I guess someone with the Everblades wanted to prove my prediction of a signing tomorrow wrong. They just announced the signing of Defenseman Mike Egner. He's the eight signing so far, and he's a pretty interesting one. First his stats:
As you can see he played with the Ontario Reign last season. It appears to have been a standout year for him. His 11 goals and 18 assists are a career best and led all the defensemen on the Reign. You may also notice he was selected 34th overall in the second round of the 2003 draft by the Lightning. Unfortunately he never made it with the the Lightning.
To be fair, he didn't seem to cut for a few reasons. For some reason the coaches in Norfolk decided to switch his position to forward because he could skate and they had too many defensemen. I'm sure anyone could imagine how difficult a time you would have if all of a sudden you were playing a totally different position. It also appears he had some poorly timed injuries. Maybe he's suffering from the same problem A.J. Thelen has (which, in my opinion [not that it matters], is an inability to handle the pressures of playing in the AHL or NHL).
Whatever the true reason it is I don't care. If he puts up the same numbers he put up for Ontario last year I'll consider him a successful signing. He seems to be a big, physical guy that's not afraid to drop the gloves. The Blades press release mentions that he's a good two-way defenseman (I'm pretty sure every defenseman has been described this way so far), it also mentions that he'll be used on the power play. If this guy can improve the Blades dismal power play, and his stats seem to indicate he might be able to, I'm sold.
Overall, it looks like the Everblades are trying to find a balance between speed, skill, and grittiness. If that's the case, I'm on board. The little "lets get as many skilled guys as we can but not find anyone to protect them" experiment was awful to watch.