons in Charlotte from 2010-2013, confirmed to TVA Sports an earlier report that the player will attend Montreal Canadiens training camp on a tryout basis.
Those developments leave Nicolas Blanchard, Sean Dolan and Aaron Palushaj as the only member of last season’s Checkers team who have yet to sign elsewhere.
After initially joining the Checkers on a pro tryout from their ECHL affiliate in Florida in February 2013, Marquardt, 27, played 88 games with Charlotte over the last two seasons, scoring 21 points (11g, 10a). He joins Mark Flood (KHL) and Mike Murphy (Austria) as players from last season’s team to sign in Europe.
Bowman, 25, will be wearing the colors of his second NHL organization since the Carolina Hurricanes drafted him in the third round, 72nd overall, in 2007. Bowman, who the Hurricanes chose not to qualify as a restricted free agent earlier this summer, ranks 10th in Checkers history with 78 points (39g, 39a) in 130 games. His eight-game goal streak put together in the fall of the 2012-13 NHL lockout season remains a team record and the longest posted by an AHL player since 2011-12.
In his first full NHL campaign, Bowman scored 12 points (4g, 8a) in 70 games with Carolina last season.
- Written by Paul Branecky