For immediate release

For more information, contact: Joel Silverberg, Director of Broadcasting (865) 525-7825,

The Knoxville Ice Bears have agreed to trade defenseman Cody Rodgers and future considerations to the Macon Mayhem in exchange for forward Dean Balsamo, both teams confirmed on Thursday.

Balsamo appeared in 36 games for the Mayhem as a rookie last season, scoring 10 goals and adding 16 assists for 26 points. The Sterling Heights, Mich. native helped Macon win the William B. Coffey Trophy as the league’s regular season champion last year. He also played in five games for Tulsa in the ECHL. He has yet to play in a game this season.

“Dino is a highly skilled center that plays inside the dots,” said Ice Bears Head Coach Jeff Car. “He was an All-American at Adrian. He has the pedigree to be a top player in this league.”

While at Adrian, Balsamo averaged a point per game or better over his final three seasons, including a 40-point campaign in just 29 games as a senior in 2019-20.

The Ice Bears (2-0-0) host Roanoke on Saturday night for Wiener Dog Races at the Civic Coliseum. Knoxville will close out the weekend with a home game against Huntsville Sunday afternoon.

ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its’ visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale.  For more information, visit or call (865) 525-7825.