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Jr. Blades Add Front Office Depth

Thursday, May 2, 2019, 6:23PM

The Florida Jr. Blades and President Ron Kinnear are excited to announce the addition of Eric Ricard, Johnny Pelletier, and Stehane Ricard, under the SEJ Sports Group to the Florida Jr. Blades (Gator Ice LLC) ownership group. The newcomers bring a vast amount of hockey experience and an incredible business acumen to the team. The new front office members will bring added support to the team Jr. Blades franchise on and off the ice.

Eric Ricard will serve as the General Manager and oversee the day-to-day operation of the Jr. Blades. Originally from Quebec, Canada Ricard brings three (3) decades of hockey experience, spanning five (5) professional leagues including the AHL, IHL, CHL, WPHL, ECHL (Florida Everblades inaugural season), roller hockey, and skills coaching experiences.

His notable professional career included being selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1989 Entry Draft and receiving defenseman of the year honors while playing for the Fort Worth Fire (CHL) and the New Mexico Scorpions (WPHL).

After hanging up his skates, Ricard joined the ranks of the business world holding multiple executive positions within different companies including Marriott International. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of International Sales for Edge Systems, California. 

Ricard has been actively involved with Hertz Arena since he first played here and cannot wait to push the Jr. Blades to new heights. 

Johnny Pelletier will expand his role within the organization. In addition to continuing to serve as the head coach of the Jr. Blades Elite team, Pelletier will add director of player development for the Premier & Elite teams to his resume. 

From Laval, Quebec, Pelletier hockey career took him through college, Junior AAA, and Roller Hockey International. He continued to play hockey through the semi-professional stage and earned himself defensemen of the Year in 1997 and 2002. After deciding to move behind the bench, Pelletier and team, swept the Championship and 3 Tournaments with a Mites AA team in Quebec. 

Throughout the ensuing years Pelletier has continued to coach teams to winning seasons and accolades including the prestigious Dodge Cup.

In four (4) years as the coach of Ligue Elite Quebec (Bantam AAA), thirty-five players personally developed were later drafted into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, seven being first round picks. 

Pelletier’s approach creates a positive environment, with consistent communication between players and coaches, and lifelong discipline. He emphasizes micro skills such as puck protection and recovery, passing techniques, body checking, and overall hockey sense. Pelletier’s approach is complementary to the Jr. Blades organizational focus of holistic player development and will help player’s dreams become goals and goals become reality.

Todd Pococke remains as head coach of the Florida Jr. Blades Premier team. Todd joined the Jr. Blades in 2012, following a four year collegiate career at NCAA Division I, Ferris State University.

Pococke joined the Blades staff with an impressive hockey background. Having played AAA hockey for Honeybaked Todd then went on to win a Robertson Cup in the NAHL with the St. Louis Bandits under head coach John Cooper. It was after his time in St. Louis that Todd would move on to play for the Bulldogs at Ferris State, and then play professionally for the Florida Everblades in the ECHL. With a level I/II/III training certification with Athletic Republic and a USA Hockey level IV coach, Pococke brings knowledge and experience both on and off the ice. 

Tyler Carlston will continue his tenure as assistant coach of the Florida Jr. Blades for both the Premier and Elite teams. Carlston has been with the Jr. Blades since their inception in 2010 and has helped develop players for Tier I/II and NCAA programs across North America. He brings professional level experience from his time with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, and as a Level I/II Athletic Republic sports performance coordinator. 

Additionally, the Florida Jr. Blades are happy to announce that team manager & billet coordinator Nicole Solow will return. Solow has been the team manager overseeing the travel plans, game-day operations, administration duties and handling all of the housing for all of the out of area players for over 10 seasons. 

The Ownership Group is excited to have the new members and returning staff members to the Organization, we can’t wait to start the 2019-2020 season.