Veteran forward Labelle returns to Royals

Reading, Pa. – The Reading Royals, ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Olivier Labelle.

Labelle, who will be entering his 11th pro season, played last year with Dragons de Rouen in France where he registered 25 points (11g-14a) in 26 regular-season games in the Ligue Magnus. Rouen, who claimed both the Continental Cup and the French League Cup tournaments during the 2015-16 season, also went on to win the French playoff championship. During the run to winning it all, Labelle, racked up 11 points (6g-5a) and 24 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.

This year, Labelle is set to become only the second player in team history to play in five separate seasons with the Royals, joining current Head Coach Larry Courville, who played in parts of five seasons for Reading from 2001–08. Labelle last played in Reading during the 2014-15 season, during which he led the team with a personal career best 71 points (30g-41a) in 72 games, which placed him tied for 11th in the ECHL regular-season scoring race. Labelle, who became only the 10th player in team history to play all 72 regular-season games that year, also led the Royals in power play goals (8), shots on goal (196) and penalty minutes (92), while playing to a +16. He finished the year by registering three assists in the seven playoff games played by the team in the 2015 East Division Semifinals against the South Carolina Stingrays.

Labelle, who is one of only five players in the 15-year history of the Royals to score 30 or more goals in a single season, is the all-time leading goal scorer in team history having scored 101 career goals in 228 total games with Reading. His 201 points (101g-100a) with the Royals places him third all-time on the team’s scoring list behind only Ryan Cruthers (86g-187a=273pts in 278 games) and Yannick Tifu (84g-138a=222pts in 245 games).

Labelle has been to the postseason four times with the Royals, recording 27 points (14g-13a) in 35 career postseason games with the team. Labelle’s 14 playoff goals places him tied (with Cruthers) for second most all time behind only Tifu (16). His 27 playoff points are third most behind Cruthers (39) and Tifu (36).

Labelle, who has scored over 20 goals in five of his six seasons in the ECHL (and all four of his seasons with Reading), has racked up 284 total points (143g-141a) and 800 penalty minutes in 336 regular season games in the league. He has also played 126 games with four different teams in the AHL, registering 39 points (15g-24a) and 253 penalty minutes. He also played three full seasons of Elite European pro hockey in Austria and France (34g-42a=76pts, 198 pims in 108 games). Through 10 seasons of pro hockey, Labelle has played 570 career pro regular season games and has scored 192 goals and assisted on 207 others (399 points) and has amassed 1251 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, Labelle played 273 regular season games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he was a member of back-to-back championship teams with the Hull (and later Gatineau) Olympiques in 2003 and 2004. Labelle finished out his QMJHL career in 2005-06 with Acadie-Bathurst Titan where he exploded for 100 points (50g-50a) and 185 penalty minutes in 67 regular-season games.