Defenseman Andrew Martens, a member of the Reign since the team’s inaugural season, has signed with the Wichita (KS) Thunder of the Central Hockey League.
Martens was one of two signings (along with former Idaho Steelheads defenseman Kory Scoran) announced Saturday by Kevin McClelland, an NHL veteran who is beginning his first season as the Thunder’s head coach.
The 29-year-old Martens spent the entire 2009-10 season in Ontario, recovering from a slow start to post four goals and 37 points in 72 games. He split the 2008-09 season between the Reign (7+24=31 in 48 games) and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (0+5=5 in 11 games) and Toronto Marlies (1+5=6 in 16 games).
Martens showed improvement in his defensive game last season, but will be missed more for his offense. He was the Reign’s strongest skating defenseman and his breakaway potential made him one of the team’s more exciting players.
He also holds the distinction of having scored the first goal in franchise history, both in the Reign’s first preseason game and in their first regular-season game.