Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced today that the club has acquired forwards Michael Pelech and Travis Howe from the Utah Grizzlies in exchange for the negotiating rights to forward Caleb Herbert. Both Pelech and Howe have already signed contracts for the upcoming 2018-19 season. Herbert was sent a qualifying offer by Greenville but had not yet signed a contract for the year.
“We have been working to complete this trade for some time now. Being able to grab two players like Mike and Travis was a high priority for us,” said coach Kerr. “We’re excited to have Mike’s leadership and skill in addition to the grit and tenacity that he brings to a lineup. For Travis, I coached him a few years ago and he has emerged into one of the most physical players in the ECHL.
“We want to thank Caleb for his time in Greenville,” he continued. “He’s a very skilled player in this league and we wish him the best of luck in his career.”
Pelech, 28, has played over 600 professional hockey games including 570 ECHL contests that span his nine-year career. The veteran skater has also collected 423 points (135G, 288A) and 985 PIMS in the ECHL. Last season with Utah, Pelech ranked third on the team with 49 points (18G, 31A) and 114 PIMS. In addition to his resume, the forward also brings 52 post season appearances, 33 points (12G, 21A) in the playoffs, and an Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2013.
“I’m really excited for this new experience. Everyone in this organization is so fired up for the season to start and I’m really happy and honored to be a part of it,” said Pelech. “I try my best to lead by example and bring a lot of positive energy into the dressing room.”
The Toronto, Ontario native turned pro in 2009 and has skated for 12 different organizations, playing the majority of his career in Utah. Pelech ranks fifth in Grizzlies franchise history with 189 points and 72 goals. The 6-foot-3 forward has been named an alternate captain twice in his career, wearing a letter for Cincinnati in 2012-13 and also in Norfolk during the 2015-16 season.
Howe, 24, has played two full ECHL seasons for the Grizzlies and ranked among the top eight in the ECHL in PIMS both seasons. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound skater has played 94 ECHL games, earning 14 points (7G, 7A) and 429 PIMS. The enforcer played for the Macon Mayhem in the 2015-16 season in the SPHL under Coach Kerr and was fifth in the league in PIMS.
The Hull, Massachusetts native began his career in the FHL with the Berlin River Drivers before earning a call up to the SPHL’s Mississippi River Kings. Before turning pro, he skated with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays and led the NAHL with 246 PIMS in 50 games, while tallying 10 points (3G, 7A).
Herbert, 26, exits the Swamp Rabbits organization after leading the team in scoring last season. Through 38 games, the fourth-year pro earned 52 points (24G, 28A) and also spent considerable time in the AHL. Across games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, San Jose Barracuda, and Utica Comets, the forward played 23 games and earned seven points (2G, 5A). Herbert has notched 102 points (57G, 45A) in 108 career ECHL games but has also earned 27 points (12G, 15A) in 103 AHL contests.
The additions of Pelech and Howe give Greenville 11 announced players on the 2018-19 season roster. The list also includes defensemen Jake Bolton, JC Brassard, Trevor Owens, and Sean Flanagan and forwards Alex Globke, Timmy Moore, Will Merchant, JT Henke and Johno May. As the offseason continues, stay tuned to SwampRabbits.com for a full updated list of players to sign for the upcoming season.
Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2018-19 ticket plans, special group rates and hospitality opportunities and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!