Gulls sign seven to AHL contracts

The San Diego Gulls announced that the American Hockey League (AHL) club has signed defensemen Stu Bickel and Brian Cooper, and forwards Antoine Laganiere, Zac Larraza, Tyler Morley, Scott Sabourin and Nick Tarnasky to one-year contracts. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deals were disclosed.

Bickel, 29, appeared in 59 games with San Diego in 2015-16, collecting 1-6=7 points while leading the team with 210 penalty minutes (PIM). Bickel also went scoreless with six PIM in six postseason contests with the Gulls. The 6-4, 207-pound Chanhassen, Minnesota-native has recorded 10-38=48 points with 724 PIM in 280 games during his eight seasons in the AHL with the Gulls, Iowa Wild, Hartford, Connecticut, Syracuse, San Antonio and Iowa Chops.

Cooper, 22, made his professional debut with San Diego last season, appearing in five regular season games, registering one assist and four PIM. The 5-10, 197-pound blueliner made eight playoff appearances with the Gulls, collecting one assist and four PIM. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Cooper attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha for four years, appearing in 143 career NCAA games and recording 12-31=43 points with a +19 rating.

Laganiere, 26, collected 16-16=32 points with 36 PIM in 57 games with the Gulls in 2015-16. In 202 career AHL games, Laganiere has registered 40-31=71 points with 114 PIM between San Diego and the Norfolk Admirals. The 6-4, 196-pound center joined the Admirals in 2013-14 after four seasons with Yale University where he collected 46-39=85 points in 122 games. The L’Île-Cadieux, Quebec-native also helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2012-13 National Championship.

Larraza, 23, appeared in 12 games with San Diego on a professional tryout in 2015-16, collecting 1-3=4 points and four PIM. The 6-2, 195-pound forward appeared in 24 AHL games this season with San Diego, Portland, and Milwaukee, recording 3-5=8 points. A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Larraza had 20-10=30 points with 18 PIM and a +11 rating in 39 games with the Manchester of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) last season.

Morley, 24, made his professional debut with the Gulls last season, appearing in two games and collecting 1-1=2 points after completing four years with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The Burnaby, British Columbia native appeared in 129 career games for the Nanooks, posting 60-62=122 points with a +11 rating.

Sabourin, 24, joins the Gulls after spending the 2015-16 season with Ontario and Iowa, registering 4-3=7 points in 42 games. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound forward also went scoreless in three games with the Manchester of the ECHL last season. A native of Orleans, Ont. Sabourin has collected 21-24=45 points and 347 PIM in 167 career AHL contests with Ontario, Manchester and Iowa.

Tarnasky, 31, joins San Diego after spending the last two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack where he appeared in 59 contests, registering 15-5=20 points and 77 PIM in 2015-16. The 6-2, 230-pound left winger has amassed 13-17=30 points with 297 PIM in the NHL with Florida, Nashville, and Tampa Bay. The Rocky Mountain House, Alberta-native has also collected 76-60=136 points with 828 PIM in the AHL among stints with Hartford, Hamilton, Rochester, and Springfield Falcons.