Tim Lester/Peoria Rivermen
Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel announced Thursday that captain and key defenseman Cole Ruwe has been re-signed and will return for the final season of his playing career in 2014-15.
“We are thrilled to have Cole back for what will be his last year,” Trudel said. “He is our leader on and off the ice, and he can play every type of game. You don’t find that a lot anymore.”
“He’s old school.”
A Pekin, Illinois native, Ruwe was named the 21st captain in franchise history on January 25, 2014, after spending the first three months of last season as an alternate captain. Over 54 games, Ruwe notched 20 points (1g, 19a) and led the Rivermen with 157 penalty minutes. He also registered a plus-9 rating – tied for second-best on the team.
Outside the rink, the 29-year-old was an outstanding presence for the Rivermen in the Peoria community. He planned and attended several youth hockey fundraising events, and was a tremendous ambassador for the Rivermen organization overall. Consequently, Ruwe was named the recipient of the Mark Olsen Award last March for his dedication to the game and community. He was also named the inaugural winner of the Bruce Saurs Leadership Award last April.
“After a lot of thought this offseason, I realized I wanted to come back and really be able to savor my final season,” Ruwe said. “And I wouldn’t want to do that anywhere but here at home in Peoria.”
“Jean-Guy and (Kevin) Tucker have put in a lot of hard work this summer and I think we have a great chance to win another championship for the city of Peoria.”
Now entering his sixth-full season of professional hockey, the 6’0, 205-pound defenseman spent the majority of his career in the Central Hockey League from 2009-13. Over 151 games, he recorded five goals, 34 assists and 218 penalty minutes while with Missouri, Wichita and Fort Worth. He also played 71 games for Bloomington (IHL) during the 2009-10 season.
Prior to turning pro, Ruwe played junior hockey from 2002-03 and 2004-05 for the Peoria Mustangs, then coached by former Rivermen scrapper Kevin Lune. He also played youth hockey for the Pekin Flyers.
ADDITIONAL MOVE: The Rivermen released veteran center Chris Greene on Thursday, who re-signed for the 2014-15 season but reconsidered after accepting an assistant coaching job with a junior A hockey team in Valencia, Washington.
Greene, 28, played eight regular-season games for Peoria last year (1g, 2a) after he was traded from Fayetteville on Feb 17. Overall, he notched 23 points (8g, 15a) and 32 penalty minutes on the season. In addition, the Massena, New York native enjoyed two promotions, spending three games with the Evansville Icemen (ECHL) and eight contests with the Quad City Mallards (Central Hockey League).
Season ticket packages for the 2014-15 season are on sale now and start at just $280! To reserve your seats, call 309-676-1040 today or visit the Rivermen office located at 201 SW Jefferson Street from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter (https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen).