If you look up the word perseverance in the dictionary, you will find the definition “continued effort to achieve something despite difficulties”. The Captain of the 2011-2012 Calder Cup Champions, the Norfolk Admirals, could write a book on perseverance. Nothing held Mike Angelidis down—not being an undrafted prospect, not spending 5 and a half seasons in the minor leagues, and not suffering a late night bus accident when playing for the Albany River Rats in 2008. The accident left some of his teammates hospitalized with serious injuries, however, not even a week after the accident Angelidis was back on the ice playing 3 games in 4 nights.
Mike Angelidis started his pro career with the Carolina Hurricanes orgization in the 2006-2007 seasons after finishing his 4-season tour with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. The Woodbridge Ontario born forward skated in 240 career games with the Attack and tallying a total of 161 points while recording 492 minutes in penalties. During his final year in the OHL, he won the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the Humanitarian of the Year in the CHL.
Angelidis spent 4 years in the Carolina Hurricanes organization before signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 2010-2011. When he entered the Lightning Organization he was assigned to Tampa’s AHL Club, the Norfolk Admirals. Mike had a career AHL best 20 goals and 18 assists totaling 38 points and setting a career high in penalty minutes. Angie was named one of the Assistant Captains during his 1st year with the Norfolk Admirals. Admirals’ Coach Jon Cooper always commented on Angelidis’ leadership ability, which he shows on and off the ice.
The 2011-2012 season was a season to remember for the 1985 born forward. First Angie got another NHL contract for the 2011-2012 season, then he took over the role of Captain with the Norfolk Admirals where he played in 54 games totaling 27 points and recording 135 minutes in penalties.
While these were all great accomplishments, the highlight of his hockey career came on January 24, 2012 when he was recalled to the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Norfolk Admirals. That night he played in his 1st NHL game debuting against the Columbus Blue Jackets. At the games 13:20 minute mark in the first period, his perseverance finally played off. Angelidis was able to force a turnover in the neutral zone and raced with the puck down ice and flipped the puck over the Blue Jackets goalie for his 1st NHL goal. It was Angelidis’ 1st shot on net in the Show and his 2nd shift in the NHL. He became the 5th player in Lightning history to score in an NHL debut. During an interview Angelidis said, “It felt like I was going to faint and it was a dream come true.” Angelidis would go on to play 5 more games with the Lightning. Also while on recall he engaged in his 1st ever NHL fight on February 25, 2012 vs. Penguins tough guy Deryk Engelland.
Angelidis is a high-energy forward who can play at both ends of the ice. Angelidis is the definition of a leader. A great example of his leadership came during the second game in the 1st round of the Calder Playoffs against the Manchester Monarchs when Angelidis and his troops were down 2-0 in the 2nd period. Angelidis being the leader that he is went out looking for a fight and chirped a couple Monarchs until he found a willing opponent. That fight did not go unnoticed by the Admirals especially playoff MVP Alex Picard who scored 2 goals in a matter of minutes to tie the game. Angie may never be an NHL sensation, however, he will be noticed for the little things that happen out on the ice like starting a fight to change the momentum of the game or simply finishing his checks in the zone and battling down low in front of the net. The effort Angie puts forth speaks for itself. He is a natural born leader.
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