Florida Everblades - Germain Arena

Florida Everblades

An ECHL Hockey Team, playing home games at Germain Arena


Team History

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The Florida Everblades have served the Southwest Florida Community since 1998, providing family-fun entertainment for fans of all ages.

 

The Everblades are members of the highly competitive ECHL, and serve as an affiliate to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. Nearly 50 former Everblades players have played in the NHL, while over 530 ECHL players have gone on to play in the NHL as well.

 

Since their inception, the Everblades have hosted more than 3.3 million fans in nearly 600 regular season games at Germain Arena, with an average of 6,036 per game. The team has placed in the top three of league attendance in ten of its 16 seasons, including ranking first five times. Germain Arena and the Everblades hosted the 2003 Compuware/ECHL All-Star game and have led the Kelly Cup Playoffs attendance six times. The Everblades have also earned a post-season berth in 15 of their 16 season seasons of existence.
The Everblades won the Kelly Cup and the ECHL Championship in 2012, and have reigned as conference champions three times. During the 2003-04 season, the Everblades captured the Eastern Conference title and made their first ever trip to the Kelly Cup Finals, and followed that up by becoming the first team in ECHL history to make back-to-back trips to the Kelly Cup Finals after capturing the 2004-05 American Conference Championship. Florida was also awarded the regular season championship and the Brabham Cup following the 1998-99 season when they finished with a club record 108 points.

The Florida Everblades are a team of individuals who work hard on the ice to provide world-class sports entertainment for the fans. Off the ice, the Everblades are committed to serving the communities of Southwest Florida. The organization has touched thousands of children through a variety of educational programs, donations, special events and fan development initiatives. Some of these programs feature Everblades’ players reading to children at schools, charity jerseys auctions, hospital visits and much more. Every December, the Everblades hold its annual Teddy Bear Toss, in which fans bring new teddy bears and stuffed animals to the game. When the Everblades score their first goal of the game, fans throw the stuffed toys onto the ice to celebrate. Thousands of stuffed animals are then collected and distributed to local children’s charities across the region.

 

During the 2013-14 season, the team raised $131,833 for charities across Southwest Florida. In addition, more than $19,000 was raised to benefit local cancer charities.

 

Contact

For more information about the Everblades, season ticket packages, and community events, please contact the Everblades office at 239-948-7825. Everblades Main Office located at Germain Arena, Monday—Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Everblades Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the CenturyLink Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com

Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.

Ownership

karmanosPETER KARMANOS JR.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Compuware Corporation

Peter Karmanos Jr. holds the dual role as the Principal Owner/Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Carolina Hurricanes and as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Compuware Corporation.

With his partner Jim Rutherford, Karmanos acquired the NHL franchise on June 28, 1994 – the afternoon of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. After three financially unsuccessful seasons in Hartford, Conn., and after an agreement on a new facility between the team and the state of Connecticut could not be reached, Karmanos announced he would relocate the franchise to Raleigh, N.C. on May 6, 1997.

There, Karmanos signed a 30-year lease with the city of Raleigh and the state. In the summer of 1998, Karmanos formed Gale Force Holdings to manage his hockey interests, which include the Carolina Hurricanes and the RBC Center; the Florida Everblades of the ECHL and the Germain Arena in Ft. Myers, Fla.; and the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and Compuware Arena. Karmanos attended Wayne State University in Detroit. He founded Compuware in 1973 with two partners who, with Karmanos, pooled their tax return money to start the company. Compuware is currently one of the largest independent software vendors in the world. Karmanos’ initiative and business prowess were recognized in 1989 by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 1999, Karmanos ensured that his company would not lose sight of its roots when he decided to relocate more than 4,100 highly skilled jobs from Compuware’s headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich., to Campus Martius, a business district in the heart of downtown Detroit.

The same competitive spirit that led to Karmanos’ success as an entrepreneur also fuels his 30-year sponsorship of youth hockey programs. In Detroit, Karmanos sponsors the Plymouth Junior Whalers (players ages 20-under), which was the first American club to play in the Ontario Hockey League. The Plymouth Junior Whalers have produced some of the top NHL prospects in the past few seasons.

While the junior and midget teams are the focal points of Karmanos’ commitment, countless youth hockey programs benefit each season through the efforts and sponsorship of the Carolina Hurricanes and Compuware. In December 1997, Karmanos was chosen as one of four recipients of the Lester Patrick Award. Originating in 1966, the award is given annually to individuals who are recognized for “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”

In addition to his business and hockey interests, Karmanos is widely known for his philanthropy, particularly in the area of cancer research. In 1995, Karmanos established the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit with donations that now total in excess of $26 million. The institute is the largest such facility in Michigan dedicated to fighting cancer. The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a system of integrated cancer research facilities originally formed by the Michigan Cancer Foundation, was renamed for Karmanos’ first wife, who died of breast cancer in 1989 at the age of 46. It is the only nationally recognized cancer center to be named for a woman. In 1996, the Jimmy Fund, which works to prevent, treat and eliminate cancer in children and adults, presented Karmanos with a lifetime membership to the Jimmy Fund Council of Connecticut for his volunteerism and contributions.

 

brushCRAIG BRUSH
President/General Manager

Craig Brush, the President of the Florida Everblades, along with partner Peter Karmanos, founded the Everblades and Germain Arena in 1998. Brush, a native of Milton, Ontario, oversees all aspects of both the hockey club and the sports complex.

Brush played hockey for three seasons at Cornell University and was a member of the 1970 undefeated NCAA Championship team. Craig also coached in the Compuware youth hockey program for many years.

Craig and his wife, Kyle, split time between Estero, Florida and Birmingham, Michigan. The couple has three sons, Matt, Tyler and Patrick.

Everblades that have played in the National Hockey League

  • Keith Aucoin – Carolina Hurricanes (2005-07)
  • Eric Boulton – Buffalo Sabres (2000-04) & Atlanta Thrashers (2005-08)
  • David Brine – Florida Panthers (2007-08)
  • Shane Hnidy – Ottawa Senators (2000-04), Nashville Predators (2003-04), Atlanta Thrashers (2005-07) & Boston Bruins (2007-08)
  • Greg Koehler – Carolina Hurricanes (2000-01)
  • Greg Kuznik – Carolina Hurricanes (2000-01)
  • Chad LaRose – Carolina Hurricanes (2005-08)
  • Drew Larman – Florida Panthers (2006-07)
  • Martin Lojek – Florida Panthers (2006-08)
  • Brett Lysak – Carolina Hurricanes (2003-04)
  • Eric Manlow – Boston Bruins (2000-02) & New York Islanders (2002-04)
  • Jason Morgan – LA Kings (1996-98), Calgary Flames (2003-04), Nashville Predators (2003-04), Chicago Blackhawks (2005-06) & Minnesota Wild (2006-07)
  • Remi Royer – Chicago Blackhawks (1998-99)
  • Damian Surma – Carolina Hurricanes (2002-04)