Former Bulldog Greg Rallo Makes NHL Debut

Former Bulldog Greg Rallo skates for the Florida Panthers in his NHL debut (Photos courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter)
Former Bulldog Greg Rallo skates for the Florida Panthers in his NHL debut (Photos courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter)

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Big Rapids, Mich. - Former Ferris State University men's ice hockey standout Greg Rallo made his official National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Florida Panthers on Sunday (Dec. 19) evening.

The 30-year old Rallo had one shot on goal in 3:31 of ice time over four shifts for the Panthers in a 3-2 overtime victory at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Rallo, who inked a one-year, two-way contract with Florida this past July, played at Ferris State from 2002-06.  He was recalled by Florida on Saturday from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL) where he had recorded 10 points (7-3-10) and four penalty minutes in 24 games this season.

A native of Gurnell, Ill., Rallo has spent the last four seasons in the AHL with Manitoba, Texas and San Antonio, scoring 117 points (56g-61a) in 226 regular-season games and adding 16 points (6-10a) in 51 postseason games. 

In his professional career to date, Rallo has played in 358 games and registered 202 total points (95-107-202).

Rallo skated during the 2010-11 season with the Texas Stars of the AHL.  He led the Stars with 54 points on a team-leading 26 goals and a squad second-most 28 assists in 78 regular-season contests to go with 10 power-play lamplighters, one short-handed marker, and a plus five efficiency rating.  Rallo, who was invited to the Dallas Stars' training camp last fall, spent the last two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) skating for Texas prior to this campaign.  The 6-0, 195-pound forward totaled 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points in 69 outings for the 2009-10 campaign as the Stars competed in the 2010 AHL Calder Cup Playoff Finals.    

Prior to Texas, Rallo played the two previous seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09) with the AHL's Manitoba Moose and has been playing professionally since 2006.  He was a member of the 2007 Idaho Steelheads which claimed the East Coast Hockey League's (ECHL) Kelly Cup.  He was a two-time ECHL All-Star.

During his Ferris State career, Rallo compiled 108 career points with 46 goals and 62 assists in 152 contests at the center and wing positions.  He was honored as the 2005-06 team's Most Valuable Player and also earned the program's Lloyd Earl Trophy with a team-leading 39 points on 17 goals and 22 helpers in 40 encounters during that campaign.  In the 2002-03 season, Rallo was named the recipient of the squad's Rookie of the Year Award.

Among FSU's all-time leaders, Rallo presently ranks tied for 25th in goals (46), 29th in points (108), and is tied for 30th in assists (62).

Rallo, who was a member of Ferris State's 2002-03 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship team, joins two former Bulldogs in forward Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins) and defenseman Jason Blake (Anaheim Ducks) who have skated in the NHL this season. He's unofficially the sixth former Bulldog player to reach the NHL along with Kunitz, Blake, defenseman Dave Karpa, defenseman John Gruden and forward Rob Collins.

Last spring, 2010-11 FSU All-Americans Pat Nagle (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Zach Redmond (Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers) also signed NHL contracts, but have yet to make their NHL regular-season debuts. 

Another former Bulldog hockey player and assistant coach, Jeff Blashill, is also currently serving as an assistant coach with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.