Jacksonville Sports Day

ECHL: Florida Panthers Affiliate with Greenville Swamp Rabbits; Icemen Add Forward

SUNRISE – Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL.

The Swamp Rabbits will serve as the ECHL affiliate for the Panthers as well as its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

“We are pleased to begin our affiliation with the Swamp Rabbits,” said Gregory Campbell, Panthers Vice President of Player Personnel & Development. “This partnership is important to our organization as it provides new resources and exciting opportunities for the development of our young prospects.”

The Swamp Rabbits are based in Greenville, S.C., and have qualified for the postseason in five of their 10 seasons. In the 2013-14 season, Greenville reached the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals.

Founded in 1987 as the Johnstown Chiefs, one of the ECHL’s founding teams, the franchise relocated to the Palmetto State in 2010 as the Greenville Road Warriors before rebranding as the Swamp Rabbits in 2015. The club plays its home games at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The 2020-21 ECHL regular season is expected to begin on Dec. 11, when the Swamp Rabbits will face their intrastate rivals the South Carolina Stingrays. Their home opener will take place on Dec. 18 against the Florida Everblades.

The Panthers entered a multi-year AHL affiliation agreement with the Checkers on Sept. 10, 2020.


Jacksonville announced Friday that the team has agreed to terms with veteran forward Matt Marquardt.

Marquardt, 33, joins the Icemen after totaling 165 points (78g, 87a) during the past four seasons in England (EIHL) with the Coventry Blaze, Sheffield Steelers and Dundee Stars. The 6-3, 220-pound forward has orchestrated three consecutive 40+ point seasons, including 44 points last season with Dundee (EIHL).

Marquardt has accrued 161 points (72g, 89a) in 244 career ECHL contests. Marquardt won a Kelly Cup Championship with the Florida Everblades in 2012, registering 18 points in18 postseason games, and scored the overtime winning goal in Game 3 of the 2012 Kelly Cup Finals.

Marquardt also brings a wealth of American Hockey League experience to the Icemen, appearing in 268 games split between the Providence Bruins, Charlotte Checkers and Oklahoma City Barons.

The North Bay, Ontario resident also won a QMJHL Championship with the Moncton Wildcats in 2006 and finished his junior career with 164 points in 203 games. Marquardt was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh-round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Marquardt joins fellow forwards Wacey Rabbit, Brendan Warren, Abbot Girduckis, Adam Dauda, Ian McKinnon, Craig Martin, Nathan Perkovich, Cameron Critchlow, Ara Nazarian, Eric Neiley and defensemen Luke Shiplo, Jacob Cederholm, Kevin McKernan, Jarod Hilderman, Dalton Thrower as players to have agreed to terms with the Icemen for the 2020-21 season

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