The Hershey Bears are bringing back another member of their 2023 squad that took home the franchise’s 12th Calder Cup.
Hershey announced on Friday that they have re-signed defenseman Jake Massie to a two-year AHL contract. Massie played in nine playoff games en route to the Cup win and will return to the Bears next year for his third season with the club.
THE BOYS ARE BACK! 🤜🤛
We've re-signed defenseman Jake Massie to a two-year AHL contract and re-signed forward Matt Strome to a one-year AHL deal.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 14, 2023
Massie was inserted into Hershey’s lineup in the postseason in each of the Bears’ four series victories due to injuries on the blueline. His longest stint came after rookie defender Vincent Iorio went down after Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The 26-year-old Quebec native filled in admirably for Iorio, particularly establishing a nice role on the team’s penalty kill. It was his blocked shot and clear that helped Hershey kill off a lengthy Rochester Amerks five-on-three in the Bears’ 1-0 Game Six Conference Finals victory that sent them to the Calder Cup Finals.
In 36 regular season appearances for the Bears, Massie tallied nine points (1g, 8a). Massie was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. He arrived in Hershey two seasons ago after a 2020-21 season that saw him play the entirety of the year in the ECHL with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
The Bears added in their press release that the team held a 23-6-3-4 record when Massie was in the lineup last season.
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) December 29, 2022
Hershey is fully reloaded for a title defense after a quite busy start to their offseason. In addition to Massie, Logan Day, Matthew Strome, Dylan McIlrath, Hunter Shepard, Julian Napravnik, Michael Kim, and Riley Sutter have all re-signed.
The Caps have also added Pierrick Dube, Matthew Phillips, and Alex Limoges in free agency. Veteran forward Garrett Roe is also reported to be joining the roster via free agency.
Here’s the press release from the Bears:
BEARS RE-SIGN JAKE MASSIE AND MATT STROME
(Hershey, PA – July 14, 2023) – The 2023 Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears announced today that the club has re-signed defenseman Jake Massie to a two-year, American Hockey League contract and forward Matt Strome to a one-year, American Hockey League contract.
Massie, 26, skated in 36 regular season games for Hershey in the 2022-23 campaign, logging a career-best nine points (1g, 8a). In his second season in Hershey, Massie also set a personal-high in games played and assists. Hershey was 23-6-3-4 when Massie was in the lineup this past season.
The native of St. Lazare, Quebec skated in nine Calder Cup playoff games with Hershey, adding one assist. The University of Vermont product played a large role in Hershey’s series-clinching win in Game 6 at Rochester, providing several key blocked shots during a lengthy five-on-three penalty kill.
Massie has skated in 99 career AHL games with Springfield and Hershey, posting 17 points (6g, 11a). He’s also logged 34 career ECHL games with Greenville and South Carolina, registering 14 points (5g, 9a).
Strome, 24, returns to the Bears after collecting five points (1g, 4a) in 34 games with Hershey last year. He registered his first goal as Bear on Mar. 15 at Lehigh Valley. When Strome was in the lineup, Hershey went 23-8-2-1, and the winger played a large part in Hershey’s penalty kill.
The native of Mississauga, Ontario has skated in 125 career AHL games with Lehigh Valley and Hershey, collecting 28 points (9g, 19a). His best AHL season came during the 2021-22 campaign with Lehigh Valley as he struck for 16 points (5g, 11a) in 63 games.
The Hershey Bears start the club’s defense of the Calder Cup on Oct. 14 as they open the 2023-24 season. The 2023 Calder Cup will be celebrated that night as the club raises its 12th championship banner ahead of a 7 p.m. puck drop at GIANT Center versus the Belleville Senators. For a complete season schedule, visit HersheyBears.com and look for single-game ticket information and a promotional schedule later this summer. Fans can score Calder Cup merchandise and secure Season Tickets for the 2023-24 season now!
Photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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