ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, have announced that the club has agreed to terms with veteran defenseman Eric Baier for the 2016-17 season.
Baier, 28, completed his third season with the Solar Bears in 2015-16 by registering a career-high 38 points (10g-28a) and 12 penalty minutes in 66 games. The North Kingstown, R.I. native also completed his second tour of duty as team captain, a position he first held during the 2013-14 campaign. Additionally, Baier saw time in the American Hockey League, as he suited up in one game a piece with the Marlies and Stockton Heat.
Baier shared the AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Month for October with Fort Wayne’s Drew Daniels and Jordon Southorn with a plus-minus rating of +7. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound blueliner became Orlando’s all-time regular-season games played leader when he surpassed Scott Tanski by playing in his 153rd game with the team on Feb. 6. For his efforts in the regular season, Baier was recognized as the team’s most valuable player and was also named the recipient of the Rob Kenny Memorial Award for his community service efforts in the Orlando and Central Florida communities.
In 176 career games with Orlando, Baier has recorded 81 points (28g-53a) and 59 penalty minutes. His 81 points are third in team history, and he is the club’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points by a defenseman. Since beginning his professional career in 2010-11 with the Reading Royals, he has suited up in 338 combined ECHL and AHL games with Reading, Portland, Trenton, Albany, Rockford, Providence, Charlotte, Orlando, Toronto and Stockton, totaling 117 points (37g-80a) and 105 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Baier played for Providence College, where he amassed 32 points (9g-23a) and 72 penalty minutes in 127 games for the Friars.