The Chicago Wolves announced Friday that they have signed defenseman Brent Sopel to a SPC (Standard Players’ Contract) and left wing Nathan Longpre to a PTO (Professional Tryout) ahead of Saturday night’s home opener against Charlotte.
SOPEL, who endeared himself to Chicagoans during his three-year tenure with the Blackhawks from 2007-10, returns to North America after spending the last three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. The 37-year-old has accrued 218 points (44G, 174A) and 309 penalty minutes in 658 career NHL games and captured the Stanley Cup in 2010.
The veteran defenseman broke into the pro ranks full-time in 1997-98 with Syracuse (AHL) and has since suited up for Vancouver, New York (Islanders), Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Montreal in the NHL, Kansas City in the IHL, and Novokuznetsk Mettalurg and Ufa Salavat Yulaev in the KHL. This will be his first foray into the AHL since the 1999-2000 season, in which he collected 31 points (6G, 25A) and 67 penalty minutes in 50 games with Syracuse.
LONGPRE rejoins the Wolves after posting his best professional season with the team in 2013-14, contributing 20 points (6G, 14A) in 66 games. The 26-year-old has spent parts of the past three seasons with the club, while also suiting up for Peoria, Springfield, and Worcester. Since turning pro following the conclusion of his collegiate career at Robert Morris University in 2010-11, the forward has compiled 57 points (23G, 34A) and 49 penalty minutes in 190 AHL contests.
The defending Midwest Division champions launch their pursuit of the 2015 Calder Cup championship at 7 p.m. on Saturday when they host the Charlotte Checkers at Allstate Arena. The Wolves play 38 regular-season games in Rosemont. For information on season-ticket packages and flex plans, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.