WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fresh off of the promotion of Scott Allen and hiring of Steve Bergin to fill Hershey’s coaching vacancy, the Washington Capitals made their first free-agent splash at the forward position, signing right winger Mike Vecchione to a one-year, two-way contract.
Vecchione, 28, played two seasons with rival Lehigh Valley and, most recently, spent time with the Colorado Eagles in 2021. The 5’10, 194-pound forward gives extra depth for the organization at right wing, as Vecchione has three seasons of 36 or more points in production under his belt.
In 211 career AHL games, Vecchione has recorded 124 points (60 goals, 64 assists) in time spent with the Phantoms, San Antonio Rampage, and Eagles. Vecchione has skated in two NHL contests with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2016-17 season after completing his fourth season with Union College, where he played with now-former Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
Vecchione led the Rampage in scoring during the 2019-20 season, notching 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points in 61 games, including six power-play tallies. Bears fans will remember Vecchione for having a penchant for scoring some key goals during his time with Lehigh Valley that burnt Hershey from time to time, as evidenced below.
Mike Vecchione's fifth goal of the season came on the power play and it evened the game up with the Hershey Bears, at 1-1, in the first period. pic.twitter.com/2Tn8P39BYH
— LehighValleyPhantoms (@LVPhantoms) November 24, 2018
Vecchione had seven points (three goals, four assists) in 12 games during Lehigh Valley’s time in the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2018. This past spring, he notched an assist in two playoff games for Colorado. He ranked third on the Eagles in scoring this past season, where he skated alongside former Bears Liam O’Brien and Jayson Megna. His presence on the right wing and strong power-play abilities will give Hershey a number of options to consider. Being a scoring player on the right side will be an asset as the Bears looked to fill that same role with Daniel Sprong shortly before the 2019-20 season ended.
It’s the latest case of a former rival joining forces with the Bears, who start their season on October 16 against the Charlotte Checkers at Giant Center. Vecchione will look to slot in and do some damage for the Bears, who are coming off a season as the AHL’s top team in 2021.
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