Bobcats Swing Trade With Venom, Sign Simm to PTO

by Brett Wiseman



The Blue Ridge Bobcats today have announced a trade with the Hudson Valley Venom. The club has acquired forward Sotirios Karageorgos and defenseman Antoine Gignac from the Venom in exchange for forward Brendan Charlton and defenseman Andrei Ivanov.

"We would like to thank Andrei and Brendan for their contributions to the team and community during our inaugural season," said Bobcats head coach Vojtech Zemlicka. "We wish them the best of luck in Hudson Valley."

"Like we mentioned this past weekend, there will be some tough decisions but those decisions are made to make us better," Zemlicka continued. "Acquiring Sotirios and Antoine is going to bring depth to our lineup and that’s exactly what we are looking for."

Karageorgos, a 6'2" 209lb power forward split his rookie season in the FPHL between the Baton Rouge Zydeco and Elmira River Sharks, skating in 27 games and recording 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) and accruing 88 penalty minutes. The 22 year old Montreal, QC native of Greek decent played his junior career in the QJHL, spending 5 seasons in the league with 5 different teams. He recorded 57 points (31 goals, 26 assists) and accruing 235 penalty minutes in 72 games over those 5 seasons. 

"Sotirios brings offensive touch and grit to our team," said Zemlicka. "He’s a guy who will get under the skin of the opponent but also a guy who knows how to create offensive opportunities and goes hard to the net. He's a tenacious forechecker and plays a hard nosed game."

Gignac, a fellow Montreal, QC native, came from the end of his collegiate career to the River Sharks down the stretch last season, skating in 6 games and recording 3 assists while accruing 8 penalty minutes and finishing with a +3 plus/minus rating. The 24 year old 6'1" 190lb blue liner split his four seasons of collegiate hockey at a pair of NCAA DIII institutions, suiting up in his freshman and sophomore campaigns for the University of Southern Maine and then transferred to Fitchburg State University for his junior and senior seasons. Combined between the Huskies and Falcons, Gignac skated in 78 games, recording 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) and accrued 91 penalty minutes. He was also a +7 in plus/minus during his junior season at Fitchburg State.

"Antoine is an outstanding defenseman who will make an impact on our team on both ends of the ice," said Zemlicka. "Antoine is a smart player who makes the right decisions out there with or without the puck. He plays a solid defensive game and is very active in the offensive zone."

In addition to the trade, the Bobcats are proud and excited to announce that the club has signed the first of its four picks in the 2024 FPHL Expansion/Player draft, forward Tristian Simm. The 27 year old Squamish, BC native skated in 52 games in his rookie season last year with the Port Huron Prowlers, recording 22 points (14 goals, 8 assists) and accruing 9 penalty minutes. The 5'11" 190lb center/winger hybrid played his collegiate career at NCAA DIII Chatham University, skating in 84 games for the Cougars, racking up 46 points (15 goals, 31 points) and accruing 40 penalty minutes over his four seasons.

You can follow all the Bobcats moves via the "Aschenbach Automotive Group Transaction Tracker", which is available to subscribers of "The Claw", the Bobcats weekly email newsletter. To sign up for "The Claw", visit

Season ticket packages are on-sale for the Bobcats forthcoming second season, and payment plans are available. Existing season ticket holders can now begin selecting their seats from the new 3,650 capacity before construction is completed in September. Season ticket holders enjoy exclusive perks and priority seat selection. Call 276-335-2100 or visit for more information.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Bobcats please visit or follow us on Facebook and TikTok (Blue Ridge Bobcats Pro Hockey), as well as Instagram and X (BRBobcatsHKY) and visit our YouTube channel (Blue Ridge Bobcats TV).