The Florida Everblades return to the ice Friday to open a weekend road trip against South Division rivals Greenville and Gwinnett. They will be without the services of winger Brandon MacLean, who signed a professional tryout offer with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
MacLean, 26, departs as the Blades' leading active scorer with 28 points (10g, 28a), a career high.
MacLean is best-known for his overtime goal in Game 5 of the 2012 Kelly Cup Finals that delivered the Blades a 3-2 win to clinch the best-of-seven championship series 4-1 for their first Kelly Cup.
The Blades (19-11), second in the division standings behind South Carolina, kick off 2014 on the road Friday against the red-hot Greenville Road Warriors (14-16), who swept a pair of games last weekend from the Blades at Germain Arena.
The Blades then swing over to Georgia on Saturday to take on the division cellar-swelling Gwinnett Gladiators (10-20).
The game is the second of four games in nine days against division foes.
They return to Germain Arena a week later to face division-leading South Carolina (22-8) on Jan. 10-11.
Coming off a 4-3 loss Monday to the Orlando Solar Bears, the Blades have a better record on the road (15-4) than they do at home (4-7).