By Dave Link, Knoxville News Sentinel
The Knoxville Ice Bears traded defenseman Ricky Helmbrecht to Augusta for forward Chad Ziegler on Tuesday — in part to make immediate room on their Southern Professional Hockey League roster.
Ziegler, on loan to Greenville (S.C.) of the East Coast Hockey League, will join the Ice Bears if he is released by Greenville and is not picked up by another ECHL team.
Also Tuesday, the Ice Bears got center Jon Higgins back from a loan to Kalamazoo (Mich.) of the ECHL. Higgins had one assist in three games at Kalamazoo, and has nine points (three goals, six assists) in 26 games with Knoxville this season.
Ice Bears coach Mike Craigen said he expects to have a full roster of 18 players for Thursday's game against Fayetteville at Civic Coliseum — if defenseman Brad Pawlowski is able to return from an ankle injury that kept him out for two games last weekend.
"We got some good news from the medical staff that (Pawlowski) feels pretty good," Craigen said. "We expect Brad to be ready."
Pawlowski missed practice Tuesday morning to have treatment but plans to practice today.
Ziegler was the second-leading scorer for last-place Augusta when he was called up to Greenville last Wednesday. He had 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) before the call-up, but hasn't played a game for Greenville as of Tuesday.