Mike Penny, general manager of the Toronto Marlies, announced on Wednesday that the club has signed forwards Colin Murphy, Jeff Corey, Brett Engelhardt and Owen Fussey, in addition to defenseman Justin Sawyer and goaltender Robert Gherson.
Murphy, 26, played his first full season of professional hockey last year for the Marlies. Despite appearing in only 53 regular-season games, he scored 16 goals and added 18 assists for 34 points and was the team’s highest-scoring rookie. Murphy scored the team’s first-ever goal in an 8-5 loss at Rochester on Oct. 7, 2005. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound winger and native of Fort McMurray, Alta., led Michigan Tech University in scoring in both his sophomore (2002-03) and senior (2004-05) seasons, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2005.
Corey, 23, registered 99 points (47 goals, 52 assists) while collecting 134 penalty minutes in 135 career NCAA games with the University of Vermont over a four-year playing career. The 6-foot, 190-pound right wing enjoyed his best season while playing in 37 games for the Catamounts in 2004-05 when he finished second in regular-season team scoring by setting collegiate career highs in goals (17), assists (16) and points (33). Corey was signed to an amateur try-out contract on Mar. 15 and registered three points (two goals, one assist) in nine games with the Marlies last season.
Engelhardt, 26, and a former teammate of Murphy’s at Michigan Tech, registered career highs in goals (12), assists (32) and points (44) in 71 games with the Marlies in 2005-06. The Sheboygan, Wis., native also tied for the team lead with three shorthanded goals. A third-year pro, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger has totaled 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 117 career AHL games with Toronto, St. John’s and Philadelphia.
Fussey, 23, was a third-round draft choice of the NHL’s Washington Capitals in 2001. The 6-foot, 190-pound left wing spent last season with the Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears and recorded two goals and 12 points in 50 games. In 190 career AHL contests with Hershey and Portland, Fussey has recorded 22 goals and 29 assists for 51 points over three seasons. He also skated in four NHL games with Washington in 2003-04.
Sawyer, 20, played 67 games for the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals last season. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Oshawa, Ont., native was the team’s leader in games played (appearing in all but one contest) while also leading the club in penalty minutes with 212. He registered 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) before playing in 13 games with the Marlies upon the conclusion of the Generals’ season.
Gherson, 22, went 21-11-2 in 36 AHL appearances for Hartford (20-11-2) and Manitoba (1-0-0) in 2005-06. His 2.63 goals-against average ranked 12th in the league and he also recorded a .905 save percentage and one shutout.
Penny also announced that the team has picked up the option year on forward Martin Sagat’s contract. Sagat had eight goals and 21 assists in 60 games for the Marlies last season.