July 31, 2017
The Gulls have signed right wing Stu Bickel and defenseman James Melindy to one-year contracts through the 2017-18 AHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deals were disclosed.
Bickel, 30 (10/2/86), appeared in 26 games with San Diego last season, collecting 2-4=6 points while ranking second among AHL leaders with 148 penalty minutes (PIM). Bickel also added one assist (0-1=1) and two PIM in three Calder Cup Playoff contests with the Gulls. In his first season with San Diego in 2015-16, Bickel led the AHL with 210 PIM.
The 6-4, 207-pound forward has appeared in 76 career NHL games with Minnesota (2014-15) and the New York Rangers (2011-13), earning 10 assists (0-10=10) with 203 PIM. He also collected 16 PIM in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Rangers in 2012.
A native of Chanhassen, Minn., Bickel has recorded 10-38=48 points with 724 PIM in 280 games during his eight seasons in the AHL with San Diego (2015-present), Iowa Wild (2014-15), Hartford/Connecticut (2010-14), Syracuse (2010-11), San Antonio (2009-10) and Iowa Chops (2008-09). Originally signed by the Anaheim Ducks to a three-year entry-level contract in 2008 after going undrafted, Bickel played one season at the University of Minnesota of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, earning 1-6=7 points with 92 PIM in all 45 games.
Melindy, 23 (12/11/93), has appeared in 52 career AHL games with San Diego (2017) and Portland (2012-15), registering 2-1=3 points with 67 penalty minutes (PIM). The 6-3, 203-pound defenseman split last season with San Diego and the Wichita Thunder (ECHL). He spent the majority of the season with Wichita, collecting 3-14=17 points with 229 PIM in 68 games, matching a career high with three goals set on two previous occasions and ranking tied for fifth among ECHL in PIM.
The Goulds, Newfoundland native appeared in three contests with the Gulls in 2016-17, collecting one assist (0-1=1) and 27 PIM after signing a Professional Tryout Agreement on April 7.
Originally selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the third round (88th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Melindy has recorded 11-38=49 points and 421 PIM in 183 career ECHL contests with Wichita (2016-17), Wheeling and Rapid City (2015-16), and Gwinnett (2014-15). In three seasons with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Melindy earned 17-39=56 points with a +2 rating and 181 PIM in 168 games.