INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, ECHL affiliate of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, re-signed veteran forward Garett Bembridge and rookie defenseman Andy Simpson for the 2015-16 season.
The Fuel’s leading scorer and Most Valuable Player in 2014-15, Bembridge contributed 52 points (25g-27a) and 42 penalty minutes in 62 appearances in an Indy uniform last season. A native of Melfort, Saskatchewan, Bembridge was selected in the fifth round (137th overall) by the New York Rangers in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and again in the seventh round (207th overall) in 2001 by the Calgary Flames. In parts of seven AHL seasons from 2000-09, Bembridge appeared in 244 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack, Saint John Flames, Lowell Lock Monsters, Syracuse Crunch, Portland Pirates and Iowa Chops, notching 109 points (35g-74a) and 131 penalty minutes. Entering the 2015-16 season, Bembridge has 276 career ECHL appearances to his credit spanning parts of six seasons with the Las Vegas Wranglers, Idaho Steelheads, Augusta Lynx, Utah Grizzlies, Missouri Mavericks and the Fuel from 2003-15, recording 251 points (117g-134a) and 254 penalty minutes over that span. Prior to his pro career, Bembridge tallied 188 points (89g-99a) and 111 penalty minutes in 218 Western Hockey League games with the Saskatoon Blades in four years of major-junior hockey from 1997-2001.
Despite signing an ECHL contract with the Fuel in March, Simpson did not appear in a game for Indy last season. In 33 games played in 2014-15 in his senior season at Dartmouth College, Simpson tallied seven points (1g-6a) and 16 penalty minutes and was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team. A native of Wildwood, Mo., Simpson, scored 33 points (8g-21a) in a 109-game NCAA career at Dartmouth that spanned four varsity seasons from 2011-15. Prior to his collegiate career, Simpson scored 31 points (8g-23a) in 104 USHL appearances for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in two junior seasons from 2009-11.