NEW COVENTRY Blaze signing Matt Marquardt has admitted he’s extremely excited to start his debut Elite League season after putting pen to paper for a one-year-deal.
Matt Marquardt has swapped the east coast life for the Skydome and is expected to add some fire to the Blaze roster after spending last year as captain for the Florida Everblades in the East Coast Hockey League.
The 28-year-old, who stands at 6’3″, joins the Blaze on a one-year-deal and will study for an MBA at Coventry University during his time at the Skydome.
Marquardt, who previously helped the Everblades lift their first Kelly Cup in 2012 – when posting 18 points from as many playoff appearances, including three game-winning goals – also has a proven record off the ice.
In 2013, the forward helped raise a staggering $91,000 by shaving his head to help raise vital funds for childhood cancer research.
He also took part in various other ventures to help benefit school children, low-income families and special Olympic athletes.
Marquardt admitted being offered the chance to study at Coventry University was a big plus when first approached by the Blaze, and he can’t wait to get started.
The left winger added: “The Elite League has come so far in a short period of time, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the organisation and a great fan base – there’s nothing better to hear as a player.
“At this point in my life, education is something I hold in high record – the opportunity to play professionally and further my education is something I’m excited about.”
Marquardt’s move to Coventry will be his second experience in Europe having started the 2014/15 season in Germany with ESV Kaufbeuren where he clocked 20 points in 37 games before he headed back for his second stint in Florida.
Coventry Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said Marquardt’s arrival will boost the Blaze roster and add some needed physicality.
He added: “Matt is a big signing for us – he’s a big presence on and off the ice and brings many leadership qualities as would explain him being a captain last season in Florida.
“In this league you need to score goals in a lot of different ways and he brings a different element to what we already have.
“I’m excited at this signing and would like to thank Coventry University as our relationship with them played a huge role in finalising his deal.”