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EIHL Fixtures & Results

24/02/2012 

Friday 24/02/2012
Elite League
Braehead 2-1 Sheffield 

Saturday 25/02/2012

Elite League
Edinburgh 4-5 Braehead OT/PS
Fife 3-5 Sheffield
Hull 0-8 Belfast
Nottingham 6-3 Cardiff

Sunday 26/02/2012
Elite League
Cardiff 5-3 Hull
Coventry 0-5 Belfast
Dundee 6-5 Braehead OT/PS
Fife 3-4 Nottingham
Sheffield 7-0 Edinburgh

Click here for match reports

Jereme Tendler (Hull Stingrays) provisionally suspended following analytical finding

05/02/2012 

"Following tests carried out at the Elite Ice Hockey League match between the Coventry Blaze and Hull Stingrays in January by UK Anti-Doping,

IHUK can confirm that Jereme Tendler of the Hull Stingrays has been provisionally suspended following an adverse analytical finding.

As an investigation is currently underway, no further statement will be made until a final outcome has been confirmed."


Report from Capitals website

Rene Jarolin commits for season 2012/13

05/02/2012 

Edinburgh Capitals are delighted to announce the signing of Rene Jarolin for the 2012/13 season. Rene Jarolin currently is the League's top goalscorer and a big fan favourite in Edinburgh so we are honoured to secure his services and build a solid platform for next year. 

Richard Hartmann said, "Rene is one of the premier players in the League and was my main priority to sign. We want to develop a strong, talented and hardworking squad that enjoys playing for the Capitals and the City."  

Scott Neil said, "It is great to have Rene back next year and with the addition of Richard Hartmann as player coach we have signed two quality players and people going into the 2012/13 season. They both seem to enjoy the City and playing at the Caps and it is a great platform to be able to build from. 

Their early signing is a situation that we have not been able to enjoy for many years and we are looking to help provide Richard the best possible resources to develop the team going forward. We are working hard to pull all areas of the team in a united front, from fans, sponsors, players, volunteers and commercial partners. If we all play as a team we can deliver something special."

Report from Ice Hockey UK website

The Hoff Is Back In Belfast

29/01/2012 

Fan favourite Mike Hoffman is a Giant once again after agreeing to terms with Coach Doug Christiansen less than an hour before the international signing deadline on January 31st.

The 6 foot 5 inch 18 stone Hoffman returns to the Giants after starting the 2011/12 season in North America. After spending the majority of this season bouncing between the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League and the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League, he was lured back to Belfast by coach Doug Christiansen in the late hours of Wednesday night.

“Mike Hoffman has unfinished business in Belfast. Last year, he was one of our most committed players and was a leader in our dressing room. He is coming straight from the AHL and has had a good season so far. I have signed him as a forward although he can also play defense but I feel that he is more effective up front.”

“We needed a player who can help us offensively and Mike does that in different ways than most creative players. We have a number of players who can skate and be creative but we have very few who can open up room on the ice with size and physical presence, especially with the injury to Darryl Lloyd.  

“Hoffman will be effective at the net front by screening goalies and getting rebounds. We will face a lot of excellent goalies in the next two months and Hoff could block out the sun if he had to, let alone a goaltender’s vision. If we are going to accomplish our goals, we are going to have to get to the net and be difficult to play against. 

Report from Giants website

Clan roster change

30/01/2012

Braehead Clan are today delighted to announce the signing of GB international Lee Mitchell as we push for a top 4 League place and a place in the Play Off Finals Weekend in Nottingham in April 2012.

Dundee have been looking to add an impact 10th import and have signed Kyle Bruce to their roster with immediate effect. Many thanks to Kyle for all his brilliant work for the Clan over the past season and a half, both on and off the ice. We wish him all the success with his new club and in his career.


Report from Clans website

2012/13 SEASON

26/01/2012

The Elite League wish to confirm that all playing rules, including the level of 10 imports, will remain the same for the 2012/13 season.

Andy French, director of hockey operations, said: "We are now in the back half of an amazingly competitive season and at least three teams are right in the hunt for the Elite League title.

 "Two of the four teams who reached the Challenge Cup semi-finals are currently outside of the top three in the league and, at the bottom of the league, there is a terrific battle brewing to pick-up points in order to make the 2012 play-offs.

 "It’s really good news that we can already be looking ahead to next season with great confidence. Next month, we will announce the key dates for the 2012/13 campaign."

Report from EIHL website

Blaze move for Nylander

21/01/2012

Coventry Blaze can today confirm they have signed Swedish forward Peter Nylander.
 
The 36-year-old Stockholm native will arrive in the country today and will make his debut in the Rapid Solicitors Elite League double-header with Nottingham Panthers next weekend.
 
Nylander had joined Czech side HC Litvinov at the start of the season but has been sidelined with a groin injury.
 
Coach Paul Thompson said: “Peter will add to the hockey club offensively which is something I felt we needed.
 
“We are relying on the same four or five guys to do all the scoring but Peter will be able to take some off the pressure of them.
 
“Peter is a veteran forward who has spent the majority of his career in the Swedish Elite League and the KHL.
 
“He blew his groin earlier this season but is in great shape and was looking at his options. He will bring more out of the players we have got here.
 
“Peter brings a lot of experience having played at a top world standard for many years and I am really pleased to have picked him up.”
 
Nylander is a former Sweden junior international who has played 403 regular-season and play-off games in the Elitserien, posting 99 points – winning the championship in 1998/99.
 
He also registered 36 points in 115 games in the SM-liiga, 21 points in 59 appearances in the KHL and 31 points in 93 matches in Russia .
 
His one season in North America came in 2000/01 when he notched six points in 26 games for Augusta Lynx in the ECHL.

 
Report from Blaze website

GOOD NEWS ON AND OFF THE ICE

21/01/2012 

Nottingham Panthers had a big win on the ice at top of the table Belfast and there’s signing news off the ice as well with the impending arrival of forward Rhett Gordon.

Flights and paperwork should be sorted out early next week for the arrival of the former Superleague favourite to join the GMB Nottingham Panthers.

The 35-year-old brings a wealth of experience at the highest of leagues having played in the AHL and the IHL before skating out 56 times for Team Canada where he had 41 points in 56 games.

He then spent two years with Ayr in the old British Superleague where he amassed 61 points in 88 games before playing for Sheffield and then for Herning in Denmark where he had well over a point a game. A year in the top flight DEL in Germany at Iserlohn followed, then Cortina in Italy (38points in 30 games) then back to Denmark with Rodovre for 57 points in 36 games.

Rhett then spent three years straight with over 109 points at Ausberg in the DEL. Last year he was with Bolzano in Italy’s top flight and this year has been at Colorado in the East Coast Hockey League.

Panthers' coach Corey Neilson learned that the signing had moved forward when he came off the ice in Belfast on Saturday night and told the website : “That’s made it a pretty perfect day. Rhett is a great player with a great reputation and he brings a lot to the table for us.”

Report from Panthers website


Clan sign Mike Wirll

16/01/2012

Braehead Clan are today pleased to announce that they have signed an additional import to their 2011/2012 roster. The signing of right winger, Mike Wirll, has been confirmed this morning and Mike will touch down on UK soil early this week.

The 29 year old Canadian, who is a former team mate of Clan’s #13 Jade Galbraith, has played in the ECHL, SM, Liiga, Germany and CHL so he joins the Clan with a wealth of experience aswell as bringing both speed and skill to the ice.

Confirming the signing Clan Coach/Player Drew Bannister commented;

"Mike is a good guy with a great attitude on the ice. I have no doubt that he will work hard for us, and will gel with the other guys on the team. He has a lot of skill and can really move the puck. I know he will be looking to notch up as many points as he can from now until the end of the season so it’s great to have him join the team."

Report from Clans website

Nick Duff Joins the Steelers

16/01/2012 

Sheffield Steelers have confirmed that Nick Duff has signed a contract until the end of the season and will arrive in Sheffield on Monday morning.

Duff has been playing in the Central Hockey League for Dayton this season. previously he spent a season in Toledo in the East Coast League after four years in University Hockey and four more seasons in the IHL with Kitchener and Brampton.

Head coach Ryan Finnerty says that Duff will give the Steelers blue line more of a presence "He is a tough D man, he completes his hits, he is not afraid to drop the gloves and make himself known. He is something we don't have right now and I think he will be a great addition. His name has kept coming across my desk for a few weeks now and I always kept thinking that this could be the guy. 

"He is young and keen to impress. I love his attitude, when we agreed terms he was 15 hours away from home on a road trip with his existing team, he got up at 6 in the morning, walked to the car hire business, rented a car and drove the 15 hours to pick up his gear and made his way to the airport. I like that in a man

Report from Steelers website


Brent Hughes adds Mark Kolanos to offence

12/01/2012 

Dundee Stars Coach, Brent Hughes has secured the signature of 27 years old Polish/Canadian forward Mark Kolanos.

The 6' 1", 194lbs right winger/centre joins the Taysiders from CHL outfit Arizona Sundogs.

After starting his hockey career with Calgary Royals Junior A Mark had four successful seasons with University of New Hampshire in the NCAA.

In 2007 Mark moved to the Arizona Sundogs in the CHL interrupted with a brief spell at Texas Brahmas of the same league in season 2009-10. Signing with the Arizona Sundogs for his rookie pro season, Kolanos started all 64 regular season games and posted 62 points (31 G, 31 A, +2) and 64 penalty minutes. This included 26 points (10 G, 16 A) on the power play, one short-handed goal and four game-winning goals. During the playoff run that led to the 2008 Ray Miron President's Cup Championship win; he scored 14 points (6 G, 8 A).

In 2008-09 Kolanos tallied 46 points (20 G, 26 A, -6) and 50 penalty minutes in 60 games played. This included 19 points (9 G, 10 A) on the power play and two game winning goals. The 2010-11 season saw him rack up another 30 points.

Coach Hughes said of his capture: "I am delighted to bring Mark into our set up here at Dundee. AJ MacLean, Matt Suderman and myself played with and against Mark in the CHL so we know what he brings to the table. He will add extra depth to our squad and in particular to our power-play unit. He is a big guy with a big shot and a big heart. I am looking forward to having him here in time for the Sheffield game on Sunday at the Motorpoint Arena."

Mark said today: "I'm excited about coming over to Dundee and playing in front of their fans which I have heard so much about and helping the team in its push for a play-off spot."


Report from Stars website


Flyers Swoop to Sign 2 Forwards

12/01/2012 

Fife Flyers have added two import signings to their roster with the announcement that forwards Denis Kadic and Frantisek Bakrlik have arrived at the club.

Slovenian, Kadic spent this season playing with HK Maribor where he amassed 10 goals and 26 assists in his 23 games. The 28 years old stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 198 lbs and is a skilfull forward with

Czech national, Bakrlik was released by Coventry Blaze earlier in the week and Flyers moved swiftly to capture his signature ahead of two other EIHL clubs. Also 28 years of age, Bakrlik is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 231 lbs. He is a power forward with a strong physical presence.

A delighted coach, Todd Dutiaume said, 'These are two big signings for the club and I am grateful to the coaching staff and directors who worked closely and swiftly to make this happen this week.'

'Denis is a talented forward who will score goals for us and I am excited by the prospect of him playing here in Kirkcaldy. Frantisek is someone I am finally happy to have as we missed out on signing him after he left Hull Stingrays earlier in the season. He is a strong physical guy and the two signings give us more offensive options.'

'These moves shows our commitment to the fans and to the team in our attempt to gain a play-off position.'

Report from Flyers website


Deniset Returns To The Giants

09/01/2012 

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of forward Paul Deniset for the remainder of the season.

Deniset played for the Giants in the 2008/09 season, scoring 38 goals and 48 assists for 86 points in 51 games played. That season, Deniset played on the top forward line for the Giants, leading the team to two titles – the Challenge Cup and the British Knock Out Cup. The following season he moved onto the top league in Denmark with Aalborg Hockey Club scoring 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points in 32 games. Last season he starred for Amiens in the top French League again putting up impressive numbers with 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points in 30 games.

General Manager Todd Kelman is pleased to get Deniset back in Belfast.

“We are very pleased to get Paul back in Belfast for the rest of the season. He is going to fit in well with this team. He was one of the top players in the Elite League when he was here before and was part of 2 championships in Belfast.

Report from Giants website

MAC AGREES TO PLAY IN THE NEW YEAR

23/12/2011

The talking's over and Sean McAslan WILL play for the GMB Nottingham Panthers at some point in the new year.

Mac's been in touch from his home in Calgary to say the last pieces of the jigsaw are now in place and it means he will be able to join the Panthers at some point in the new year. The Panthers still hold his international transfer card from his last stint in the black and gold.

Coach Corey Neilson said tonight : "This is great news, what a player to have up your sleeve to drop into the line-up as an extra import. We all know what Mac can do. He's been skating hard for a couple of weeks to get into shape and everyone in the organisation is thrilled to add his name to the roster. What a great option to add to the arsenal!"

Meanwhile Sami Ryhanen made it to Nottingham in time for the end of practice on Thursday and got to meet his new team mates. You can hear him on Panthers Radio along with the club's Christmas Audio Card to the fans. Neilson added : "He controls the puck well and has got skills and patience when he's in possession. Friday gives him a chance to show us what he can do in a game when we play up in Dundee in the league. It's exciting for everyone."

Report from Panthers website

Richard Hartmann agrees terms for 2012/13

22/12/2011

Edinburgh Capitals have agreed terms to keep Richard Hartmann as player coach for the 2012/13 season. The Capitals have moved early after being greatly impressed with Hartmann and are keen to secure his services and build for the future.

Matthew Tailford said, "We all have great confidence in what Richard can achieve and I hope the fans of Edinburgh Capitals will back this move by providing strong support for Richard and the team into the rest of the 2011/12 season and beyond."

Scott Neil commented, "In many ways Richard is the perfect player coach for Edinburgh not just from the quality of his play but also from the knowledge, experience and ethos that he brings to the club and team. He is a coach who believes in development and is keen to work on that aspect to produce quality Edinburgh players for the future. Richard has quickly gained the respect of all at the club and we are keen to all work hard to provide as good a platform as possible for Richard to develop the team into 2012 and the 12/13 season."

Report from Capitals website


Maxwell Flys In

21/12/2011

Fife Flyers are delighted to announce the signing of Canadian defenceman, Tim Maxwell. The 27 years old from Alberta, a former team-mate of Mike Hamilton, played in Norway last season after two seasons in North America's East Coast Hockey League with Utah Grizzlies.

Coach Todd Dutiaume said of the signing, 'We have worked hard to get Tim and it's great to finally have him over here in Kirkcaldy. He is an offensive defenceman and that gives me some more options. He will make his debut against Cardiff on Boxing Day and his home debut against Dundee on Tuesday. That takes up to nine imports and now we want to see more wins in the 'W' column.'

Report from Flyers website

PANTHERS MOVE QUICKLY TO SIGN A NEW FORWARD

20/12/2011

Nottingham Panthers hope to have a new Finnish forward in the line-up for Friday's trip to Dundee, after Scott Champagne quit the club.

Sami Ryhanen is due to fly to the UK on Thursday. He's played in Austria, Italy and Finland and started this season with Aalbourg in Denmark.

His signing follows Scott Champagne's decision to hand in his notice to move to a team in Germany.

A club spokeswoman told the website tonight : "These things happen and we wish Scott well and thank him for his efforts. Contact was made by the German team after Scott handed in his notice and although the waters are a little muddy at the moment an offer to settle his release is on the table and we're waiting to hear back from Germany."

In the meantime the Nottingham club hit the phones and Ryhanen has agreed to come to Britain to try to make the available berth his own.

Coach Corey Neilson said : "He had decent numbers in the highly regarded SM Liga a couple of seasons back and he's told us he's determined to prove himself in the UK Elite League. He'll be leaving his family in Finland for the Christmas period to join us so his determination and commitment cannot be questioned."

The GMB Panthers have also been talking to former star forward Sean McAslan with a view to him signing as an eleventh import. Those talks have gone well but there's still a hurdle or two to be cleared and we'll have a clear picture by the end of this week.

Report from Panthers website

 

Vanderveeken joins Devils

19/12/2011

Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the signing of defenceman Jamie Vanderveeken from Fassa in Italy. The 6’ 2”, 215lbs native of Wallaceburg, Ontario is excited about joining the Devils and flies in tomorrow (Tuesday) to join his teammates.

Devils CEO Paul Ragan recently gave Head Coach Gerad Adams the go-ahead to look for the right players to strengthen the squad and whilst Adams planned on being patient, the opportunity to bring the talented blueliner in was too good to miss, he says.

‘We tried to bring Jamie to Cardiff a couple of seasons ago but that didn’t work out. When his name popped up I spoke to Paul (Ragan) and with his support we have been able to make a great move to boost the team.

Jamie is an offensive-minded defenceman who comes to us with great recommendations. He has a cannon of a shot and his offensive ability will really help us up-ice and take the pressure of our defensive players who have been so huge for us lately. We are looking to Jamie to strengthen our D and use his attributes (on the Powerplay in particular) to generate more offense from the back.’

Prior to Italy Vanderveeken spent three seasons in Rapid City and a spell with Arizona in the CHL, and 72 games for the K-wing of Kalamazoo in the IHL

Devils became aware of Vanderveeken’s availability on the weekend and Bench Coach Neil Francis says a real team effort has brought the latest Cardiff Devil to South Wales.

Report from Devils website


Dan Ceman Signs Up in Fife

13/12/2011

Fife Flyers have today announced the signing of former Dundee CCS Stars' player/coach, Dan Ceman who will make his debut in the league game against Coventry Blaze at Fife Ice Arena this evening. Dan left the Taysiders last week and after considering several offers from both this country and abroad, decided to join the Kirkcaldy outfit.

A delighted Coach, Todd Dutiaume said, 'As soon as Dan was released by Stars he was an obvious target for me. I know the type of player he is and he is an easy fit for us. He is a typical guy we target as a player for this organisation, he is a hard worker, a natural goal scorer and with the addition of him and the new defenceman we have signed and waiting on a work permit for, that takes us to nine imports and hopefully a very competitive hockey club. We keep our players healthy then things will be looking up for Flyers in the wins column.'

Dan added, 'Todd contacted me as soon as the news of my release from Stars was known and built up a pretty awesome picture of the club and the future. I remember being here with Stars and how the building was noisy and the passion of the fans and I am looking forward to playing for them and my team-mates. Although I have played pro hockey for a long time I will admit to having a few nerves about tonight's game but I'll be pumped up for it. I'm looking forward to helping the team reach a play-off spot, that is our goal.'

As well as being coach at Dundee, Ceman was also top goal scorer for them this season and Fife fans will be hoping he continues to find the net in the blue and gold.

Report from Flyers website


Dundee CCS Stars part company with Dan Ceman

07/12/2011

Dundee Stars have released Player Coach Dan Ceman from his contract with immediate effect. The Dundee Stars owners reluctantly took this action due to the recent poor run of results.

Co Director Mike Ward said: "This was not an easy decision to make but we feel that we had to take action as performances over the past few weeks have been less than expected and the team is now in real danger of missing out on a play-off spot."

Mike added that Dan had put a power of work into the team over the past one and a half seasons but unfortunately the on ice results have shown little improvement.

We would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him well for the future.

Report from Stars website


Francis Trudel Signs for the Steelers

04/12/2011

The Steelers have moved quickly for defensive cover following the season ending injury to Rod Sarich by signing 28 year old Francis Trudel

Trudell has played the last two seasons in Norway and Italy and will fly into Britain on Tuesday and be in the line up for Fridays top of the table encounter with Belfast Giants, the first of three games in three nights.

"We are lucky to have signed Trudel" said head coach Ryan Finnerty "we had several options and Trudel became available at the eleventh hour. Once i had taken references i was in no doubt that this was the player for us

"All the reports I have received suggest he is a highly skilled player who knows his own end of the rink and will help us defensively.

"Of course his signing will give me a headache as I will now have 11 imports when we are fit and well and that means that one import will sit out every night. 

Thats going to be a test for me and a test for the players who now know they must play hard for their spots on the team. With all the games we have coming up though i think injuries, knocks, bumps and bruises will make those decisions for me most nights.

Report from Steelers website


ONE IN ONE OUT AT SHEFFIELD

02/12/2011

Sheffield Steelers have signed 31-year-old American Luke Fulghum from the Coventry Blaze.

The Steelers moved quickly to sign the high-scoring winger from the Blaze on Thursday morning, once they were aware that there was a possibility of a deal being able to be struck.
 

"You don't sign guys of the quality of Luke Fulghum in December," said head coach Ryan Finnerty.

"We have open dialogue with Coventry on many levels and through those realised there was a deal to be done.

 "We spoke at length with Thommo (Blaze head coach Paul Thompson) and Luke, and quickly agreed a deal that will see him make his debut on Saturday against Cardiff.

"As many people know we have been trying to sign a defenceman with the injury to Rod Sarich, and we are close to finalising a deal on a player in the next day or so.

 "This move for Fulghum came out of the blue. I had been speaking to RG Flath about his thoughts moving forward, as his trial period was coming to an end shortly. 

"RG has been brilliant for us but advised me that he would be moving back to the States once his short-term contract ends in a coupe of weeks time. Then the opportunity came to sign Luke and we had to move on it.

"It means that RG has played his last game for us and will be returning Stateside early next week.

"Fulghum excites me. He is a shooter, a goalscorer, a player who can help win us games.

Report from Steelers website


Blaze move for Bakrlik

29/11/2011

Coventry Blaze can confirm they have signed Czech forward Frantisek Bakrlik as injury cover. 

Coach Paul Thompson moved quickly for the 28-year-old after he was released by Rapid Solicitors Elite League rivals Hull Stingrays. 

With Blaze forward Owen Fussey ruled out for between four to six weeks, Thompson turned to Bakrlik, who will be in the line-up for the league trip to Braehead Clan on Wednesday night. 

Thompson said: “We have a couple of injuries right now. Owen is a quick healer but the injury he has normally takes four to six weeks, although I am sure he will aim to be back before then. 

“When I found out Frankie was being released I thought it was the perfect opportunity for us. I have told him that if he plays well for us during this period he can earn himself a permanent contract.
 
“Frankie coming in will hopefully shake things up a bit as I am not getting the consistency I want from some of the guys. But he knows if he plays well he can earn a place on the roster and maybe we decide to move someone on.
 
“He is a big player, physical and imposing. He has a big shot and is highly skilled. We have seen him a few times already this season and he has played well against us. He now has an opportunity to show us what he can do.

Report from Blaze website


Hungarians defeat Steelers 6-3

27/11/2011

Steelers ended their Continental Cup experience with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Hungarian champions Dunaujveros Bull's

It was a similar story for Ryan Finnerty's side - penalties against for their physical stye of play and tired bodies through playing with a depleted squad.

Steelers ran into early penalty trouble and conceded two first period power play goals through Balazs  Somogyl and Atilia Pavuk.

Matt Stephenson soon had the Steelers on the board in the middle period and 5 on 5 Finnerty's side were in control. 

Penalties then took over once again and with it any hope of a Steelers come back. In a 15 minute spell the Steelers were hit with 4 Hungarian goals, two on the power play.

After facing eight periods of hockey in just over 48 hours John DeCaro was withdrawn for the final period and Geoff Woolhouse installed between the pipes.

Jeff Legue broke away 9 minutes into the final period to slot home nicely (6-2) and them Mike Ramsay gave the scoreline more dignity firing home with 7 minutes remaining (6-3)

Overall it is a Continental Cup that will give both Finnerty and his side much valued experience but he and his team will be in a hurry to get home and back to domestic business

Report from EIHL website

EURO DREAM IS OVER

26/11/2011

Herning Blue Fox 3-0 Sheffield Steelers

The Sheffield Steelers lost the second game of their Continental campaign on Saturday evening going down 3-0 to host club Herning Blue Fox.

After a scoreless first period the Steelers looked more than capable of of taking the points on offer but quickly after the re start Ryan Finnerty's side ran into penalty trouble. With Mark Thomas already in the box Matt Stephenson took a tripping minor, he then argued his case and received another 10 minutes followed by a game misconduct and an early shower.

The resulting 5 on 3 power play saw Herning take the lead with Timo Kontinnen scoring from close range.

After killing two more Herning power plays the Steelers conceded 5 on 5 when Lasse Sandgaard fired past DeCaro to double their advantage.

Ashley Tait showed his displeasure to another call picking up a misconduct of his own as the middle period came to an end.

After more penalties and a series of outstanding penalty kills the Blue Fox scored the important 3rd goal through Antti Holli in the 48th minute.

Whilst the Steelers continued to work hard the game was over as a contest and with it the hopes of progression to the super finals.

Report from EIHL website

 

Penalty Shoot Out Loss for the Steelers in Herning

25/11/2011

Steelers suffered heartache in Herning on Friday afternoon going down to the Italian champions 4-3 after overtime and a penalty shoot out. 

Asiago the group favourites out shot the Steelers 36-26 but it was Ryan Finnerty's side that led for much of the game and whilst it is a point gained Sheffield will be thinking what could have been.

After killing two Asiago power plays it was the Steelers who took the lead when Steve Birnstill picked up the rebound off a R G Flath shot and fired into an empty net. It was a lead the Steelers would hold onto up until the first break.

Sheffield came out with a jump in their step in the second period and deservedly doubled their advantage when Tom Squires fired home from the left wing.

The Steelers tried in vein to hold on to that lead but two goals in 50 seconds from the impressive Bertivoglio had the game tied going into the dyeing moments of the middle period. Squires then turned from goal scorer to provider setting up Colt King for a simple tap in at the far post with just 67 seconds remaining.

It was important that Sheffield withstood the early 3rd period pressure that would come their way but it was the Italians who quickly equalised in the 3rd period when Bertivglio scored his hat trick goal 2.22 into the period.

Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation and the Steelers had a late power play with both Legue and King going close.

Both Legue and Ramsay failed to convert in their penalty shots whilst Vigilante and Bertivoglio beat DeCaro to collect the additional point for Asiago

Report from EIHL website

Finnerty Agrees New Deal to Stay in Sheffield

08/11/2011

Steelers have confirmed that a deal has been struck with Ryan Finnerty to remain as coach of the club next season.

Steelers owner Tony Smith said "Ryan and I had a conversation this week and it all of about 15 seconds to agree that Ryan will come back for another season

"I know he has had some trouble with his back so I have left the door open what role he wants. Player coach or just simple head coach. I'm happy with either, just as long he is here at the helm of the Steelers ship

"I have been impressed with everything about Ryan since i took over. He has a great work ethic. What fans see on the ice is replicated off the ice as well. It is obvious that he cares a lot about the club and wants it to do well. I see him as a part of this club for a long time, i certainly hope so.

"Team building is an all year round job. Not just a job for the summer. He has security now knowing he is back next season so he can continue team planning with that in mind"

Report from Steelers website


Thompson signs Korean international

30/10/2011

Coventry Blaze can confirm they have signed South Korea international Woo-Sang Park on a one-month trial.

 The 26-year-old forward, from Seoul , comes to the Skydome on the recommendation of recent signing Dustin Wood - the pair having been team-mates at Anyang Halla in the Asia League for the last two seasons. 

Park, who attended the New York Islanders prospect camp in 2005 and was invited to American Hockey League side Springfield Falcons’ training camp last year, posted 33 points in 26 games across six seasons in the South Korea League before joining Halla. 

In three seasons for them, Park registered 119 points (32 goals and 87 assists) in 107 matches, winning the league twice. 

Park has also represented his country at Under-18 level and has been part of the senior side for the past five World Championship campaigns, winning a bronze medal in Division One earlier this year. 

Coach Paul Thompson said: “Dustin Wood played on the same team as Woo-Sang for the last couple of years and he says he has got all the attributes to help us.

Report from Blaze website

Hanzal and Goldie sign up to strengthen the squad

29/10/2011

Edinburgh Capitals have signed Jiri Hanzal and Frazer Goldie to strengthen the squad

Jiri Hanzal has signed for the Edinburgh Capitals to provide cover for the injured Peter Holecko. Jiri started this season with Telford Tigers in the Enlish Premier Ice HOckey League and last year plaed for Dunkerque in France. He travelled to Edinburgh yesterday and is cleared to play both games this weekend. His brother Martin is assistant captain for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Richard Hartmann acted quickly to cover the Capitals injury position and Jiri Hanzal is keen to take the opportunity to make his mark in the Elite league.

Frazer Goldie has signed on a two way contract from Solway Sharks and will provide additional depth. Frazer is a former Team GB Under 18 player who will help boost the defence and is also cleared to play both games this weekend.

Report from Capitals website


Steelers Sign R. G. Flath

28/10/2011

Sheffield Steelers have completed the signing of 28 year old American forward R G Flath from Danish side Copenhagen

Flath flew into the UK on Friday afternoon and the International Transfer Clearance was obtained shortly afterwards.

The 5'11 winger spent 5 years in the Central League with Oklahoma City, Austin Ice Bears, Rapid City and Mississippi before heading to Europe for the start of this season. His Danish side Copenhagen hit financial troubles earlier this month hence the Steelers ability to bring Flath in at short notice.

"It's a big boost to bring in a player like this at such short notice" said head coach Ryan Finnerty "Flatch will be a high energy player, not a direct like for like replacement to Ramsay. He is coming here on an initial trial period but he wants to remain and stay for the year. I like that, he is coming here with something to prove and he wants a job at the end of it"

R. G. Flath will make his debut on Saturday 29th November at 7.00pm at the Motorpoint (Sheffield) Arena when the Steelers take on Dundee Stars in the EIHL

Report from Steelers website

Hartmanis Ready to Fly

25/10/2011

Fife Flyers are delighted to confirm the signing of Toms Hartmanis. The 23 year old, Latvian forward joins the Flyers from the American Hockey League’s, Missouri Mavericks and will make his debut in the Rapid Solicitors Elite Ice Hockey League match against the Hull Stingrays at Fife Ice Arena on Saturday evening.

Toms is no stranger to the UK, scoring 25 goals and 35 assists for the Newcastle Vipers last season, and was a team mate of current Flyer, Danny Stewart. “Toms will give us a lot more speed up front and more going forwards. He is one of the best skaters I have ever played with, and can score goals as well. He is an exciting player that keeps other teams back a bit when he is on the ice. This is by no means the only solution to making us more competitive, but it’s a great start, and he will fit in nicely with the team, both on and off the ice.”

Toms has previously played his hockey in both the Latvian league and Continental Cup for HK Riga, Dinamo Riga in the KHL and was a silver medallist for Latvia at both the U18 Junior World Championships (JWC) in 2005, and U20 JWC 2 years later in 2007.

Report from Flyers website

Dulle returns to Stingrays

25/10/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm they have signed Canadian defenceman Kurtis Dulle.

The 31-year-old returns to Hull Arena for a second spell having captained the side last term.

Dulle posted 12 goals, 31 assists and 140 penalty minutes in 63 games before playing in the Australian Hockey League with Sydney Bears during the summer.

He will be in the line-up for Wednesday night’s Rapid Solicitors Elite League encounter against Braehead Clan at Hull Arena.

Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier said: “It will be great to have Dulles back in the dressing room. He brings leadership and experience.

Report from Stingrays website

 

LeBlanc Out, ECHL All-Star Clarke In

18/10/2011

Derek Leblanc has decided to leave the Stena Line Belfast Giants for personal reasons. He will be returning to Canada immediately.  The Giants have released Leblanc from his contract and have found a replacement. Former ECHL All-Star, Aaron Clarke, will be joining the team as soon as his visa application is completed.

Aaron Clarke was one of Doug Christiansen’s targets this summer and he kept in touch with him during the season. Clarke has been a captain of multiple ECHL teams and is a player Christiansen believes will make an impact. Clarke has also played for 3 different AHL teams.

“When I learned that Leblanc might be leaving, I knew who I wanted. Aaron Clarke and I spoke during the summer and we came very close to a deal. Clarke is a hard-nosed skill player who can play in any situation. He is a very fast player who can score.  Last season, Clarke showed his toughness by playing with a broken foot for the entire play-offs. He is a confident competitor. He has not been playing this season so it will take him time to get in game shape but I am confident he will be a point-a-game player who can play in every situation.”

Report from Giants website

Thompson signs Dustin Wood

02/10/2011

Blaze swoop for Wood

Coventry Blaze can today confirm they have signed Canadian defenceman Dustin Wood.

The 30-year-old Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with Anyang Halla in the Asia League, where he won the league twice.

Wood brings with him a wealth of experience having appeared in 320 regular-season and play-off games in the American Hockey League.

He will not be available for a couple of weeks while the paperwork is completed but coach Paul Thompson said: “I am really excited with the signing of Dustin.

“I needed a guy who could play the last 30-40 seconds of a period and to close games out and he is a guy who can do that.

“He has vast experience, he has played a lot of games in the AHL as well as the DEL and earned a big contract in Japan.

“Dustin had signed for a team in the Czech league but it didn’t work out. He has been sitting at home without a job but he is just the kind of guy we need.

“He will help us shut down teams. He is not coming here to score a load of points, he is coming here to stop other teams’ point-scorers from getting points.

“Dustin has won championships in the past and he knows what it takes to win, which was another big thing for me.”

Report from Blaze website


Steelers Sign Forward Warren Tait for the Season

18/09/2011

Sheffield Steelers have confirmed the signing of forward Warren Tait until the end of the season.

Tait guested for the Steelers at the weekend and a deal was struck with the player yesterday following him obtaining his release from previous club Peterborough.

Head coach Ryan Finnerty said "we are delighted that Warren is able to move up full time, he did a great job for us last weekend and we expect more of the same from him for the rest of the season

"Warren will give us a little more depth initially and then when our injured guys come back he will give us some options and ensure that there is a competition for places

"What also helps with Warren is that there is no settling in period. He knows the guys and fitted right back in here".

Tait played for the Seelers between 2005 and 2008 making 159 appearances for the club "In a strange way it felt like i had never been away" he said "the first weekend was tough, those were my two first games of the year and whilst i have worked hard all summer there is nothing like playing in a game. Playing with Jason and my brother was a great experience and one i hope to do more often now i am back full time"

Finnerty continued "We would like to thank Peterborough for their co-operation in this transaction. I can understand their disappointment in loosing Warren just before the start of the season"
.

Report from Steelers website


Martin Petrina is latest Capitals acquisition

18/09/2011

Edinburgh Capitals player/coach has made defenceman Martin Petrina his latest Capitals acquisition. Petrina spent last season in Poland with Naprzod Janow where he had 17 points from 3 goals and 14 assists and 44 penalty minutes in 26 games.

Unfortunately it was not possible to Martin Petrina cleared to play this weekend but he'll be in training this week and ready to play against the Fife Flyers on the 24th September.

Richard Hartmann commented, "I have had some good comments about Petrina and I think he will be a good fit for the team this season and will give our defence a much needed boost."

Report from Capitals website

Hartmann impressed with Menton

16/09/2011

Edinburgh Capitals player/coach Richard Hartmann has been very impressed with latest player addition Sean Menton. Menton was so keen to come and play for the Capitals that he made his own arrangements to fly in ready to train and make his mark to make things easier for the club.

Sean Menton has been cleared to play this weekend. He spent the summer skating with Alex Kim and is a player who skates well and is very skilled on the puck. Sean is very eager to take this opportunity to establish himself in Europe and thinks the big ice at Murrayfield will definitely suit his style of play.

Richard Hartmann said, "I am impressed by Sean's enthusiasm and determination to play and look forward to seeing what he can do against the Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers this weekend. There aren't many players who would go to the lengths that Sean has which makes him a unique guy from the off.
"

Report from Capitals website


Mike Hamilton Finally Confirmed

15/09/2011

Fife Flyers are delighted to finally confirm the signing of Canadian forward Mike Hamilton. Hamilton joins Flyers with a wealth of experience have notched up 47 appearances in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves and Houston Aeros.

Hamilton, a 6th round NHL draft by Atlanta Thrashers in 2003, spent last season playing in Italy, where he was part of the Vipiteno Broncos team who were last season crowned champions. Hamilton recorded 54 points (27 goals + 27 assists) and 84 penalty minutes last season.

As well as experience in the AHL and Italy, Hamilton also brings his 159 game experience of the ECHL in which he played 80 games with Gwinnett Gladiators registering 58 points (25 goals + 33 assists) and 129 PIM, 28 games with Las Vegas Wranglers bagging 13 points (7 goals + 6 assists) and 45 PIM and in his final ECHL season with former Flyers legend Mark Morrison's Victoria Salmon Kings where he played in defence playing 65 games and getting 29 points (6 goals + 23 assists) with 106 PIM.

Having only received confirmation that Mike's visa was confirmed today, Flyers now face a race against time to fly him in for Saturday's game against Nottingham Panthers.

Report from Flyers website


Clan's complete roster!


13/09/2011

Braehead Clan are happy to announce the latest and final import signing for the 2011/2012 season. Our final space on the roster is a name that may ne familiar to fans as he played with Rapid Solicitors EIHL side, Belfast Giants last season. Welcome to the Clan, Canadian forward, Mickel Bayrack.

The 32 year old, left handed Centre, played 34 games for the Giants last season before moving on to the Austrian league. Bayrack brings with him a wealth of experience and skill. Having played in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Slovenia, as well as playing for AHL and ECHL sides.


Report from Clans website


Clan signing!

12/09/2011

After weeks of anticipation and speculation, the wait is over.. Clan have signed their goalie for the 2011/2012 season and the Finnish star is looking forward to getting his skates on UK ice.

33 year old Fin, Jaakko Elias Suomalainen joins the Clan having played last season with HK Jesenice in Austria. Jaakko is no stranger to Glasgow, having played for the Paisley Pirates back in 2001/2002 in the BNL. He played 17 games for the Pirates before returning to Finland to finish the season in the Finland 3 league with Karhu Kissat. Jaakko has played in some of the top European leagues such as the Finland 3 and Finland 2 as well as the SM-Liiga.

The 5’11 190lbs puck stopper is looking forward to returning to the Glasgow area and playing out of Braehead Arena.

Clan GM Kirsty Longmuir, commented; “I think Jaakko will be an asset to the team that has been put together for the forthcoming season. He hasn’t played in the UK for a few years but is looking forward to joining the Clan and playing in the EIHL.”

Jaakko will fly in later this week and join the rest of his team mates at the pre-season training camp.

Report from Clans website


Zemlak Comes in to Battle with Blair

08/09/2011

Fife Flyers can today confirm one addition to their 2011/12 inaugural Elite Ice Hockey Season, Canandian netminder Garrett Zemlak. Garrett has experience playing with Matt Siddall’s former team Gwinnet Gladiators of the ECHL.

Garrett Zemlak (22) joins the Flyers with a hugely impressive reputation after being invited to the Los Angelese Kings development camp by assistant GM, and former NHL legend, Ron Hextall. During his time at the development camp, Zemlak had one-to-one coaching sessions with the Kings coaching staff and NHL veteran of over 600 games Stanley Cup winner (twice) and 1990 Conn Smythe winner, Bill Ranford.

Zemlak spent last season playing with 5 different ECHL teams before finishing the season with Gwinnett Gladiators. Garrett has been seen as a huge talent after a very impressive WHL career with Sasktoon Blades and Prince Albert Raiders.

Fife Flyers had also hoped to announce a further signing however delays have put that on hold for just now.

Report from Flyers website


Flyers Roster Filling Up

01/09/2011

Fife Flyers can confirm the signings of the following 6 players for the 2011/12 Elite Ice Hockey Season. Joining the team once again are local players Josh Scoon and Chris Wands. Also returning to the team is fan favourite, netminder Blair Daly and Marc Fowley.

Joining the returning 4 will be former Fife junior development star Iain Bowie who joins after playing with Edinburgh Capitals. Bowie joins with 4 years experience in the Elite League with Edinburgh Capitals, with a further 2 years experience in the EPIHL with Sheffield Scimitars and Manchester Phoenix. Bowie was also part of the Team GB Under 20 team which won gold at the 2010 World Championships.

Also joining for the Flyers inaugural Elite league is Latvian player Aigars Brencis. Flyers fans may recognise the name from games against Latvian Hawks team during the Celtic Cup games in which Aigars was one of the stand out players, as well as being Head Coach of the team.


Report from Flyers website


Hartmann brings in old team mate Rene Jarolin

28/08/2011

Richard Hartmann has made old team mate Rene Jarolin his first signing for the Edinburgh Capitals. Jarolin played on the same line as Hartmann when they were with HC Skalica. Last season the 6'2" Slovakian had 32 points from 17 goals and 15 assist and 8 penalty minutes. His overall career points are 348 from 176 goals and 172 assists with 212 penalty minutes over 502 games.

Edinburgh Capitals player/coach Hartmann said, "Rene is a skillful player who can score goals and has a vast amount of experience in the Slovakian Extraliga and has experience with the Slovakian national team. He is a player who has consistently scored at a high level and I think he can have a big impact in the UK."


Report from Capitals website

 

Hartmann named as player/coach

24/08/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are delighted to be able to announce that Richard Hartmann has agreed to take the role of player/coach for the 11/12 season in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Hartmann has a wealth of playing experience from the Slovakian Extraliga and has helped out with coaching in the past. He is looking to develop his coaching skills and will be supported by Scott Neil and Jock Hay to help him develop. Hartmann will be the Capitals first European coach and this will introduce a new style of play for the team.

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Capitals General Manager, commented, "Richard has a huge amount of experience and has played at a consistently high level in one of the best leagues in Europe. He has been taught and educated to play in a technical league and I am sure he will bring a wealth of knowledge and new skills to the club."

Report from Capitals website


Clan Sign Forward Brock McPherson

19/08/2011

Braehead Clan are happy to announce that they have signed Canadian Forward Brock McPherson for the 2011/2012 season. The 6’1, 220lbs right winger from Toronto joins the Clan following 5 seasons in the CIS with the Lakeside University Thunderwolves. With 28 points in 28 games last season, Brock is looking to join the Clan and his mark on the EIHL. McPherson was one of the top offensive players for the Wolves and was famous for his strong corner work and ability to control the puck along the boards in the opponent’s end. He has a strong presence on the ice and no doubt will be a fan favourite off the ice too.

Player/Coach Drew Bannister said “I'm excited to see Brock make the jump to the Pro level out of a very good Canadian University Hockey League. He has worked hard this summer to get himself in shape and is making the right choices to become a pro with our team. With his skill and size he will add to our offensive game, up front.”

Report from Clans website

 

Illness Blow for Suderman and Stars

18/08/2011

Dundee Stars are today reeling from the news that a serious health problem means that top defenceman, Matt Suderman will be unable to ice for the team in the upcoming season. Matt joined Stars last season and soon proved to be a fans' favourite, producing fine performances week after week that resulted in Head Coach, Dan Ceman quickly offer the big Canadian a new contract.

Ceman said, 'I was very shocked and saddened when Matt contacted me to tell me that he had taken ill and wouldn't be able to play hockey this season. Obviously, the issue of losing Matt from our team pales in comparison to him concentrating on making a full recovery. Matt was a dedicated, intense competitor for us willing to do anything for the good of the team but he was also a great teammate and is an outstanding person. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in making a full and speedy recovery.'

A distraught Suderman commented, 'I'm deeply saddened by the fact that I won't be travelling to Dundee to play for the Stars this Fall, but hockey just isn't possible for me right now. I'd like to thank the Wards and the entire Stars' organization for giving me the opportunity to experience the Scottish culture and make the friendships I've made. My goal is to return to the Elite League next season healthier than ever. Good luck to Coach Ceman and this year's Stars as they build on what we started last season. Also a huge thank you must go to all the fans who supported us all year, I'm really going to miss you all.'


Report from Stars website

 

Cohen Have a Go

18/08/2011

Fife Flyers are delighted to confirm the signing of import defencemen Matt Cohen, who last season played in the German top league, Die Deutsche Eishockey League (DEL) with Hamburg Freezers. Matt is a left-handed offensive d-man who is a good passer of the puck.

Matt has represented the USA national team at U18 level at the World Junior Championships and has spent his career serving in both the ECHL and the AHL having iced with Trenton Titans and Lowell Devils, before he made the move to Europe last season to play in one of Europe's top leagues in the DEL.

Matt's ECHL record stands at played 141 and registering 70 points (18 goals + 52 assists; his AHL record, played 59 and registered 7 points (2 goals + 5 assists) and having played 40 games in the DEL with 5 points (0 goals + 5 assists).

Also joining the Flyers in their first season back in the UK's top league is prolific scorer Steven Gunn. Steven has played with Fife for the past 6 seasons in which he has proven he can score goals and set up some big plays.

Report from Flyers website


Capitals add to youth with the experience of Hartmann

16/08/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are pleased to announce the signing of Slovakian forward Richard Hartmann for the 11/12 season in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Hartmann spent last season playing for Lausitzer Füchse in the German Bundesliga where he had 32 points from 14 goals and 18 assists and 14 penalty minutes. In the Slovakian league Hartmann has 405 points from 151 goals and 254 assists over 555 games.

Hartmann said, "I am looking forward to the challenges ahead in Edinburgh. So far I think we are putting together a good team and I look forward to scoring lots of goals through the season."

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Capitals General Manager, commented, "Richard is an experienced player who will bring leadership to the team. In his career he has been one of the top points scorers in the Slovakian extraliga and has consistently performed at a high level."

Report from Capitals website


Giants Complete Roster With Final Two Signings

11/08/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian forward Brock McBride. The 24 year old joins the Giants after playing for the Elmira Jackals in the East Coast Hockey League in North America last season, scoring 9 times and adding 23 assists for 32 points in only 27 games. He was called up to the American Hockey League for 33 games split between the Houston Aeros and the Milwaukee Admirals before finishing the season with the South Carolina Stingrays for the playoffs.

Prior to turning pro in 2009, McBride was a standout player for St Lawrence University in the United States, leading his team in scoring in 2007/08 and finishing his University career with 40 goals and 110 points in 140 games over 4 years. The Scouting report on McBride is that he was one of the fastest skaters in the league last season and is a playmaking center that will work well with wingers that like to shoot the puck. At only 24 years of age, McBride is expected to make a huge impact in the Elite league this season.

Joining McBride and the Giants this season is Ryan Crane, a player that has been signed as the 11th import to start the season. Crane can play both defence and forward and showed he can be a star at the Elite League level when he was with the Edinburgh Capitals 3 seasons ago, leading all Caps defencemen in scoring with 13 goals and 50 points in 54 games. That season was followed with stints in Denmark, the Central League and East Coast League in North America and most recently with the Geleen Smoke Eaters in Holland where he scored 7 goals and 20 points in 23 games last year.

Elite League teams can have a maximum of 10 import players in the lineup for any game with the rest of the squad being non-import players, which means British or Irish players. General Manager Todd Kelman spoke about why he wanted to sign an 11th import and why the signing of Crane is a good fit.

“Every season it seems that we suffer injuries that end up hindering our season. Last year, as early as October we had 4 or 5 players out injured and every season we end up having to bring in a player or two to replace the injured guys. This season we wanted to bring in an extra import from the start so that when injuries happen, we won’t be short handed.”

“Ryan understands the role he has signed up for and although he is starting on the depth chart as the 11th import, the fact that he can play both forward and defence and the fact that he is a great player that has proven himself at this level, he will not only be here for injury cover but he will be pushing players for a spot in the lineup.

Report from Giants website


CAPITALS SIGN ZEMBERGS

11/08/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are pleased to announce that Latvian forward Marcis Zembergs has agreed terms for the 11/12 season in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Standing 6'1" tall and weighing in at 194 pounds the Latvia winger spent last season playing for Prizma Riga, HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs and SK Saga in the Latvia and Latvia 2 leagues.

Zembergs commented, "I'm very happy to have signed for the Capitals. It's a fantastic opportunity for me to play in this league. I have heard lots of good things about the city of Edinburgh. I just hope I can play beautiful hockey for the team and help the Capitals make the play-offs."

Marcis is a gifted goal scorer and last season had combined totals of 71 points from 35 goals and 36 assists over 85 games and a total of 56 penalty minutes. He is a highly competitive player who never gives up on play and is dangerous with the puck close to the net.

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Capitals General Manager, commented, "Marcis played for the Latvian U20 team alongside ex Newcastle Vipers player Toms Hartmanis and a number of other skilled players who now have NHL and KHL experience. Marcis is noted for his hard work and goal scoring ability and is determined to make his mark with the Capitals in the EIHL next season."

Report from Capitals website


Wilson & McAlpine Embracing the Step Up

11/08/2011

Fife Flyers are delighted to confirm the re-signing of young Brits Jamie Wilson and Steven McAlpine for the Flyers inaugural Elite Ice Hockey Season. Player/coach Todd Dutiaume has also confirmed that Jamie Wilson will continue in the captaincy role he has held for past few years.

"The role is more important than ever before now we are in the Elite League, and Jamie has been made fully aware of the added responsibilities the role will carry and Jamie is keen to carry these on" said Dutiaume. 

"The captain's role is even more important in terms of liaising between players, coaches and management and Jamie can bring to the coaches attention anything the players are uncomfortable with. 

Jamie has been around the team for a few years now and is well liked and respected by all the guys, and this will help build relationships with the imports and liaising between everyone to help ensure things run smoothly."

Steven McAlpine takes the step up after having come through the junior development programme after he was given the chance to make a step up to the full Flyers team a few years ago under player/coach Todd Dutiaume. 

Upon Steven's re-signing, Todd said "Steven is a very hard worker in the team and is big and strong and having spoken with Steven he knows what I expect him to bring every game."

Report from Flyers website



Giants Sign Canadian Center Derek LeBlanc

06/08/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian center Derek LeBlanc for the 2011/2012 EIHL season.

25 year-old LeBlanc joins the Giants from the Central Hockey League’s Rapid City Rush where he became a huge fan favourite scoring 70 times over the past 3 seasons and racking up yearly point totals of 56, 58 and 53 respectively. Along the way, he was part of the CHL Championship winning season for the Rush in 2009/10 scoring another 9 times on their journey to the playoff title.

Giants Coach Doug Christiansen is thrilled to add LeBlanc to the roster:
“He’s exactly the kind of player we need. He’s big and he skates extremely well. In fact, his coach last year said he was the fastest player on the team. He’s played both center and wing but he played center in the AHL, which is where he’ll start for us.”

In Derek Leblanc, the Giants have added one of the fastest players in the league who is expected to be one of the key penalty killers this season and whose presence in front of the net on the power play is a much needed addition to the forward unit this season.

Report from Giants website

 

Clan sign Jade Galbraith

05/08/2011

The Braehead Clan are delighted to announce that the first signing by new Player/Coach Drew Bannister is the Elite League’s top player of the last three seasons. A clear goal scorer and points leader, Jade Galbraith amassed 237 points in 164 games for the Panthers, winning 4 trophies and culminating in his selection last season for the Elite All Stars v Boston Bruins, where he scored the only goal of the game for the All Stars. Other major signings are to be announced shortly and we are hopeful of having a squad of players capable of improving on the excellent 5th place in the League which we achieved in our first season last year.

Player/Coach Drew Bannister had the following to say on the signing “I'm very excited to have Jade this season as a player for the clan. I've talked with Jade over the past weeks and he is excited to come on board with the Clan and help us build a winning tradition. Jade's talents speak for themselves, he's an offensive threat, and will improve our offense this coming season”.

Report from Clans website

Giants Sign British Defenseman James Hutchinson

05/08/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of 27 year old British defenseman James Hutchinson for the upcoming season. Hutchinson arrives in Belfast after a successful year playing with the Peterborough Phantoms in the English Premier Ice Hockey League where he was an assistant captain.

He has spent most of his career in both the EIHL and the EPIHL and most recently with the Phantoms notched an impressive 44 points including 6 goals and 38 assists.

The 27 year-old from Tynemouth has represented Great Britain on the world stage several times and Giants Coach Doug Christiansen knows that he will prove to be a valuable addition to the Giants.

“We needed to add another British player and James is a defenseman who has proven himself at the Elite League Level in the past and has excelled at the level just below the Elite League.

“We are expecting him to provide depth and energy to our team. He’s looking forward to improving and realizing his potential next season with the Giants.”


Report from Giants website


STEELERS COMPLETE ROSTER

04/08/2011

Steelers head coach Ryan Finnerty has signed his final player ahead of the 2011-12 EIHL season, capturing impressive offensive defenceman Steve Birnstill.
 
Birnstill has spent the last three seasons in Denmark, two with Frederikshavn and last year with Esbjerg where he led his team in scoring for a defenceman.

“I think the hockey Gods were looking down on us these last two weeks” said Finnerty “we waited out for the best players we could and we have landed two excellent D men that will solidify our team
 
“Birnstill came to us late in the day. He was hoping to return to Denmark but money is tight there right now and the UK became an option. We jumped on him as soon as we found out he was available
 
“Signing a player like him gives us options, another offensive D man is always useful, another good Powerplay guy, another big solid D man, he ticks lots of boxes for us
 
“I was a little worried how the D would look a couple of weeks ago, I lost a few nights sleep but after making these last two signings i wouldn’t swap our D for any other in the league. Our policy of patience has paid off”

Report from Steelers website


Kyle Horne & Danny Stewart Are Ready to Fly

03/08/2011

Fife Flyers are thrilled to officially announce the return of Kirkcaldy born defenceman Kyle Horne and the signing of import Danny stewart. Coach Todd Dutiaume is expecting both players to be impact players for the Flyers this season with both players having a vast amount of experience in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Flyers player/coach Todd Dutiuame had this to say about former Newcastle Vipers Head Coach Stewart "Danny has a great reputation in this country and his experience on and off the ice will be invaluable to the club. He is renouned as being a big team guy, can play forward and defence and plays hard-expect big things from Danny this season."

Danny Stewart has played in the UK since the 2006/7 season when he signed with Coventry Blaze before making the switch to Newcastle Vipers to take over as Player/Coach last season. Danny comes to the Flyers as a winner, having won many titles during his time in the UK picking up the EIHL league championship 3 times, British Knockout Cup and Challenge cup during his time with Coventry Blaze. During his time playing in the UK Danny has played 259 games scoring 195 points (58 goals + 137 assists) and 619 penalty minutes. Despite an incredibly tough off ice season with Newcastle Vipers, Danny was awarded the EIHL Coach of the Year last season.

Player/Coach Todd Dutiaume on the return of Kyle Horne. "As far as Kyle, what can I say, he was one of the first guys I thought of when we confirmed we were going up; I've known Kyle since the 99 season and he has been a big part of whatever team he has played on since. I consider Kyle to be one of the best defenceman in the country and he will be relied on heavily this season."

Report from Flyers website


STARS SIGN FINAL IMPORT

03/08/2011

Dundee Stars have completed their import roster by announcing the signing of 24 years old defenceman, Brennan Turner. The 6ft 3ins, 220 lbs, Canadian has a distinguished career in North American playing in the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League. He is also a former team-mate of new Stars' forward, Jarrett Konkle having played alongside him for Elmira Jackels and Fresno Falcons.

In his first match for Stars Turner will face another former team-mate when he will meet up again with Fife Flyers' new recruit, Matt Siddall. The pair played together with Gwinnett Gladiators in the ECHL during season 2008/2009.

Stars' head coach, Dan Ceman couldn't hide his delight with his new signing when he said, 'Brennan is going to be huge for us. He has been a top shut down defenceman in the ECHL over the last three seasons and takes immense pride in his defensive play. He is a huge presence on the ice as he plays a tough, physical brand of hockey and opponents will always know when he's on the ice. The great thing about Brennan is that with all the talk about how good he is defensively he also moves the puck very well and when he's been given the opportunity to produce offensively he has put up very good numbers. I think Brennan has the ability to be one of the best two-way defenceman in the league.'

Although all of the import slots on the roster are filled, Ceman is still looking to add some British players to the squad before they meet up for their training camp in two weeks.


Report from Stars website

Braehead Clan Player/Coach Announced!

29/07/2011

The News You Have All Been Waiting For…..Who is the new Braehead Clan Player/Coach?

After weeks of speculation, deliberation and negotiation, Braehead Clan can now reveal the identity of the new player coach for the 2011/2012 season…….taking over as player/coach for the Clans second season will be none other than former NHL player Drew Bannister.

The name may sound familiar to many of you, as he is no stranger to British shores. 37 year old Bannister hails from Belleville Ontario. The 6ft 2” defenceman has played for no less than 4 NHL teams in his career, starting with Tampa Bay Lightning before moving on to Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the New York Rangers.

 As well as playing in the NHL, Bannister has also played in the AHL, SM Liiga, RSL, DEL and the EIHL playing for a short time with Hull Stingrays last year where he was able to pick up a good knowledge of the Elite League style of play, teams and players.

Report from Clans website


Giants Add Muscle To The Lineup With Adam Keefe

29/07/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of 27 year-old Canadian forward Adam Keefe for the upcoming season. Keefe arrives in Belfast after playing a split season in the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League where he played 40 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins after playing 31 for the Toledo Walleye.

A gritty, hard-hitting player who likes to drop the gloves, Keefe brings a style of play that makes people sit up and take notice of him, and that doesn’t just mean the fans.

GM Todd Kelman on Keefe’s move to Belfast:
“Adam is the type of player that every guy on the other team will be aware of each time he is on the ice. He skates very well and hits hard. He plays with passion, grit and an edge that has made him a fan favourite everywhere he has played.

“I could dance around the subject of what we expect him to do, but the bottom line is Keefe is a tough player, he likes to fight when the time is right and he looks after his teammates. He is going to get in the face of other players and he has the confidence in himself to back it up.

“Ice Hockey is a tough game, it’s not all about fighting, but one of the most interesting parts about our sport is that guys can sort their own differences out themselves on the ice. It keeps players honest and brings another element to an already exciting sport.

Report from Giants website

 

Capitals sign power forward Holecko

29/07/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are pleased to announce the signing of power forward Peter Holecko for the 11/12 season in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Peter Holecko is an experienced Slovakian forward who will bring a wealth of experience from his 431 games in the Slovakian Extraliga. At 6ft 3" and 216lbs, Holecko brings not only size but also great skating and skill levels to the team.

He is good friends with recent signing Tomas Valecko and was also a team mate of ex Capitals defenceman Miroslav Droppa.

Holecko commented, "I'm pleased to have signed with the Capitals and am really looking foward to being on a team with Tomas Valecko. I am sure that we can make our mark and have Edinburgh become a team to be reckoned with."

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Capitals General Manager, said, "Scouting reports from agents, ex players and reliable sources in Cardiff are that both Tomas and Peter are good skaters and skilled players. This is typical of what I would expect from players with experience of playing in the Slovakian Extraliga. The guys have been having fun keeping in shape over the summer in Cardiff and will be arriving in Edinburgh early September."

Report from Capitals website

 

NEW D-MAN FOR STEELERS

29/07/2011

Sheffield Steelers can confirm that defenseman Matt Stephenson will ice as a Steeler in the 2011/12 season.

Matt Stephenson is a 27 year old defenseman from Midland, Ontario. He played college hockey with St. Cloud State (WCHA) and was the team captain his senior year, playing in 35 games, scoring 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists). He led the team in penalty minutes with 83. Matt comes to Sheffield after two straight seasons in the AHL with Texas Stars.

Stephenson signed with the club earlier this week, pending approval to study at the University of Sheffield for an MBA, and we can reveal now that clearance came through from the University late Thursday. That means Matt becomes the third player at the University this coming season.

Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty said on confirmation: ‘This is the guy that we have been looking for to fill the hole left by the departing Steve Munn. He’s a tough, stay at home D-man and has the ability to play in all situations. He will become a favourite with the fans and the whole team can’t wait to get going. We are also just about there with our final guy too so thanks to everyone for their patience. We’ll have a great team this year’

Report from Steelers website

Scott Dobben strengthens Devils

28/07/2011

Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the latest piece in the 2011/12 puzzle with the addition of power forward Scott Dobben. The 6’1 205lb 4th round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators had a distinguished junior career with the Erie Otters and Sault St. Marie Greyhounds before playing in the AHL with Cleveland Barons.

Following great Hockey playing experience in North America, Scott went back to school at Lakehead University, Ontario before moving on to the high standard German Bundesliga last season, where he was the Assistant Captain.

Head Coach Gerad Adams says:

"Scott is a powerful skater who has good skills and a scoring touch. He is renowned for being a hard worker and strong two-way player which was recognised in his last 2 years at Lakehead University where he picked up the Best Work Ethic (Male Athlete of the Year) and Most Valuable Player awards. 

He has a heavy shot and hits hard which will be great in our rink whilst whilst his year in Germany on the bigger ice pads enables him to adapt his game for the larger ice surfaces on the road."

Report from Devils website


Capitals sign Tomas Valecko to bolster defence

27/07/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are pleased to announce that Tomas Valecko has agreed terms for the 11/12 season in the Elite Ice Hockey League. The Slovakian defender stands 6'1" tall and weighs 194 lbs. Last season he played for HK Spisska Nova Ves and HK Michalovce and had combined totals of 10 points from 1 goal and 9 assists and 28 penalty minutes in regular season games.

Valecko commented, "I am looking forward to coming to Edinburgh this season. I have heard lots of good things about the city and team. I hope I can do a good job and be a hit with the fans."

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Captials General Manager, stated, "Tomas is an offensively gifted defenceman who has at the age of 25 played in 153 Slovak Extraliga games and been one of the top points scoring defenceman in the Polish league. As a great skater and with good offensive skills, Tomas is expected to be one of our key players on the powerplay."

Report from Capitals website


It's Siddall Coming Together

27/07/2011

Fife Flyers are pleased to confirm the signing of import forward Matt Siddall. 

Matt is a 2004 Atlanta Thrashers NHL draft pick and has spent the majority of his professional career in the ECHL and has also gained AHL experience with the Chicago Wolves.

Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume said 'We are thrilled to be able to announce Matt as the latest Flyer; he comes to us with fantastic references and his game speaks for itself. He is a big strong winger who puts up numbers, plays hard and takes no nonsense. 

Siddall is solidly built, strong on his skates and good at protecting the puck. At 6 foot 1 inch he plays a very rough style. Matt is also very good in front of the net and banging home rebounds. '

Matt has spent the last 2 seasons playing under former Fife legend Mark Morrison with the Victoria Salmon Kings in the ECHL where he played 104 games whilst registering 70 points (30 goals + 40 assists) and 232 penalty minutes.

He hails from North Vancouver, British columbia, Canada

Report from Flyers website


Giants Add Jeremy Rebek & Darryl Lloyd

27/07/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian defender Jeremy Rebek and Canadian center Darryl Lloyd for the upcoming season.

Rebek joins the Giants following a highly successful career in the Austrian League playing for Klagenfurt AC, Salzburg EC and Vienna. In 2005/2006 and 2007/2008 he led the Austrian National Team to victory as an Assistant Captain and was also selected as the Best Defenseman at both World Championships. In 2007/2008 in the Austrian League he earned the award for Most Points by Defenseman with a total of 49 points. In 2009/2010 Rebek was an Austrian Champion and last season, he racked up a total of 34 points with 10 goals and 24 assists playing for Vienna.

Giants Coach Doug Christiansen is looking forward to the wealth of experience that Rebek will bring to the team.

“I have extremely high expectations for Jeremy. He has been a captain of multiple teams and he is a veteran player who knows what it takes to win. He has proven to be one of the best offensive defenceman in the Austrian League over the last few years and I am sure he will bring that element to the Giants this season.”

Darryl Lloyd is coming to Belfast after playing four seasons in the East Coast Hockey League in North America, two with the Victoria Salmon Kings and two with the Kalamazoo Wings. Playing for the Wings over the last 2 seasons the 195lbs 5’10 forward scored 32 goals and 62 assists including 51 points and 130 penalty minutes in 72 games last season. He also played with former Giant star Kory Karlander in Kalamazoo a year ago.

Report from Giants website

Matzka's back!!

26/07/2011

Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the return of top-line centre Scott Matzka to the club for 2011-12.

The 6', 190lbs pivot from Port Huron, Michigan will take his place on the Devils primary scoring line alongside last year's team-mate Max Birbraer and new signing Jeff Pierce.

The hugely talented and respected Matzka will play his second season in the EIHL following fine displays in both North America and Europe.

Second in scoring in the EIHL last year, Matzka will once again have potent line-mate Birbraer alongside him, and highly-rated sniper Pierce will benefit from the vision and play-making of the American centreman. Devils have a rich history of dominant, talented centres to draw on in their 25th anniversary season; Moria, Hodge, Sacratini and more - and Matzka will be one of the premier players in the league once again.

More than that, however, the Devils will be drawing upon his skills and leadership to assist in the coaching of the team. Bench Coach Neil Francis says,

"Not only will Scott be back as a player this year but we are also be utilising his vast experience in an Assistant Coach role. Scott, as ever, is keen to further his hockey education with some coaching experience and we are very happy to officially have him as part of the coaching team. Our organisation just got a whole lot stronger now that Scott is back with us."

Report from Devils website


Benoit Doucet Signs With Giants

24/07/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian forward Benoit Doucet for the 2011-12 season. Doucet is a left shot forward who can play center and wing. He is an explosive offensive player who has produced everywhere he has played.

In 2010-11, Doucet played in Holland for the Tilburg Trappers and won the Beker Cup given to the League Champions. Benoit also won the Colonial Cup in 2006-2007 in the United Hockey League in North America. Doucet’s best professional season was 2007-08 when he finished 4th in the scoring race in the East Coast Hockey League. In 150 ECHL games, Doucet scored 136 points.

Although Doucet stands just 5′9″, his former coach in Elmira Steve Martinson stated, “Where Deuce is really good is he will hold the puck to make plays. He’s tough as nails. He’ll take a hit to make a play. He’s not afraid to bring it to the net in traffic and hold it to make something happen. A lot of guys that are 5-foot-9, 180 pounds don’t like to carry the puck into traffic the way he will.”

Doug Christiansen added, “Benoit has a massive upside. It is my goal to have 9 forwards who can contribute offensively and score. There is no question Doucet has the ability to be a very good player for us. He had an injury plagued season in 2009-10 but he rebounded nicely last season. He is hungry to have a great year and win another championship. He is going to be given an opportunity to be a top player for us and I expect him to be an impact player in our league this season.”

Report from Giants website


Capitals add physical presence with Sladok

22/07/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are pleased to announce the signing of Jozef Sladok. The Slovakian defender spent last season with Hull Stingrays where he had 8 points, from 2 goals and 6 assists, and 193 penalty minutes.

Jozef Sladok commented, "I'm really excited about coming to Edinburgh, I have heard only good things about the team for the upcoming season. It is well known what kind of situation Edinburgh was in last season and it looks like things have turned around. I'm excited to step on the ice again in September and be part of a team that wants to compete every night. Fans can expect hard work from me every night and to do all the things that a team player does."

Scott Neil, Edinburgh Capitals General Manager said, "Jozef Sladok, at 6ft 5" and 225lbs, gives the Capitals a physical presence and is a player who at only 23 years of age is still improving. I thought he developed well last season and he will be a guy that will stick up for his team mates. He can play forward or defence and is a tough player who will create room and opportunities for other team mates and provides the coaching staff with a number of options. I hope to see him generating more points this season too".

Report from Capitals website


Jeff Pierce joins the Devils

22/07/2011

Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Jeff Pearce for 2011-12.
The 6 foot, 180lbs Pierce, a native of Troy, Michigan, comes to the Devils from the Odessa Jackalopes the last three seasons scoring 73 goals and 95 points and has previously played for Western Michigan University. In the 09-10 playoffs with Odessa he scored a superb 11 goals + 20 points in 13 playoff games.

Head Coach Gerad Adams and bench Coach Neil Francis have been working hard on the last few import signings and are very pleased with the latest addition to the roster. Pierce, in his first stint playing in Europe, will join defenceman Chris Frank to make their home debut at the festival of hockey in Cardiff on 28th ~August.

Pierce will join Max Birbraer on the Devils main scoring line, and Adams hopes to have a top class pivot signed to centre their line very soon.

Speaking about his new player, Adams said:

“As soon as we knew that Jon Pelle wasn’t coming back, we quickly identified Jeff Pierce as the man we wanted to fill that spot on the top line wing. At the time Jeff was still considering his options but when we signed Chris Frank, his interest grew and the deal moved quickly from there. Chris and Jeff played together in Western Michigan University together for 3 years and Chris gave Jeff a glowing reference - as did Justin Sawyer, who finished the season with Jeff in Odessa; both spoke of his knack of scoring goals."

Report from Devils website

 

Jarrett Konkle is a Star

22/07/2011

Dundee Stars pulled off a major signing coup when they secured the signature of sought after Canadian, Jarrett Konkle.

The 28 years old forward has joined the Taysiders from East Coast Hockey League's Stockton Thunder in North America.

Jarrett is a highly experienced player with a great reputation and has also featured for Binghampton Senators in the American Hockey League. He spent two seasons with Elmira Jackals of the UHL and at the end of the 2005/2006 campaign he set a scoring record with the team and was named in the UHL All-Stars side for that season. During his career he has played alongside Chris Zarb, who iced for Stars last season and former Nottingham Panther, Alex Penner.

It is a case of perseverance for Stars' coach, Dan Ceman who tried to sign the Toronto born ace last season. Dan commented, "Jarrett is a player that I've been trying to sign since last summer. He had a lot of interest from other teams in Europe through the summer but ultimately we found a way to work out a deal. Jarrett brings to us the natural goal scoring ability that we lacked last year. What I also like about him is that for a proven goal scorer he has a very high effort and commitment level and is a great teammate. Jarrett is exactly the player I was looking for. This last forward signing gives us a very dangerous group up front. It is also a collection of players who will play with passion and energy every single night."

Konkle also showed his pleasure at the thought of playing in Scotland by adding, "I had spoken with coach Ceman last summer and continued talks into this year, and after several weeks I decided on Dundee, as it seemed to be a good fit for both sides. I'm excited to meet the other players and coaching staff, as well as the fans, and am looking forward to a successful season with the Stars."

This signing means that Ceman has one import slot to fill on his roster and it is believed that he is talks with a top defenceman.


Report from Stars website


ONDREJ IS LAST PIECE OF STINGRAYS TEAM JIGSAW

20/07/2011

Hull Stingrays' coach Sylvain Cloutier says he's delighted to finally land Martin Ondrej after a four-year chase.

The Slovakia-born defenceman has penned a deal which makes him Stingrays' 10th and final import signing.

Ondrej's decision ends Cloutier's pursuit of the 27-year-old which began in the Central Hockey League in 2008.

Cloutier said: "I have been trying to sign him since I was coach in Corpus Christi, but he was invited to the Detroit NHL training camp and then got sent to Flint.

"Not many players in our league have done that, so he can play.

"I thought I had him last year, but he went to Milano instead.

"He's just one of those players you want to try and sign.

"He plays physical and he battles – a bit like a Steve Burns type but with a more offensive side and he sees the ice better."

Although born in Slovakia, Ondrej has spent much of his career in North America at Flint Generals, as well as Slovakian teams Zilina, Martin and Presov and in Italy.

And Cloutier said his latest acquisition is fully adapted to the British style of hockey.

"He's a competitor and competes every night," he added.


Report from Stingrays website

 

Jurynec completes Blaze roster

19/07/2011

Coventry Blaze can today confirm the signing of American forward Bryan Jurynec for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 27-year-old Illinois native has spent the last three seasons with Kalamazoo Wings in the International Hockey League and ECHL.

He comes highly recommended by former Blaze defenceman Jason Robinson and ex-Sheffield Steelers player-coach Ben Simon, both having played alongside Jurynec for the Wings.

Jurynec completes coach Paul Thompson’s roster which also includes Jonathan Weaver, Greg Owen, Russell Cowley, Aaron Nell, Robert Farmer, Ross Venus, Owen Fussey, Luke Fulghum, Peter Hirsch, James Griffin, Matic Kralj, David Phillips, Brandon Stones, John Gordon, Jerramie Domish, Mike McLean and Shea Guthrie.

Jurynec spent three seasons with Capital Center Pride and Springfield Spirit/Springfield Junior Blues in the North American Hockey League.

Four years in the National Collegiate Athletic Association with American International College was followed by three seasons with Kalamazoo, for whom he had 44 fights during that time.

Thompson said: “I wanted an energy guy who competes and will look after his team-mates.

“We have a good skill level this year and are deep in scoring but we didn’t have a guy in the team who could play the role Bryan can.

“I have done a lot of work on him and he has won unsung hero awards. I also spoke to Jason Robinson, who I respect as a player and a person. He told me Jurynec is the type of player the team has been missing for a couple of years.

“I spoke to Ben Simon about him too. Ben has NHL and AHL experience and he loved the kid. He even tried to sign him for Sheffield last season.

Report from Blaze website


Ramsay Signs for the Steelers

19/07/2011

Steelers have confirmed the signing of high scoring forward Mike Ramsay from Odessa in the CHL

Ramsay netted 64 times for the Jackalopes in the last two seasons and says he is looking forward to scoring more goals in Sheffield “I want the pressure of scoring goals, I love that pressure of being the guy the team looks to when they need a goal”

Steelers new forward has big shoes to fill replacing Joey Talbot but the 27 year old from Newmarket, Ontario has confidence in his ability “I like to use my speed a lot, I take a lot of shots, I shoot when ever I can, I will score. I’m a high energy player. This is a great opportunity for me to play in a new league after 6 years in the States. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sheffield and about Ryan Finnerty, August can’t come soon enough”

Ramsay was a target for Finnerty earlier in the summer “this is a signing we have just kept plugging away at” he said “I made contact with his agent some two months ago and we kept sowing the seed. I like every feed back I have received on Mike. We all knew this was going to be a big signing for us, you can call it the Talbot replacement if you like but to me it was about finding the best goal scorer we could.

“Mike was the best one that came my way and I’m delighted after setting our sights on him we have managed to sign him

“I’m liking our team more and more. We have taken our time, we haven’t rushed and we have signed quality. We have signed younger players and we have signed some hungry guys looking for big years”

Report from Steelers website


Josh Batch turns pro with Devils

18/07/2011

Hot off the heels of the latest signings from the Cardiff Devils comes confirmation of the signing of big Josh Batch to the Devils roster for 2011-12.

At 6 feet 4 inches and 220lbs, Batch will add size and strength to an already impressive Devils defence that boasts Kenton and Mark Smith, new signing Chris Frank alongside superb British defenceman Mark Richardson and player / Head Coach Gerad Adams.

It would appear from signings made already that Adams is keen to make the Cardiff defence a miserable unit next season, protecting testimonial season goalie Stevie Lyle and punishing the opposition in the Devils own zone. Batch is a young, big and strong player that Adams and Bench Coach Neil Francis have been happy to add to the Devils rearguard.

Francis said:

"We are delighted to offer Josh his first professional contract and hope that this becomes a long term partnership. The most obvious thing about Josh is his size, there haven't been too many 6'4 220lb British players but that's not the only thing that impressed us about him. He has ambition, drive and the raw talent to match his size and we are looking forward to working with him to help him develop into a top British player."

Report from Devils website

 

Giants Sign Local Netminder Andrew Dickson!

17/07/2011

The Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of another locally born and trained player to the team for the 2011/12 season.

24 year old Andrew Dickson from Ballymoney will become the Giants backup netminder, playing behind British Netminder of the Year Stephen Murphy this season. Dickson was part of the Giants playoff winning team in 2009/10 training with the Giants all season long before moving to the Invicta Dynamos last season. In 18 games last season with Invicta, Dickson put up impressive statistics including a goals against average of 3.56 and a save percentage of 91.2%.

His on ice performance saw him pick up two Man of the Match Awards throughout the year and he was picked as the Coach’s Player of the Year by Dynamos Coach Kevin Parrish at the end of the season.

Giants Head Coach Doug Christiansen commented on the signing of Dickson.

“Andrew has worked extremely hard to develop his game. Last season, he had a very productive year in his first year as a starter. He is still a young goalie and will improve tremendously this season with the Giants. It is great to have another young local player join our team. I hope the development of players like Dickson and Gareth Roberts prove to kids playing ice hockey in Northern Ireland that hard work does pay off.”

Report from Giants website


Frank the Tank signs for Devils

15/07/2011

Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the singning of talented and physical defenceman Chris Frank.

The 6' 1" 230lbs native of Lynnwood, Washington State will patrol the blueline in Cardiff Bay next season, ensuring anyone who wants to score on testimonial-year goalie Stevie Lyle works hard for the opportunity.

Bench Coach Neil Francis says:

"We are really excited to once again bring someone new to Cardiff who will add the physical edge to our defense that the crowd at the BBT love. Chris specialises in delivering hard, clean hits and has earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in all the leagues he has played in.

Head Coach Gerad Adams added:

"As always we dont want to bring a one dimenisional player and Chris has a lot more to his game than just the physical side of things. He has a good skating ability,hockey skills and awareness that will thrive under the additional responsibilities that he will get here as opposed to being pigeon-holed into a certain role in the ECHL. Chris has earned call ups to the AHL in his last 2 season with his hard-nosed style of play and tremedous work-rate and team ethos."
 
The Cardiff Devils are justifiably proud of our home record and the fact that other teams don't like coming to play in Cardiff, and having a guy like Chris Frank locking his sights on the opposition crossing our blue line will enhance that. For anyone thinking of crossing the Devils blueline this season: google "Chris Frank hit" and see the result.

Report from Devils website


Goalie John DeCaro Signs for the Steelers

15/07/2011

Ryan Finnerty’s search for a new starting goalie has come to a very satisfactory conclusion with the signing of John DeCaro

The 29 year old helped Bossier-Shreveport win the Central League championship last season, a side he has played 4 of the last 5 seasons with

“When I knew that John was available I knew he was our man and made every effort to land him” said coach Ryan Finnerty “he is a stud, a game winner and the perfect signing for the Steelers

“I had other goalies lined up, in fact we had been in talks with a couple for weeks now but all along there was something stopping me from pulling the trigger. There was something telling me that they weren’t the right goalies and I had to be patient. Then we had talks with John and I knew instantly we had to land him. He is a big goalie and I like those big goalies. He is a winner, he has won before and is coming off a championship season where he was one of the main reasons they won

“He is a leader in the room, a character player and person. The goalie is so important in this league, your starter pretty much has to start every game, 2, 3 maybe 4 games a week, that’s what makes this decision the biggest of them all. When I was about sign the other goalies we were looking at it just didn’t feel right. When I was speaking with John it felt right and when I saw the signature I was excited. This is huge for us”

Report from Steelers website


Ceman brings in Canadian Defenceman

11/07/2011

Dundee Stars' head coach, Dan Ceman has secured the signature of 25 years old Canadian defenceman, Alan Mazur.

The 6ft 1in, 185lbs player joins the Taysiders from CHL outfit Bloomington Prairie Thunder where he was one of only two defencemen chosen for the All Rookie Team for the Central Hockey League.

After starting his hockey career with Coquitlam Express he then had a successful four years college career with Rochester College of Technology before joining Thunder at the beginning of last season.

Ceman didn't hide his pleasure at signing the player when he said, "Alan will be a key part of our success this year. He moves the puck extremely well, has a great shot on the power play and plays an intense, physical brand of hockey as well. I have heard nothing but good things about Alan's on ice play and just as importantly he is a great teammate and a solid citizen. Alan had several teams in the East Coast Hockey League pursuing him as well as from Europe so I was very excited to finalize his contract."


Report from Stars website

 

PANTHERS LAST SIGNING

08/07/2011

BROCK'S A PANTHER -again!

Panthers coach Corey Neilson has completed his line-up with the signing of solid, hard-hitting, stay-at-home defenceman Brock Wilson.

The six feet one inch blue liner comes from a hockey dynasty and should have joined the club last summer but had to stay in North America for "personal reasons".

Said coach Neilson: "I'm delighted to have him on board, I've known Brock a long time and he ticks all the boxes for what we need to complete the line-up. He plays mean, and he knows his role.

"Brock was all signed up last year but things didn't work out, these things happen but now he's back on board and we're all looking forward to him finishing off the jigsaw."

Born in St Louis the 26-year-old has played with Stockton, Augusta, Dayton, Toledo and Utah in the East Coast Hockey League as well as at Flint in the IHL and Albany in the AHL. Last year at Utah he played in 67 games and had 16 points and 109 penalty minutes along the way.

He joins his cousin Jordan Fox in the Panthers' line-up for the upcoming season and the pair follow in the footsteps of their grandfather Dick "Wink" Wilson who played for the Panthers in the late 1950s. Brock's father Rik was an NHL star with five years at St Louis and another with Calgary.

Report from Panthers website


Dutiaume to lead Flyers into Elite League

07/07/2011

TODD Dutiaume will be Fife Flyers’ player-coach next season.

The long-serving Canadian was formally confirmed in the key post on Tuesday night - and will now begin to build a new-look team for the 2011-12 campaign against the biggest clubs in the country.

He has aready sounded out a number of his local skaters to get them prepared for the step-up to top flight hockey, and started the process of finding the right imports to fill key berths on the roster.

Dutiaume’s name was the only one in the frame, and Flyers believe he has earned the chance to step up to the Elite League after steering the club to a near total clean-sweep of the silverware in the NPL and Scottish leagues.

A key player at the club since signing from Telford Tigers in 1998 he previously iced with Swindon Ice Lords after moving from North America where he played in the WHL with Brandon Wheat Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors.

Dutiaume (38) will continue to skate as well, but there are plans in hand to appoint a bench coach - similar to the arrangement which saw Chic Cottrell work closely with Mark Morrison as Flyers powered to a Grand Slam and British championship titles in the BNL.

He said: ‘‘You need that stability and structure on the bench, and it’s a position I’m going to take my time over so I get someone who thinks along similar lines and also makes the calls when required.

‘‘In this league you definitely need that support.’’

Dutiaume is also looking to his local skaters to make their mark on top flight hockey - and it’s a challenge they are relishing.

‘‘We’ve been trying to prep them for this because it is a jump,’’ he said. ‘‘They are excited about it and they want to learn and that is fantastic.

‘‘You never know until someone steps on to the ice how they will perform at a higher level, but I’m hoping a few of the guys surprise me - they will certainly be up for the challenge.’’

That home-grown contingent will almost certainly include team captain Jamie Wilson after he was released by Dundee Stars.

The forward signed for the Taysiders a couple of weeks ago but he was not formally announced - the Press was aware of the move but agreed to put the news on hold while he sorted out his work arrangements.

With Flyers now playing Elite League hockey it would appear Wilson will return to the Rosslyn Street rink,

In terms of new import signings, Dutiaume admits he has no shortage of applicants - but he wants the right players in his dressing-room.

‘‘Fife still carries a very good name among hockey players - it’s a good place to play and you are well treated. That will work in our favour,’’ he said.

‘‘We want guys who fit into our team and dressing-room, who understand the style we play and are maybe willing to change their game.


Report from Flyers website


CAMPBELL JOINS HULL

07/07/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm the signing of Canadian forward Derek Campbell for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 31-year-old Ontario native has been a league title winner with Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers in the past two seasons and has also iced for Manchester Phoenix and Newcastle Vipers during his five years in Britain.

He joins player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey, Jason Silverthorn, Dominic Osman, Christian Boucher, Jack Watkins, Dmitri Suur, Frantisek Bakrlik, Andrew Brummitt, Bobby Chamberlain and Josh Mizerek on the roster for next season.

Cloutier said: “I am extremely excited to have Derek on board.

“He is the full package - he can play and put up numbers, which he has proven by being a point a game player in this league, and he is physical.

“Derek is a competitor and they are the kind of players I have recruited this summer and want in my team next season.

“He has won the league twice in a row in Coventry and Sheffield so he knows what it takes.

“He will battle every night for you and will have a bigger part to play with us than he did in Sheffield. I will be counting on him to produce some numbers for us, which he has done in Sheffield, Coventry, Newcastle and Manchester.

“Derek plays with emotion, he plays hard, he has a big heart and he will do anything for the team and his team-mates. It is a really big signing for us.


Report from Stingrays website


Giants Add Kuiper To Defence

06/07/2011

Belfast Giants have bolstered an already impressive defensive core with the signing of defenceman Nick Kuiper. The 6’2” 15 stone defender played the previous 3 seasons in the top league in Austria playing in 161 games for Graz EC.

Kuiper played 4 years at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the prestigious Hockey East conference before turning pro in 2004 with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, the top affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. In 2 seasons with the Admirals Kuiper played 143 games scoring 5 goals, adding 12 assists and amassing 213 penalty minutes.

Kuiper is expected to be a dominant force on the blueline this season for the Giants and adds size, strength and toughness to a very skilled defensive unit for the Giants.

“We targeted Nick from day 1 of the off-season,” said Giants Coach Doug Christiansen.

“He is an elite defender who plays physical and can shut down the best players from opposing teams. We were not the only EIHL team after him but we got our man. He will provide leadership for this team and stability to our defense next season.”

With over 170 games in the American Hockey League, Kuiper comes to Belfast ready to make an impact in the Elite League. His experience in North America shows that he can play a hard-nosed, intense brand of hockey and his time in Austria shows that he has the skill and speed for the European game.

Report from Giants website

Cloutier lands Mizerek

06/07/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm the signing of American defenceman Josh Mizerek for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 33-year-old Minnesota native originally joined Stingrays last summer – and was named team captain – but he decided to stay in Holland after the club initially folded before being saved.

Mizerek has spent the past four years with The Hague, winning the Dutch championship twice.

He joins player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey, Jason Silverthorn, Dominic Osman, Christian Boucher, Jack Watkins, Dmitri Suur, Frantisek Bakrlik, Andrew Brummitt and Bobby Chamberlain on the roster for next season.

Cloutier said: “I have been chasing Josh for a couple of years. I thought I had him last summer so I am delighted to have finally got him.

“He is just the type of player I want in my team. He is a competitor, he is a leader and he comes to play every night.

Report from Stingrays website


Clan are looking for a new leader..

29/06/2011

It is with a great deal of sadness that Braehead Clan can today confirm that Player/Coach Bruce Richardson will not be icing in Clan colours for the 2011/2012 season. Unfortunately, Bruce has been made an offer that he cannot refuse and will therefore be staying in North America for the forthcoming season.

Coach Richardson has taken a lot of time to think over this decision, and at the end of the day he had to do what was right for both his career and his family. He has always been very honest in saying that he has career plans and that he would never rule out any offers to coach in North America. We would ask fans to respect his decision, he plans to make a full statement within the next 48hours addressing his decision to leave.

Although Richardson was fully committed to the Clan project from day one and heading into season two, the offer he has been made makes sense for him and his family. Bruce had the following to say on the news;

“This decision was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in my career. Everybody was aware that I wanted to coach in North America and use that as a stepping stone to coach in the big league one day. When the opportunity to coach in North America and not have to uproot my family came along, it was a great one. To coach near my hometown, where I can live at home and have a stable life for my wife and kids and where I can work and concentrate on achieving my goals is too good an opportunity for me to pass up. I am really grateful for the great memories the Clan fans gave me. My time in Scotland will never be forgotten and will always be in my heart.”

Report from Clans website

NEW OWNER FOR STEELERS

29/06/2011

Sheffield-born businessman Tony Smith has dealt with several previous Steelers owners whilst running his marketing and sports clothing business Rhino Sports - Now he has to do what they couldn't, and make the Sheffield Steelers a stable business as well as the Country's leading Ice Hockey side.

"Its a challenge, but one my self and my family are up for" said Smith, aged 57

"What the fans of this club have been through year on year is outrageous and starting from today it ends. This club can be stable and we will ensure that it is. Its a fine balance between that stability that as Steelers supporters we all strive for and on ice success that we have become used to. I'm positive that with me running the business side and Ryan Finnerty the hockey side we will combined well and take this club forward.

 "It's been a busy few days since I put forward my plan to take full control. We have many people to talk too, many people to satisfy and much work to-do as the season is only a couple of months away. Ryan and the players have been remarkable, we have reiterated to Ryan that his position and that of his players is solid and they have our full confidence going forward. Ryan is enthusiastic and we hope to complete the signing of the squad shortly.

Report from EIHL website


NEW D-MAN SIGNS FOR THE CLAN!

28/06/2011

Braehead Clan can today announce the latest addition to the 2011/2012 season roster.

The latest signing for Clan is 25 year old James Jorgensen. The 5’11 US born, left handed defenceman joins the Clan from the CHL Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, where he has played for the last 2 seasons. Jorgensen has experience in both the ECHL and CHL and Braehead Clan Head Coach Bruce Richardson thinks he has the credentials and personality to slot right in with the Clan team he is putting together for season two;

“I am really pleased that Jim has signed for the Clan, he is a real solid defenceman who I know will work hard every time he steps out on to the ice. I need guys that I can rely on in defence, and I know that Jorgensen and Wedderburn will work well together. Jim had a good season last year, playing 54 games for Bossier, scoring 4 goals and 13 assists, and he is not afraid to get physical on the ice. This shows me that he works hard in his own position but that he can also step up and maximise on potential scoring opportunities. I am looking forward to welcoming Jim to the Clan and I know that the fans will give him a warm welcome when the season starts."

Report from Clans website


British duo sign

28/06/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm the signings of British youngsters Andy Brummitt and Bobby Chamberlain for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

Netminder Brummitt, 18, has come through the Chelmsford junior programme, spending the past two seasons with the Chieftains in the English National League, and is a former England junior international.
He replaces Andrew Jaszczyk, who has been the back-up goalie for the last three years, as Canadian Christian Boucher’s deputy.

Chamberlain, 16, returns to his home town having spent last season at the Ontario Hockey Academy, along with Jack Musil and Jamie Chilcott, who were also part of the Kingston junior set-up. He, too, has represented England at junior level.

They join player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey, Jason Silverthorn, Dominic Osman, Christian Boucher, Jack Watkins, Dmitri Suur and Frantisek Bakrlik on the roster for next season.


Cloutier said: “Andy is a young up-and-coming goalie who came to our attention earlier this summer.
“Jazzy has done a great job for us over the past two years I have been here and I wish him nothing but the best for the future.

“He will also play some games with the Jets. When they do not have a game Andy will be with us. It will help him stay sharp so if called upon, he can do a job for us. Liam Jackson will also be part of the set-up and train with us.

“Bobby played in Canada last year and is another up-and-coming player. I saw him play in my first year with the club and was really impressed.

“He went off to Canada and has improved his game further. He had opportunities to stay over there and try out for some junior teams but he wanted to be part of the Hull Stingrays.

“Bobby is a big kid who can play physical and has a lot of talent. He is going to get a lot of ice time this season. We have to be patient with him but I can see him doing a similar job to what Ross Venus did in Coventry last season.

“He is a local kid and we want to give these guys a chance to play for their hometown team. With our affiliation with minor hockey in Hull, more of those youngsters are going to be given their chance over the next few years.”


Report from Stingrays website

 

Whitley looking to keep Elite forwards at bay

26/06/2011

Dundee Stars have completed the signing of stand out Central Hockey League goaltender, Chris Whitley.

The 28 years old Canadian from Oshawa, Ontario comes highly recommended after two outstanding seasons in the Central Hockey League with Allen Americans where we was runner up in the goalie of the year awards in season 2009/10, before being traded to Wichita Thunder for three players earlier this year.

Head Coach, Dan Ceman is thrilled with his latest capture and said, "One of my main goals this summer has been to find a goalie that we feel confident will be one of the best in the league. In Chris we've found just that. He has been one of the top goalies in the Central Hockey League over the past two years and is a solid professional on and off the ice. Chris will be a huge part of our success this year."

Chris, who had turned down several offers from Europe to come to Scotland added, "I am very excited to be coming to Dundee! After talking a lot with Dan Ceman and Brent Hughes I know I will be relied upon a lot this season in goal and I will be more than prepared to help get this team to the next level. We had some good talks on where this team wants to be and needs to be in the future and I know I want to be a part of its success. This will be a new challenge and I am looking forward to playing in front of the fans in Dundee at the end of August."

The signing of Whitley means that Ceman has only three import spaces to complete for the new season.

Report from Stars website

 

WELCOME FIFE FLYERS

23/06/2011

One of the truly great names in British Ice Hockey is back at the top level of the sport. At a Board meeting of the EIHL on Thursday it was agreed that the Fife Flyers would become the 10th team participation in the 9th season of the league.

Fife will join fellow Scottish sides Braehead, Dundee and Edinburgh alongside Belfast , Cardiff , Coventry , Hull , Nottingham and Sheffield when the season commences on Saturday 3rd September.

EIHL Chairman Eamon Convery said “It has been a long time coming but we are delighted to welcome the Flyers into our league. Fife remain one of the biggest names in our sport. Their inclusion in the Elite League enhances the top level of our sport and certainly creates a huge rivalry north of the border.

”Our view has always been that the Flyers belonged in the EIHL, and that we as a league needed the UK’s oldest established ice hockey team in our division.

 Jack Wishart, Director of the Fife Flyers said “We are delighted to have been accepted to join the EIHL. We have monitored the league’s development over the years especially here in Scotland with Braehead, Dundee and Edinburgh

”We felt that this was the right time to join the league. At the end it was a mutual coming together and one we hope benefits both the Flyers and the other member clubs

”We are also delighted for our fans. We know that they are keen to see the best teams’ in the UK at Kirkcaldy and to renew old rivalries with many clubs both in Scotland and South of the border.

Report from EIHL website

Capitals starting a Craze

21/06/2011

Edinburgh Capitals first signing for the 11/12 season is British netminder Nathan Craze. Craze will be taking the number one spot for the Capitals this season.

Nathan has spent the last three seasons as the backup netminder for Belfast Giants and last season had a 93.4% save percentage with 1.32 goals against average. Craze is no stranger to the starting netminder role having done so for both Bracknell Bees and Swindon Wildcats in the English Premier Ice Hockey League.

Despite being only 24-years-old, Nathan has already won the a Gold Medal with Team GB at the IIHF World Junior Championships as well as the British Elite League, British Challenge Cup, English Premier League and playoffs.

Report from Capitals website


Stars sign American Defenceman

20/06/2011

Dundee Stars have added an American defenseman to their roster with the announcement that Dan McGoff has signed for the Taysiders.

The 25 years old, from Winchester, Massachusetts, was snapped up by head coach Dan Ceman after an impressive season in the Dutch League. A product of Boston University, McGoff has also played in North America's East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League.

Ceman, delighted with his capture said, "Dan is my kind of player. He is a very smart, mobile hockey player but also competes hard every day and has a feistiness to his game. I did a lot of homework on Dan and every coach he's had in his career has great things to say about him. 

To be honest, it was one of the most positive background checks I've ever done on a player. I'm really looking forward to seeing Dan on the ice in Dundee."

The signing leaves four import spaces for Dan Ceman to fill on his roster.

Report from Stars website


MCLEAN JOINS BLAZE

20/06/2011

Coventry Blaze can today confirm they have signed Canadian forward Mike McLean for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 25-year-old Ontario native was the joint-top point-scorer for Quad City Mallards in the Central Hockey League last season, which also saw him participate in the All-Star game.

McLean has also played 33 times in the American Hockey League – including twice for Milwaukee Admirals last term – posting four goals and eight assists.

He joins fellow new arrivals Peter Hirsch, James Griffin, Matic Kralj, David Phillips, Brandon Stones, John Gordon and Jerramie Domish on the Blaze roster.

Coach Paul Thompson said: “Mike is a big, strong all-round player.

 

“I have done extensive checks on him and everyone I have spoken to has said the same thing.

 “Mike is a strong skater, has good wheels, he plays the body, he finishes his hits and his points production is good.

 “He was the joint-top scorer for Quad City last season and played in the All-Star game. He is a relatively young guy but has a lot of experience behind him and has just under half a point a game in the AHL.”

Report from EIHL website

Giants Sign Elite League’s Leading Scorer Jon Pelle

17/06/2011

Belfast Giants are delighted to announce the signing of American forward Jon Pelle for the upcoming season. 25 year old Pelle moves to Belfast from the Cardiff Devils where he had a record breaking year, scoring 55 goals and 55 assists amassing 110 points over the season, leading all players in scoring and setting a new league points record along the way. 

Whilst studying at Harvard, Pelle won both the East Coast Athletic Conference and IVY League Championships before heading to the Central Hockey League where we won the league title with Rapid City Rush.

In his first season in the Elite League last year with the Cardiff Devils, he won both the Forward of the Year and Newcomer of the Year Awards.

Giants Coach Doug Christiansen expects more of the same from Pelle in Belfast this coming season.

“Jon excelled in our league last season. Actually, he dominated the scoring race all season long. This is a great coup for the Giants to sign a player that was one of the superstars in the Elite League last year. He knows how to put the puck in the net and we expect him to be one of the best players in the league again next season.”

Pelle himself on coming to Belfast: “The Giants are a very professional team and I look forward to joining them. I’m excited about living in a new country and seeing what the city of Belfast has to offer. I’m sure Doug will put another strong group together and I hope I can contribute to a winning season.”

Report from Giants website

 

Thommo completes D with Domish

17/06/2011

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has today confirmed that he has completed the signing of American defenceman, Jerramie Domish from Elite League rivals, Sheffield Steelers.

Thompson has made no secret of his admiration for the explosive blue liner since he made his debut for the Newcastle Vipers in the 09/10 season. His thirty point return combined with his tremendous skating ability and talent for reading the game caught Thompson’s eye and despite failing to land the Philadelphia native at the start of last season, he was determined to get his man this time around.

After leaving the Vipers, Domish instead joined the Sheffield Steelers at the start of last season and helped the team to the Elite League title, contributing a career high 32 points during the campaign.


“Jerramie is exactly the type of player that this club has been crying out for since Neal Martin moved to Denmark a few seasons ago,” said Thompson. “He has explosive speed and he’s one of the most exciting players to watch from a fans point of view.  You don’t find many players more competitive than Jerramie and I’m sure his all action style will be a big hit with supporters and team mates alike.”

Report from Blaze website



Bakrlik Czechs in

13/06/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm the signing of Czech forward Frantisek Bakrlik for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 28-year-old Litvinov native has been playing in Poland and Hungary for the past five years and is a former Adirondack Frostbite team-mate of Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier as well as recent signing Dmitri Suur.

Bakrlik, who is 6ft 5in tall and weighs 231lbs, joins Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey, Jason Silverthorn, Dominic Osman, Christian Boucher, Jack Watkins and Suur on the roster for next season
.

“He is a big power forward, he plays physical and hits you hard. But he is also a great skater and has a good shot on him.

“Frankie has put up some numbers in Poland and I think he can do a great job for the team. He can be a ‘go-to’ guy for us. He has won championships in Poland so he knows what it takes to win.

After playing for Litvinov Under-18s in the 1999/2000 season, Bakrlik was a first round draft pick (34th overall) by Barrie Colts of the Canadian Hockey League in 2000.

Report from Stingrays website



Dignard signs on to Giants Defence

10/06/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of American defenceman Tom Dignard for the upcoming season. 24 year old Dignard comes to Belfast from the Tulsa Oilers in the CHL, where he posted 32 points in 48 games in the regular season and gained 5 points in 9 playoff games at the end of the season.

During the 10/11 season, Dignard was also called up by the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League for a 3 game stint in January 2011. The young defenseman played his university hockey for Yale, regularly contributing to the points tally, averaging almost a point a game in his last school year.


Report from Giants website

 

GET THE BUBBLY OUT PANTHERS ADD A DOUBLE!

09/06/2011

Nottingham Panthers have added a forward duo which could be the toast of the league in the upcoming season.

Brandon Benedict and Scott Champagne have played together before and are relishing the chance to hook up again. 

The pair had 116 points between them at Texas in season 2007-8 and a year later they 30 points or more on the same team in the top flight in Denmark. 

Since then, 28-year-old Benedict has been one of the top players in the Elite League with the Belfast Giants, although hampered by injury last year, he was still rated in the league’s top five players, meanwhile his strike partner, also 28, was flying solo in Germany and Asia in the last two seasons where he had more than a point a game.

Panthers’ head coach Corey Neilson says he’s thrilled to bring the Canadian pair together again: “I’ve long been a big admirer of Brandon, he’s the epitome of a hard-working forward, who works every square inch of the ice, and he is a natural leader.

“I’ve heard good things about Scott too. He likes to pass first and shoot second. His past coaches are all big fans and they say if he’s on a breakaway he always looks to dish it off to a team mate. He skates well and has good skills but in a nutshell he’s a passer.”

 Benedict won a championship in 2008-9 with Texas and the play-offs with Belfast two years ago. Champagne won the Asia championship with Tohoku last season to add to a college championship from his university days. The title in Japan was a shared affair after the earthquake and tsunami, meant practise for the finals was halted mid session before the first game as the arena in which Scott and his team mates were working started to shake and collapse.

Added coach Neilson: “We’ve seen how good special partnerships can be. Nottingham have had their fair share in the past. I am hopeful, that come the end of the season, we’ll be toasting this pair in brandy and bubbly!”

Report from Panthers website

 

NEW FACE JOINS PANTHERS

08/06/2011

Canadian winger Matt Francis will line-up with the Nottingham Panthers for the upcoming Elite League campaign.

The 25-year-old has experience in the East Coast hockey league after a successful college career and ended last year with a call up to the prestigious AHL in North America.

Before that his season at Gwinnett was hampered by injury but he made a full recovery and impressed so much on his return to action that he got the call up to the higher level.

Head Coach Corey Neilson said of his latest recruit: “It’s all about putting the pieces together for the big picture and the reports and recommendations I’ve had on Matt leave me in no doubt that he’s just what we’re looking for to do the job I have in mind.

“He’s another guy who will come to play for us and pick up his studies thanks to our link with the University of Derby, the guys that have done that in the last year or two have all proven to be real winners for us and I can see Matt doing the same.


“Matt’s a two-way centre who prides himself on the defensive side of his game, he has explosive speed over the first few strides and that first step speed is going to be an asset to our team. He can also play on the wings and he prides himself on his penalty killing abilities, having said that he’s ambitious and he’s hoping for a shout on the Panthers’ power-play too. Injection speed is his big thing.”

Matt added: “I’ve heard only good things about Nottingham as a city and Nottingham as a club. I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and showing them what I can do.”

Report from Panthers website

King Joins the Steelers

07/06/2011

Ryan Finnerty believes he may just have signed the player that will electrify the Sheffield Arena next season – 29 year old power forward Colt King. The left hand shot, 6’2 220lb Calgary native has signed an initial 1 year deal with the Steelers.

 King was drafted in the 4th round by NHL side Colorado Avalanche in 2001 and after turning pro spent 2 years in the East Coast league. King then moved to the Central league where he has spent the majority of his time in the last 4 seasons scoring 129 minor league goals and collecting over 1100 penalty minutes

It will be King’s first spell in Europe and that excites Finnerty “Its a new challenge for him and he is excited about it. He wants to play a big roll on our team and I’m confident he will be a huge addition for us. I think our team will play bigger, tougher and more feisty with him on it. I think you can see the direction I want to go, hard working, strong, aggressive, in your face type Steelers Hockey

“This guy will be a star and a fan favourite” said Finnerty “clubs in North America, Europe and the Elite League were trying to sign this guy, he is a big strong winger who hits, fights and also finds the back of the net as well. He was my number one summer target, the first guy I thought of when I took over in Sheffield. He is the perfect Steeler type player and the fans will love him”

Report from Steelers website

 

Steelers Sign Huttle

04/06/2011

Steelers head coach Ryan Finnerty has made his first new signing for the club with the confirmation that 23 year old defenceman Chad Huttel will be patrolling the blue line at the Arena from September

Huttel has spent the last 4 years with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, last season as Captain and helping his side win the WCHA Championship

“I’m delighted with our first signing” said Finnerty “Chad is a big strong kid who is hungry to win. He won last year and liked the taste of it and wants to do it again next season

“I like the fact that he has won before, he is a Captain, a leader and comes very well recommended. I don’t see him scoring 20, he is a rock solid stay at home defenceman”

It will be Huttel first year proffessional “I’m excited to be joining the Steelers and to be playing Pro. It’s a great opportunity for me and one I intend to take. The Steelers have a history of winning and that’s important to me. I was a part of a winning team this year and want to win again”

Report from Steelers website

Stingrays sign experienced Estonian

02/06/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm the signing of Estonia defenceman Dmitri Suur for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 36-year-old native of Tallinn has spent the past two seasons in Poland and is a former Adirondack Frostbite team-mate of Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier.

Suur, at 6ft 2in and 212lb, captained Estonia in last month’s World Championship campaign when they were relegated from Division One having been in the same group as Great Britain.

He joins Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey, Jason Silverthorn, Dominic Osman, Christian Boucher and Jack Watkins on the roster for next season.

Report from Stingrays website

Thompson moves for Gordon

01/06/2011

Coventry Blaze can today confirm the signing of Canadian defenceman John Gordon for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 25-year-old Ontario native has spent the past four years in Holland, winning the league championship twice with The Hague.

Gordon, at 6ft 3in and 218lbs, becomes coach Paul Thompson's third new import signing following the arrivals of Danish goaltender Peter Hirsch and Slovenian forward Matic Kralj.

Thompson said: "John is a big player on the powerplay. I felt there was too much pressure on the shoulders of Jonathan Weaver last season.

"To have a successful powerplay you need two strong powerplay units. Weaves was relied on way too much and now we have another player of that standard to help him and the team out.

"John scored 27 goals in 39 league games for The Hague last season and he led the whole league in powerplay goals as well as most goals for a defenceman.

"That is something we did not have a lot of last season. We did not have enough guys contributing offensively from the back-end. John will bring us that.

"He is a big man with a big reach. He skates well, can jump in on the rush and lead the rush. His forte is his shot, he has a cannon of a one-timer.

Report from Blaze website

 

NEW CENTRE JOINS THE PANTHERS

27/05/2011

Nottingham Panthrs have signed 26-year-old centre JORDAN FOX.

The former East Coast League All Star Centre has been highly recommended to Panthers coach Corey Neilson: “Jordan has really good hands, I coached him when he was young and he’s gone on to play in the East Coast, the AHL, and last year he was in Finland.

“He’s a great passer but he can also score goals. He’s a got a bit of a mean streak about him too. I asked Billy Ryan what he thought about him and he thinks he has the potential to light up our league. His coach at Gwinnett in the Coast where he had a point a game rates him as very skilled.

The five feet ten inch Canadian was brought up in America. He will be studying at the University of Derby as part of the unique link-up between the club and the university.

His playing career includes Jokipojat in Finland last year and before that, Rochester, Chicago, Manitoba, and Albany in the AHL plus Gwinnett and Wheeling in the East Coast League as well as two full seasons at Flint in the UHL/IHL.

Last year in Finland he had 21 points in 37 games and took 65 penalty minutes.

Jordan’s family has strong ice hockey connections including his grandfather who played for the Panthers in 1958-59. Dick “Wink” Wilson had nine goals and ten assists in 23 games as a left wing.


Report from Panthers website


Coaching role for Soderstrom

24/05/2011

Coaching role for Soderstrom as Thompson continues rebuild of Blaze

Coventry Plumbing and Heating Blaze can today confirm Matt Soderstrom will be part of the coaching set-up for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 34-year-old Swede has enjoyed nine seasons with the club across two spells and is the last remaining player from the Solihull days. 

Soderstrom was also the first overseas player to register 500 games for the club and has won five major titles during his time with Blaze. 

Coach Paul Thompson has revealed Soderstrom will be an assistant coach alongside Luc Chabot with responsibilities for the defence. 

He said: “Matty is Blaze through and through and he has all the right attributes to get into coaching. 

“I know I can work with Matty and trust him and he knows the way I coach too. I dipped his toes into it last year and he reacted well to certain situations. I feel he is ready to take on the challenge. 

“He will work heavily with the ‘D’ and he will be accountable for certain things in the team which he must bring on a daily basis. He is excited by the opportunity to work with Luc and myself.” 

Meanwhile, Thompson has confirmed he has not offered contracts to Brian Lee, Brad Zanon, Sean Selmser, Greg Chambers, Brad Cruikshank and Jeff Smith while Jason Robinson has retired. 

Thompson added: “We are looking to rebuild and once again challenge, I felt we needed to freshen things up.”

Report from Blaze website

 

Young trio to get Blaze opportunity

23/05/2011

Coventry Blaze can today confirm British teenager Brandon Stones will be the back-up goaltender for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

With fellow youngster Tom Murdy opting for a move to English Premier League side Swindon Wildcats, coach Paul Thompson has turned to Stones to fill the void.

The 18-year-old started playing for Nottingham Leopards in 2008 and after two seasons moved to Sheffield Steelhawks which also saw him ice for Sheffield Steelers.

Stones made three appearances for Edinburgh Capitals too last term and represented Great Britain Under-18s. He will be back-up to Danish star Peter Hirsch, who has returned to the Skydome this summer.

Thompson has also revealed two members of the BlazeAcademy - defenceman Matthew Selby and netminder Adam Goss - will be involved with the senior team next season.


Report from Blaze website

 

Osman makes Stingrays switch

09/05/2011

Hull Stingrays can today confirm they have signed American forward Dominic Osman for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The Michigan native, 29, spent last season with Toledo Walleye in the ECHL, posting 10 goals and 15 assists in 56 matches.

He joins player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, Jereme Tendler, Daniel Scott, Tristan Harper, Sam McCluskey and Jason Silverthorn on the roster for next season.

Cloutier said: “Last season we had a big lack of secondary scoring. Our second unit struggled to put the puck in the net and at times we were carrying passengers and that hurt us.

“Dominic has a great offensive threat, he has got a great shot, he is a great skater, he competes and never takes a night off.

“He has got some speed, which is something we did not have a lot of last season, and he will relish the bigger ice here.

“Last season in Toledo, when the AHL players came down, he did not get as much of a chance. But he knows he will be getting plenty of ice time with us and he is really looking forward to that.

“We need guys to come to work and compete and Dominic will do that. He wants to help us build on what we did last season, he is excited about coming here and he will be a key guy for us.”

His first full pro season came with New Mexico Scorpions in the Central Hockey League, registering 50 points (27 goals and 23 assists) in 66 games.

Osman began the 2009/10 season with Toledo, registering 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists) in 47 matches and then accumulated eight goals and 10 assists in 24 appearances for Florida Everblades (ECHL).

He returned to Toledo last term where he iced alongside former Stingrays defenceman and Great Britain international David Phillips.

Report from Stingrays website

 

NEWCASTLE NO TO 2011/12

05/05/2011

After attending Tuesday’s Elite League Board Meeting General Manager Jaimie Longmuir confirmed the Vipers will not participate in the league during 2011/12 ending the clubs 6 year participation in the UK’s top league meaning the north east will no longer have a top flight ice hockey in the region.

“It’s incredibly sad to confirm that the Vipers will no longer participate in the Elite League following Tuesday’s meeting.  Before the end of the season and up until now significant time and studies have been undertake to try and find a way of keeping the Vipers franchise operational in the Elite League but unfortunately haven’t been successful”. 

“Every option to keep the club operational was investigated including the first option of trying to secure new investment or ownership but unfortunately this did not materialise so the only other option was to try and devise a plan that would enable the club to sustain itself but unfortunately again proved to be unsuccessful.  Given everything that has been invested in the club in terms of money, time, energy, effort and sacrifice it’s an incredibly sad day for everyone especially the loyal hard core of fans who stuck by the club to the very end” confirmed Longmuir.

 It has been a rollercoaster few years for the club however 2010/11 was the toughest yet for the Vipers organisation and today’s news is a sad end to a turbulent campaign.  “Some will say the last few years have been disappointing and I cannot argue with that but the fact we were able to keep the club alive over the past few years is a remarkable achievement in itself.  The fact that we have basically operated without the support of a home venue in an unstable environment has been devastating and unfortunately we were unable to realise our long term goal of playing in a permanent home venue that would have ensured the clubs long term sustainability.  Every effort to try and make this a reality was made by our previous ownership groups but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  Whitley Bay Ice Rink have been extremely accommodating and done their best to welcome the club but unfortunately too many fans could not support the club in the venue” commented Longmuir.

 “It is small consolation that we managed to honour our fixture commitments for 2010/11 as quite honestly the club could easily have ceased operation in January which would have been devastating for the supporters, sponsors, players etc but we managed to pull through the toughest of situations thanks to our loyal hard core of fans, our players and coach and the support mechanisms put in place by the Elite League Club and I am very grateful to everyone who played their part in keeping the club alive”.

 Elite League Chairman Eamon Convery commented “ Great credit must be given to the 2010/11 General Manager, Jaimie longmuir and  Coach, Danny Stewart, in maintaining the team through their league and playoff campaign. The league and its member clubs over the past few years have assisted Newcastle Vipers as best as possible. Owners of the Vipers during the last two seasons committed considerable resources supporting the club, much encouraged by the potential of a new rink in the Gateshead region. It is regrettable that the general economic climate has deferred such a development, contributing to the decision by the club to cease.

Report from EIHL website


Thompson swoops for Kralj

03/05/2011

Coventry Blaze can today confirm they have signed Slovenian forward Matic Kralj [pronounced Mateece Krarl] for the 2011/12 Elite League season.

The 28-year-old returns to Britain - having iced for Newcastle Vipers two years ago - after finishing the leading point-scorer for French side Morzine-Avoriaz last season.

He is Paul Thompson’s first new import signing for next season and the Blaze coach is delighted to have finally landed his man.

Thompson said: “Matic is a guy I have been chasing for the last three or four years. He first caught my eye during our previous Continental Cup campaigns when he was playing for his Slovenian side.

“He was outstanding for them and the year before he joined Newcastle we were talking but for one reason or another I moved away from him which I regret.

“He is a big, strong guy, he has played a lot in North America so is used to that style of hockey, he sees the ice really well, he has great hands, he has a great release and he can score goals.
 
“Matic will help take the load off [Luke] Fulghum and [Owen] Fussey and will add to our scoring options. I am confident he will produce offensively as much as those guys.
 
“He was the leading scorer for his team in France last year and he is hungry and looking forward to coming back to the Elite League. He knows all about the league and I felt it was the right time to bring him in.
 
“He plays with an edge, he has good size and I am expecting big things from him. I am delighted to have got his signature.”
 
Kralj helped Slovenia Under-18s to the gold medal in Division Two of the World Championships in 2000/01 and the following season represented his country`s U20 team.


Report from Blaze website

Pro Contract For Gareth Roberts

28/04/2011

Belfast Giants are pleased to confirm that Belfast born Gareth Roberts has signed his first professional ice hockey contract with the team for the incoming season. Having debuted for the Giants in December last year, Gareth has flourished within the squad resulting in Coach Christiansen offering him a contract.

“Gareth Roberts is the best young player in Belfast and we are thrilled to have him be a Giant next season. I am a firm believer in developing young players and I thought Gareth improved tremendously.  He is a great kid and wants to be a great hockey player.  I am looking forward to working with him this year.

Today is a very exciting day for Gareth. I will never forget signing my first professional contract and I know today Gareth is thrilled to be signing a contract with the professional team he dreamed of playing for.  I expect this to be the first of many contracts for Gareth.”

Gareth, who came to the Giants through the ranks of the Junior Giants and more recently the Castlereagh Spartans Ice Hockey Club, scored his first goal as a Giant on March 11th 2011, winning Man of the Match in that game against the Edinburgh Capitals. He is looking forward to next season:  ”I would like to thank everyone at the Giants for giving me this great opportunity. I saw last season how challenging it is to be a pro hockey player for the Giants. I will be training hard over the summer to be in the best shape possible. I feel very lucky and proud to be given this chance to play for the Giants. I am sure it will be a very successful season.”

Report from Giants website

 

TRIPLE RETURN FOR THE PANTHERS

14/04/2011

Nottingham Panthers are pleased to announce the return next season of bench coach Rick Strachan, forward Marc Levers and defenceman Steve Lee.

Coach Corey Neilson commented: “Both Stevie and Leves are going to be very important players with us next season. Stevie was playing hurt for many weeks of last season, and went straight onto the operating theatre bed after the final, but he just sucked it up and got on with his job for us. 

Marc was arguably the best defensive minded British forward in the league and that’s another key role. With the number of imports being set at one less than last year the importance of the British players cannot be over-emphasised.”

Meanwhile former GB coach Strachan is also back with the Panthers next season. He joined the coaching set-up part way through last season. Eventually, the season ended in successes in both the Challenge Cup and the Elite League Play-Offs.

Neilson, whose own return was announced last week, said today : “If it’s not broke why fix it. Rick fits in well with the set-up we got there in the end and Rick played a part in our spectacular finish to the season just finished.”

Strachan added: “It’s a big club with big ambitions. Last year was brilliant but everyone at the Panthers wants to build on those two successes and take the club forward.

“Last year wasn’t without its problems but the trick, as ever, is to learn and move forward. We got the best out of the players by the end of the campaign and we lifted not one but two trophies.

“Now the trick will be to hit the ground running at the start of the new season in September and keep the momentum going.”

Report from Panthers website

 

Captain Jono Returns

15/04/2011

Steelers today confirmed that their Captain, Jonathan Phillips had signed a new contract to remain with the club for a sixth season. Phillips has played 261 games for the Steeler since his arrival from Cardiff and as Captain has already lifted two league and two play off championships

“Jonathan Phillips is a Steeler” said coach Ryan Finnerty, “a great player, a great leader and a guy who came here some years ago with  vision to help create something really special, look at what he has helped this club achieve in his time, there is no way we wanted to lose a guy like him

“In players like those we have confirmed so far, Ashley, Hewey and Jono we are bringing back the core of the side, the heartbeat. Guy’s who know what the Steelers are all about and won’t let the high standards of the past fall. These guys know how to win, they no that you can’t take short cuts and that’s why I want them in the trenches with me

“Jonathan Phillips is a premium player in our league, until his knee injury he was on target for a career year. I know that if he is fit for the season he will recoup some of the goals we have lost in Robert Dowds absence. The thing I have found talking to Jono and the others is that they are so committed to the Steelers cause, they want what’s best for the club, for the team, and most importantly they want to win”

Report from Steelers website


Hirsch back with Blaze

12/04/2011

Coventry Plumbing and Heating Blaze can today confirm they have signed Denmark goaltender Peter Hirsch for the 2011/12 Elite League season.

The vastly-experienced 32-year-old returns to the Skydome for a second spell having backstopped Blaze to the title in 2009/2010 as well as being named in the First All-Star Team.

Hirsch split last season with Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL and Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

He will take over as the Blaze number one from Brett Jaeger, who has joined a team in Denmark for next season.


Report from Blaze website


DOUBLE-WINNING PANTHERS COACH WILL BE BACK NEXT SEASON

08/04/2011

Player-coach  Corey  Neilson  will  be  back  with  the  Nottingham  Panthers  for  season 2011-12.

Neilson led the team to success in the Challenge Cup AND the Play-Offs in the season just finished as the club enjoyed an amazing end to the campaign.

He’s already working on bringing some of the key players and personnel back for next season. 

Craig Kowalski had already been signed, David Clarke and Robert Lachowicz are back on the second half of their two-year deals and one or two other negotiations were also underway.

“I couldn’t wait to get started on the recruitment side of things. This is a great club, a great organisation and it’s the best place to be in the UK .

“We’re all learning every day of our working lives and some big lessons were taken on board during the last campaign. I don’t know if we can top that amazing run-in but everyone is determined to give it our best shot.

“It might seem strange to say there’s unfinished business when you’ve been a part in lifting two trophies but we always set the bar high here in Nottingham, the management wouldn’t have it any other way and neither would I,” said Corey today.


Report from Panthers website


FINNERTY REPLACES SIMON

08/04/2011

Sheffield Steelers are delighted to confirm the appointment of Ryan Finnerty as their player/coach for the 2011/12 Elite League season.

Finnerty is no stranger to Sheffield having joined the club midway through the 2006-7 season from Caldaro SG in Italy. He then extended his stay for a further two years helping the Steelers win the 2008 play-offs and the 2009 Elite League and play-off double.

 For the past two seasons, Finnerty applied his trade in Cardiff where, as captain, he led them to the 2011 play-off finals just last weekend.

 On confirming his appointment Finnerty said: "To be honest the last couple of days have been pretty surreal, this opportunity came out of the blue following Ben’s decision not to return. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

 ”Returning to Sheffield is also a fantastic step for me, I experienced some of the best times in my career with the Steelers and can’t see why we can’t achieve the same level of success again.

 ”I think the Steelers fans will like the style of hockey we will play next season, I guess it will mirror the style I have played my whole career. I want us to be aggressive, exciting and in your face.

 ”It’s a really busy time right now and I will be speaking with all of the players and assessing where they stand for next season.

 "I’m sure we will keep a core group of guys but naturally make some adjustments. In hockey you’re always chasing the edge and we will here with the Steelers.”

 Steelers owner Paul Ragan commented: "I couldn’t be happier to see Ryan taking this position. He is a perfect fit for us.

Report from EIHL website

 

Ben Simon Leaves the Steelers

06/04/2011

Head Coach Ben Simon has left the Sheffield Steelers. The club will make further comment on the coaching situation as the day goes on. The Steelers have tried long and hard to retain Ben’s services but were advised by Ben last night of his decision.

Today the Sheffield Star report as follows

BEN SIMON has quit Sheffield Steelers two days after the end of a season in which he delivered the Elite League title.

The highly-principled Player Coach felt the salary offered to him – the main slice in a reduced overall players’ budget – left too little room for the rest of his players.

Club owner Paul Ragan said the offer of personal terms had been a “strong package” – but added the club would not bust the wage cap…as it

had done at the beginning of the season. Simon could not be a “special case” he said.

The businessman said: “We worked very hard to try and retain his services and put a strong package forward to do the best we possibly can.

I know that Ben has aspirations back in north America. We are disappointed by it. I won’t hide that fact, but we respect his personal wishes.”

Ragan has already started casting the net for a replacement, although Steve Munn, who was initially offered the job last summer, is not on their list. Other candidates could include Ashley Tait or Ryan Finnerty.

Report from Steelers website

 

PANTHERS WIN PLAY-OFFS

03/04/2011

Cardiff Devils 4 Nottingham Panthers 5 

For the second year in a row, Cardiff ended up as the bridesmaids in the Play Off final. They lost out to Belfast last year and had the chance to get revenge over Nottingham who had beaten them in the 2007 final.

 Having taken an early two-goal lead and looking as though they were going to get the better of the Panthers for that 2007 loss, they gave up two goals in a four-minute spell in the third period for the Panthers to end any hopes the Devils had of revenge.

 It had all started so well for the team from the Welsh Capital as the league’s leading scorer Jon Pelle put them in front at 8.51. The Devils doubled their advantage at 11.30 with a goal from Craig Weller. The Panthers pulled one back at 14.03 as sniper David-Alexandre Beauregard was on hand to score.

 Inside the first minute of the second period, the Devils regained their two-goal lead as Ryan Finnerty struck home. However, the Panthers had reduced the leeway less than a minute later as Matthew Myers netted at 21.16.

 Just before the midway point Nottingham were back on level terms with a goal from Jeff Heerema at 29.10. It stayed that way until 38.02 when Brad Voth gave the Devils the lead back going into the third period.

 The Devils outshot the Panthers 2 to 1 in the third period but found goaltender Craig Kowalski in the form of his life as he turned away everything that was fired at him.

 This gave his teammates the fire in their bellies to get back on level terms at 44.50 with a goal from Billy Ryan. Then at 48.56 Panthers went in front for the first time in the game as Beauregard got his second goal of the game that also turned out to be the game winner.

 With the clock running down and with Cardiff desperate to find a goal to send the game into overtime they ran into penalty trouble with just over two minutes remaining. Scott Matzka received a minor penalty for elbows and a game misconduct.

 If that was not bad enough Ryan Finnerty was penalised with a minute to go to make it a uphill struggle for the Devils to get a leveller. Panthers seen out the last minute of play and started to celebrate a cup double.

 To end a disappointing day for the Devils bench coach Neil Francis received a match penalty at the end of the game.

 Period Scores: 2-1, 2-2, 0-2

Penalty Mins: Car 63 – Not 8

Powerplay: Car 0/4 - Not 0/4

Shots On: Stevie Lyle 25 – Craig Kowalski 44

Report from EIHL website

 

Hughes boost for Dundee Stars

01/04/2011

Dundee CCS Stars were given a massive boost as they prepare for the new season when assistant player/coach Brent Hughes signed on for another year with the Taysiders.

Hughes, who signed from Newcastle Vipers at the beginning of last season, has been in outstanding form throughout a campaign that saw Stars qualify for a play-off spot in their first season of Elite League hockey. Even when out with a broken shoulder towards the end of the season, the young Canadian was an inspiration to his team from the bench.

Coach Dan Ceman was delighted that his number two has decided to stay on and said, "Brent was a leader on and off the ice this past season and his passion and commitment was an outstanding example to all the players. It's been a pleasure working with him and it's exciting to get his signature on the paper and make plans with him for the new campaign."


Report from Stars website


Bruce Richardson is back!

31/03/2011

Braehead Clan are delighted to announce that they have reached an agreement with Bruce Richardson for him to re-sign and take the role to be the Clan Player Coach for season 2011/12!

The Player Coach has been the forefront of the newest Ice Hockey team in the League for their first season and he wants to come back and do it all over again. 

Richardson has had a great season at the Clan personally aswell as team success. He has just recently been awarded Ice Hockey Journalists UK’s Coach of the Year and is also up for Coach of the Year at the Elite League Awards in Nottingham this weekend. 

An award that he has every chance of getting..after helping to grow the Clan team from strength to strength in what has been their inaugural season his hard work certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The season was a successful one for the team as a whole too; finishing 5th in the League and winning the Aladdin 20-20 Cup whilst playing the last home game in front of over 2500 fans. 

The Clan management have already set their sights on what they want to achieve next season and it’s basically to be bigger and better! Both Bruce and the Clan Management are targeting a top four finish in the League, a 3000+ crowd at their home games at Braehead Arena and a place in the Play Off Finals Weekend in 2012.

Report from Clans website

 

FUSSEY BACK IN COVENTRY

30/03/2011

Coventry Plumbing and Heating Blaze are pleased to announce Canadian forward Owen Fussey has re-signed for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 27-year-old, signed last summer from Edinburgh Capitals, was the team’s leading scorer when he tore his medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament in December. 

Fussey posted 39 points (24 goals and 15 assists) in 34 games and still finished the team’s third-highest goalscorer despite missing half of the season.             

Coach Paul Thompson said: “I am absolutely delighted Owen is back with us next season. To say we missed him is a huge understatement. 

“He was brought in to be a franchise player and he was well on course to get 40-plus goals before his horrible injury.

Report from EIHL website

K-wall back next season

29/03/2011

Top netminder Craig Kowalski has put pen to paper with the GMB Panthers for next season.

The American has agreed terms for next season and said today : “Why would I want to play anywhere else in this country, a top club, great fans, a great city and a great organisation. We’ve won one championship already this season and this weekend we’re gunning for a second, I want to do my best for Nottingham at the finals weekend this week and again next season. I love it here.”

Kowalski, known as Killer or K-wall, has impressive numbers this year. His absence through injury was hard felt by the team around Christmas time.

He’s a proven game winner and has made a long line of highlight reel saves for the GMB Panthers this season.

GMB Panthers coach Corey Neilson said: “He’s good, he’s a momentum changer, a game winner, he’s had a tremendous debut season in our league and that’s something to build on in the future.”

A club spokeswoman added: “We’re pretty sure the other clubs have been or would be sniffing round. It amazes us that Craig isn’t in the running for netminder of the year at the Elite League awards, the other coaches nominate the best players and there’s even a conspiracy theory that they didn’t vote for Killer because they wanted to stir the pot to try to sign him. We don’t believe that theory but we’re confident we’ve got a fans’ favourite, a game winner, and he’s a netminder that the defence can be confident in game in, game out.

“Craig’s tasted success with the Challenge Cup win and he’s hungry for more.”

Report from Panthers website

 

RAGAN ISSUES APOLOGY

21/03/2011

Paul Ragan, CEO of Rinkcorp who own both Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils, would like to make a formal apology to both Nottingham and the Elite League for Mr Simms' comments last night (Sunday) made during the post-match celebrations.

Ragan said, “I have spoken with David this morning, who is deeply apologetic. He is very aware that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in a family sport, and although friendly banter is fine, our friends from Nottingham do not deserve that type of treatment.

“In short, David let his emotions get the better of him, and he fully understands that this type of behavior does not assist matters when the Sheffield Steelers and Elite League are working so hard to improve its own corporate image around the world.”

Ragan confirmed that he was satisfied that no further action will be taken by him, the board or the club.

Report from EIHL website


ELITE LEAGUE STATEMENT

21/03/2011

The Elite League would like to issue the following statement following comments made by Sheffield Steelers announcer David Simms at the end of their game with Braehead Clan on Sunday 20th March 2011…

“The Elite League is investigating alleged comments made by David Simms towards the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey club following Sheffield Steelers’ game with Braehead Clan yesterday (Sunday 20th March 2011).

“There is no place for such comments in a family sport and the Elite League is taking the matter very seriously and will issue a further statement in due course.”

Report from EIHL website

 

CARLSON HANGS UP SKATES

21/03/2011

The end of this season will mark the end of an era for Coventry Plumbing and Heating Blaze as one of the club's all-time greats hangs up his skates for good.

American forward Dan Carlson, 31, is returning home after six incredible seasons in Coventry and all Blaze fans are being asked to give him a fantastic send-off as he takes to the ice for the final time at the Skydome on Sunday when Blaze play the second leg of their Elite League play-off quarter-final against Belfast Giants.

Report from EIHL website

 

STEELERS ARE CHAMPIONS

20/03/2011

Sheffield Steelers have secured their third Elite League title in the tournmanent's eight-year history with a final-day victory over the Braehead Clan.

Steelers won 7-2 at the Sheffield Arena to finish on 87 points from 54 matches and pip Cardiff Devils to the title on regulation-time wins.

Belfast Giants, who were beaten in midweek by Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup final, finish in third place.

Report from EIHL website

 

IT'5 D DAY!

20/03/2011

The most exciting ever Elite League title-race has gone down to the final day of the regular season. Sheffield Steelers, Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants all have a chance of winning the 2010/11 title and a thrilling final day is in store. 

Sheffield have 85 points, as do Cardiff but the Steelers are ahead on regulation time wins, with Belfast a point behind on 84 points. Steelers host Braehead, Cardiff go to Edinburgh and Belfast are in Coventry. All games face-off at 6pm

Report from EIHL website

 

Tendler commits to Stingrays

18/03/2011

Hull Stingrays are delighted to announce Jereme Tendler has agreed to return for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The Canadian forward has enjoyed a stunning first year at Hull Arena and is the team’s leading scorer having posted 75 points (47 goals and 28 assists) from 57 games.

His efforts have been recognised after he was short-listed for the Elite League's Newcomer of the Year award.

The 27-year-old has scored a club-high 47 goals this season, has hit four hat-tricks, notched 15 powerplay markers and has a league-record 11 short-handed strikes as well as eight game-winning goals.

Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, who has also committed for next season, said: “It is a big signing for the club.

“Jereme is one of the best goalscorers in the Elite League and he will help us move forward and build on what we have achieved this year.

“I am extremely happy to have him back next year. I want to build the team around him and give him a supporting cast.

“He scores goals but he gives the team more than that. He works really hard, is a great penalty killer and has a solid all-round game.

“Jereme has had a phenomenal season for us and his efforts quite rightly have been recognised by his nomination for the newcomer award.

“He was happy to come back. He was grateful to me for giving him the chance to come here and it shows he is loyal to me, loyal to the club and loyal to the fans. He has shown his commitment to Hull and it proves what a great place Hull is to play hockey.

Report from Stingrays website

 

PANTHERS WIN CHALLENGE CUP

16/03/2011

A Stunning team effort see’s Panthers lift the challenge Cup in Belfast on Wednesday night.

Panthers went 2-0 down in the first period until Galbraith forced one home with the important go ahead goal in the 2nd period. Panthers then defended brilliantly to win the cup by a 4-3 aggregate score.

Challenge Cup Final 2nd leg:

Belfast Giants 2-1 Nottingham Panthers (3-4 agg)

A second period strike by Jade Galbraith was enough to give battling Panthers their third Challenge Cup success in four years, with a single-goal aggregate win over Giants at the Odyssey Arena.

Nottingham were dealt a blow as Stevie Lee failed a fitness test but Jeff Heerema was passed fit. Panthers were also without long-term absentee Daniel Tkaczuk and Belfast were at full strength.

Period Scores: 2-0, 0-1, 0-0

Penalty Mins: Bel 12 – Not 18

Powerplay: Bel 1/7 – Not 0/4

Shots On: Stephen Murphy 26 – Craig Kowalski 29

Referee: Tom Darnell

Report from EIHL website


CLOUTIER BACK WITH HULL

10/03/2011

Hull Stingrays are delighted to announce Sylvain Cloutier has agreed to return as player-coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the 2011/12 Elite League campaign.

The 37-year-old Canadian, a third-round draft pick by Detroit Red Wings in 1992, has made significant strides forward during his two years at Hull Arena. 

An injury-hit first season resulted in Stingrays finishing bottom despite a late push before losing to league champions Coventry Blaze in the play-off quarter-finals. 

Then due to last summer's uncertainty, Cloutier had to practically put two teams together but has responded by leading the club to a top-eight finish. 

Stingrays have played some entertaining hockey along the way and there is a strong belief in the camp they can progress to the Final Four weekend in Nottingham. 

Cloutier said: "I am extremely excited about coming back again next year and building on what we have achieved in the last two years. 

"The organisation wanted me back and I wanted to come back. My family and I love Hull and the area and we are enjoying our time here. 

"With the new management taking over, we have made a big improvement this year and there is a lot to look forward to. 

"The new ownership here wants to make Hull Stingrays as successful as they can be and the programme is going in the right direction both on and off the ice.  

“We share the same vision for the club and that has led to a very good working relationship." 

Cloutier also confirmed next season, his 19th as a professional, will see him continue to play as much of a part on the ice as off it. 

THe added: "I will certainly play as well next year. I have felt really good this season, I have got my legs going again and I have made more of a contribution to the team. 

Report from EIHL website

 

CEMAN BACK WITH STARS

03/03/2011

Dundee CCS Stars have announced that Head Coach, Dan Ceman has committed his future to the club and will lead Stars into next season's Elite League campaign.

In his rookie season as a coach Ceman, after losing the first 15 games, has turned things around for the Taysiders and Stars are now within striking distance of securing a play-off place.

Speaking from Stars' Player of the Year Awards Dinner last night, director Stephen Ward was delighted to announce to the fans present that Dan had accepted a new contract for next season. 

Ward said: "It's been a great night for us at Dundee CCS Stars' Player Awards Dinner and to top it all we were able to announce that Dan Ceman has agreed to be the player/coach again for next season. 

"We believe that Dan has done a fantastic job for the club on and off the ice with total professionalism 100% of the time and we are pleased to have him at the helm of the club. We have been in negotiations with Dan for the last couple of weeks and we are delighted he has agreed to continue in his role and to take the club forward. 

"The fans here tonight reacted very positively to that announcement when it was made at the end of the awards ceremony. We are now looking to build on our first season in the Elite League and there are many positives to take forward and I know that Dan will be looking to make recruitment one of his priorities. 

"However we are still focused on what we still have to do this season and we will show complete professionalism as the players continue to progress as far as they can in the remaining games." 

A happy Dan Ceman added: "It's an honour to be coming back next season. The Ward brothers gave me the opportunity to become a first year coach and I've enjoyed every minute of it through the ups and the downs this year. 

"To have the opportunity next year to continue to build this club is one that I'm very honoured to have and although I'm excited about what we've got to do for next season we have games to win, excitement to build to finish this season as successfully as we can."

Report from EIHL website

 

Capitals get their Jan

01/02/2011

Edinburgh Capitals today confirmed that the ITC clearance for Czech D man Jan Safar has come through in time and Jan will make his debut on Saturday when the Capitals face Hull Stingrays.

Report from Capitals website

 

Giants Bolster Lineup On Deadline Day

31/01/2011

Belfast Giants waited to the eleventh hour on the day of the signing deadline to make their move and now they are pleased to confirm the signing of Kaspars Astasenko for the remainder of the 2010-11 season.

Latvian defenceman Astasenko, has extensive experience in American and European leagues, and played 23 games in the NHL for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Coach Doug Christiansen is excited to bring Astasenko to Belfast:

“Kaspars comes to us very highly recommended. He played in Ritten, Italy, where I played before and two seasons ago he led all defenceman in league scoring. He has had a number fantastic seasons, including playing in the NHL and the Olympic Games.  I really like our defence core at the minute and Kaspars will be adding to it. We will be looking for him to add depth, experience and skill. This will also allow us to move Mike Hoffman to forward on occasion as well.

“Tim Cook is still suffering from injury and will not be playing this weekend. We originally hoped he would be back sooner but the longer he is out the more concerned the medical staff is of a delayed return.  It is expected that Astasenko will be in our line-up Saturday against Cardiff.

“I am very excited about having a full line-up of import players for only the 8th time this season, particularly because this is the biggest game of the year so far.”

The Giants face the Cardiff Devils on Saturday, February 5th in the Odyssey Arena. The game counts towards league standings as well as the first leg of the Challenge Cup Semi-Final.

Report from Giants website

 

LONG TIME TARGET HEADS FOR NOTTINGHAM

31/01/2011

Nottingham Panthers are set to link up with long time target, stay at home defenceman Jeremy Van Hoof.

The 29-year-old Canadian, who also carries a Dutch passport was most recently part of the seven man import rotation system at Guildford in the EPL having arrived there just a couple of weeks ago.

He was a summer target of GMB Panthers coach Corey Neilson and was again on his radar earlier this season. The arrival of the player's first born got in the way on both occasions but now he's left Guildford to play alongside his former team mate from Pensacola in the East Coast League where the pair played together in season 2003-4.

Van Hoof has TWICE been drafted in the NHL by Tampa Bay in 2001 having previously been drafted by Pittsburgh in 1999.

He's played 340 games in the East Coast and has also patrolled the blueline Italy and Asia. He's been keeping fit with a stint in a semi-pro league back home, playing alongside the likes of Dan Tessier.

"I know what we're getting and I have wanted him to join us both earlier this season and a couple of years ago but the team in Asia came in with a big money offer, finally we get our man, he'll be good for us and will be solid at the back," said coach Corey Neilson today.

GMB Panthers are now back to full strength after booking their place in the cup final without Jon Zion who was released last week.

Report from Panthers website

 

Capitals await ITC clearance on Czech D

31/01/2011

Edinburgh Capitals are awaiting clearance of Czech D man Jan Safar and hope to have clearance in time for tonights deadline.  The Capitals would like to thank the HYS the Hague management for their help in securing Jan for the Capitals.

The Elite league deadline is the 15th of February and it is hoped we can add a forward before this date from players currently in the UK.

Report from Capitals website

 

PANTHERS PART COMPANY WITH ZION

28/01/2011

Defenceman Jonathon Zion is leaving the Nottingham Panthers after his contract was terminated.
 
The club would like to thank him for his efforts this season and wish him well in the future.
 
Team results and performances haven’t gone as everyone would have liked this year and it was felt a shake-up was needed.
 
Coach Corey Neilson is searching for a replacement as the signing deadline looms but we are confident that there is enough talent on the roster to do well and with the right attitude the players can bring the pride and passion that is shared behind the scenes by the management and by the magnificent fans in the stands on to the ice.
 
 That message was hammered home to the players this week ahead of the second leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final against Newcastle. The Vipers take a shock one goal lead (4-3) into the second leg which is on Sunday at 5pm at the Capital FM Arena.
 
If they didn’t know already, the players have been told how deep the hurt is for fans and management after the latest league defeat in Braehead and a cup defeat against lowly Newcastle in the cup.

Hopefully Sunday in the cup sees a springboard for a bright end to the season.

Report from Panthers website

 

Woooooooooooosh - He's back

27/01/2011

The cries of 'Wooooooosh Paddy Lochi' are set to return to Dundee Ice Arena as Dundee Stars announce the signing of former fans' favourite, Patric Lochi for the remainder of the season. Patric, an Italian International, was an important member of Stars' BNL side that swept all before them in season 2001/02.

He played with the club for four seasons during which time he met and married a local girl and now owns an Italian restaurant in the city. Still only thirty-three years of age, Patric has undergone an intensive fitness programme and is in good physical condition.

Lochi joined Stars from the now defunct Ayr Scottish Eagles and played with the Ayrshire club in the ISL, a forerunner of the current Elite League. Known as one of the fastest skaters in the league at the time, Patric, during his four seasons with Stars, amassed 133 goals and 102 assists for the club.

Coach Dan Ceman said of the signing, 'It's a good signing as it gives us more options and more depth to the roster. Going into the business end of the season there is always the chance that we will pick up injuries or suspensions so this now means we have more cover. It will take Paddy time to get up to match fitness so he won't take part in any of this weekend's games.'

Report from Stars website

 

DOWN TO THE FINAL FOUR

20/01/2011

Following the competition of the group stages of the 2010/11 Challenge Cup, the semi-final line-up has been confirmed.

Last season’s winners Nottingham Panthers will face Newcastle Vipers and last season’s play-off champions Belfast Giants go head-to-head with Cardiff Devils.

Vipers will host Panthers on Wednesday 26th January in the first leg at 7pm, with the return in Nottingham on Sunday 30th January with a 5pm start (this game doubles up as a league encounter). 

Please note this face-off time is an hour later than usual for a Nottingham home match on a Sunday, to avoid a clash with the FA Cup fourth-round match between Notts County and Manchester City. 

Belfast will entertain Cardiff on Saturday 5th February in Northern Ireland at 7pm (this also doubles up as a league game), and the second leg takes place in Wales on Wednesday 16th February with a 7.30pm face-off.

Report from EIHL website

 

TKACZUK SIGNS FOR PANTHERS

19/01/2011

Nottingham Panthers have signed first round NHL draft pick Daniel Tkaczuk until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has just left Dornbirn in Austria and comes to Nottingham with an impressive resume that includes being a first round draft pick – sixth overall.

A centre who shoots left, Daniel played 19 games in the NHL for the Calgary Flames who drafted him in 1997. His career has been mostly at the very high AHL level with teams like St Johns, Worcester, Bridgeport.

He then went to Scandanavia and Italy (where he played for Milan against the Panthers in the Continental Cup).

He has also played at the prestigious DEL level in German with Ingolstadt and Duisburg.

Last year he had a full season with a point a game for Charlotte in the East Coast Hockey League but he also had short spells at three AHL teams again – Syracuse, Rochester and Hartford.

GMB Panthers’ coach Corey Neilson has been working with his management team around the clock to complete the signing of the new player : "I like just about everything I hear about Daniel, he could be a perfect fit for us, we need a guy who can win the draw for us, a left-handed centre could make a big difference to what we do out on the ice.

"His pedigree speaks for itself. When Jeff Heerema joined people were scratching their heads trying to think if there’d ever been a higher draft pick come to our league. Jeff was an eleventh pick overall, now we have Daniel who was a sixth pick overall."

Flights and paperwork were being worked on again overnight and Tzaczuk should definitely be in the line-up by the weekend when the Hull Stingrays visit Nottingham for a vital Elite League game.

Report from Panthers website

 

The Sheriff has gone but The Marshall is back

10/01/2011

Dundee Stars may have lost a 'Sheriff' when they released Sean McMorrow earlier this season but now they have a 'Marshall' among their ranks. Today the club have announced the signing of Canadian defenceman, Jeff Marshall who has returned to Scotland after a spell back home in Canada.

Marshall, who married a local girl, first signed for Stars in season 2004/2005 from CHL side Amarillo Gorillas and quickly became a favourite with the Dundee fans. He was part of the team that won the British National League Play-offs in the final season of that competition.

After the demise of the BNL, Jeff moved onto Edinburgh Capitals and spent one season with them, playing his hockey in the Elite League. He returned to Stars for the following season, playing in the Northern League and Celtic League. Jeff flew back to Canada at the end of last season following the death of his father and has been playing his hockey in one of the Canadian Leagues. With his wife expecting a child in February, he has come back to Scotland and was then quickly signed up by coach Dan Ceman for Stars.

Jeff commented, 'It's great to be back with Stars, especially to have the chance to play at this level. Since the BNL ceased I always wanted to be part of a Stars' team that played in the Elite League and now I have that chance. The way things have worked out for me meant I missed the start of the season but now I'm back here with Lisa I am looking forward to playing for the club again. I would also like to thank the fans for the welcome I have received since returning to Scotland. It means a lot to me.'

Dan Ceman added, 'Jeff's arrival is a big boost to our defensive unit. I've heard a lot of great things about him, he is well liked by his team-mates and by the fans. I know he is great in the locker room so he will be a big asset to us both on and off the ice.'

If the necessary paperwork is completed in time then Marshall will debut in the Elite League fixture against Hull Stingrays in Yorkshire on Wednesday night
.

Report from Stars website

 

Penner Quits Panthers

09/01/2011

PANTHERS ARE ON THE RECRUITMENT TRAIL

The coaching staff are stepping up their search for new talent in the wake of Alex Penner handing in his notice to the club.

The reknown tough-guy will be fondly remembered for his battles in the club colours.

Alex gave the club his two week's notice after Friday's home defeat by Belfast, citing the fact that "there's no-one left to fight in the Elite League".

He was in the Panthers roster again on Saturday night for the visit of Cardiff but the club won't stand in anyone's way who wants to leave.

We understand he has a team lined up in Colorado and we wish him well and thank him for helping to entertain the crowds this season. The club has been carrying an extra import and a decision on who plays on Sunday away to Hull will be made later.

Ian McDonald was sick this week and hasn't been able to train.

Meanwhile the coaching staff who were already on the look-out to make a signing before the deadline at the end of the month are hoping to identify a new recruit sooner rather than later.

Report from Panthers website

 

Taylor & Perreault request release

07/01/2011

Edinburgh Capitals have today been rocked by the news that the North American pair of Adam Taylor and Jacques Perreault have asked to be released from their contracts. The duo become the latest players to depart Murrayfield following in the footsteps of Chris St Jacques, Alex Kim and last week David Lomas.

Capitals General Manager Scott Neil is bitterly disappointed to be losing further players but confirmed the club is working hard to find replacements.

 

“After losing St Jacques, Kim and Lomas this has come as a major blow” said Neil. “We did say that we won’t stand in anyone’s way if they wanted to move on from the club, but at the same time it’s very disappointing to lose two integral team players. I would like to wish Adam and Jacques all the best in their future endeavors and thank them for their time with the Edinburgh Capitals.

“We are working hard to try and bolster the team with a number of signings, and have contacted a number of agents and players to see what is available to us for the remainder of the season.”

 

Both Adam Taylor and Jacques Perreault are released with immediate effect and will not ice in this weekend’s Elite League schedule.

Report from BIH website

 

STRACHS JOINS THE STAFF

30/12/2010

The home penalty shoot-out defeat to the Braehead Clan on Wednesday sparked a quickfire reaction behind the scenes at the GMB Nottingham Panthers with the addition to the coaching staff of former Great Britain coach and a former Panthers' player, Rick Strachan as assistant coach.

Strachan will work with player coach Corey Neilson at training and will replace Davie Graham behind the bench at matches.
The GMB Panthers would like to place on record its thanks to Davie for his efforts to help the team this season.

Netminder Kevin St Pierre who flew in to cover for injured starting goalie Craig Kowalski has also finished his stint with the club and has flown back to his family in America . Again we’d like to thank him for dropping everything and leaving his family over the holidays to re-join the line-up on a temporary basis. Kowalski is now fit again and rejoins the line-up on Sunday for the New Year’s bash with the Dundee Stars at the arena in Nottingham (4pm).

The game will also see Strachan behind the bench for the first time. He’s been keeping a close eye on the team throughout the season and has seen all but one home game, mostly as part of the club’s DVD commentary team.

He said today : “There’s a lot of talent to work with here, it’s a great club and a big club. I’ll be working with player-coach Corey Neilson and we’re planning to get the confidence back, there’s not a lot wrong.”

Strachan was at training today with the players and the coach and added he's thrilled to be back in the mainstream of the sport.

Chairman Neil Black said: "We're in a results based business. We had two huge crowds across Christmas and we didn't give them a win to cheer. The return of the league’s best goalie will make a difference and now, we‘ve added Rick to the coaching staff too and we're all very positive about his inclusion in our plans for the rest of the current season."

Player-coach Corey Neilson added : “Rick has a lot of experience at club level as well as at international level, we’re looking forward to working together and with a new year looming it’s a new start for the team.”

Report from Panthers website

 

SIMON TO REMAIN A STEELER

24/12/2010

Sheffield Steelers new owner Paul Ragan and player-coach Ben Simon have quickly come to a mutual understanding that will see Simon return to the club for the 2011/12 season. 

Simon, who previously played 81 NHL games as well as 469 in the American Hockey League, has been well received by all Steelers staff, players and fans since arriving at the Motorpoint Arena club in August. 

New owner Paul Ragan today confirmed: "I have spoken with Ben and told him that I want him as my first signing for next year. I've been very impressed with him both on and off the ice this season. His is a quality player but more so a quality leader and individual. I want Ben to mould a Steelers team on his vision and work ethic. 

"Whilst we haven't sat down and signed pieces of paper both Ben and I have agreed that the Steelers is where Ben will be next year. We need stability here and knowing right now that we have Ben Simon as our coach for a minimum of the next season and a half is fantastic news for all of us at the club whether that be as an owner or as a supporter." 

Simon who has already scored 12 goals and 21 assist this season said: "I've spoken with the new owners and they seem very happy with the job I am doing which is always nice to know. Of course I'm delighted that they want me to return. I've told them that I'm happy to do so and after the holiday period we will sit down properly and move forward."

Report from EIHL website

 

NEW OWNER FOR STEELERS

22/12/2010

Paul Ragan, Chief Executive Officer and owner of the Elite Ice Hockey league’s Cardiff Devils, has today finalised acquiring the rights to the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club from the Phillips family.

Successful businessman Ragan became known on a national level after featuring twice on the Channel 4 programme “The Secret Millionaire”, when he went undercover to find worthy families to help and support in Derby.

Steelers General Manager Maraini Phillips said, “There has been an enormous amount of hard work put in by the team here, particularly for the upcoming Boxing Day game. Ticket sales are already in excess of 4,500 and for the club to have a fresh start this is the best possible time to do the hand over.”

“I would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters and players who have given me and the team their full support as we worked to make the business a success” she continues, “and I would particularly like to thank Head Coach Ben Simon for his hard work, dedication and support.”

Ragan and his team have been in lengthy meetings in Sheffield for the past 48 hours reading reports, analysing financial information and negotiating for the future.

Said Ragan: “Sheffield Steelers, much like the Devils, have enjoyed mammoth success in the British game and my intention is to provide this great club with the organisation and commercial processes it needs to return to the glory days.

 “I am an entrepreneur at heart and my speciality is acquisition, fast growth and returning companies to profit” said Ragan. “My focus at Cardiff has been to stabilise, structure and develop the commercial side of the business whilst giving our Head Coach the best possible chance to bring on-ice success to the club.”

The management team of the Devils, under Ragan, has transformed the business of the club and combined with majestic performances on the ice the goal of Ragan to restore the Devils to being Wales’s most successful professional sports team is in sight.

The 2010-11 season has seen moves similar to this already, with Nottingham Panthers owner Neil Black setting up the new Braehead EIHL franchise in Glasgow, and a consortium of the Coventry Blaze management taking over the Hull Stingrays.

“Since becoming involved in British Ice Hockey through the Devils I have become aware of the passion, pride and power of the fans and the clubs they follow. The ability for a group of committed hockey fans to support a business; to roar a team to victory; to drive them to improve the club as a whole has impressed me and this is an area in which I know the Steelers can excel.”

“We have worked hard, we will work harder to keep improving in Cardiff and use those skills in both locations, albeit we will be looking for some fresh new blood in Sheffield to assist promote the club.

Report from EIHL website

 

ELITE LEAGUE DISCIPLINE

08/12/2010

The Elite League disciplinary committee has reviewed the video of the match between Coventry Blaze and Nottingham Panthers on Saturday 4th December 2010 at the Skydome. The following penalties will apply in relation to the bench clearance brawl in the second period.

Brad Cruikshank (Coventry Blaze): 9 matches

Cruikshank was awarded two match penalties on the night, one for obscene gestures and one for excessive roughness. As per Elite League suspension tariffs, an additional one-match penalty is added to both offences to total four matches.

He has also been handed a five-match ban for leaving the linesman to run the Nottingham Panthers netminder Craig Kowalski after being thrown out of the game. Cruikshank will serve a total of nine games (one of which has already been served). 

Aaron Nell (Coventry Blaze): 1 match

Nell has been handed a one-match ban for leaving the penalty box to join an altercation. 

Paul Thompson (Coventry Blaze head coach): 2 matches

Paul Thompson receives a two-match ban as per sundry penalties in the Elite League rules in the event of a bench clearance.

 Jade Galbraith (Nottingham Panthers): 1 match

Galbraith has been handed a one-match ban for leaving the penalty box to join an altercation. 

David Graham (Nottingham Panthers bench coach): 3 matches

David Graham received a match penalty for failure to control the bench on the night, and an additional two as per sundry penalties in the Elite League rules in the event of a bench clearance. Graham in total receives a three-match ban (one of which has already been served). 

Marc Levers (Nottingham Panthers): 1 match

Levers has been handed a one-match ban for leaving the penalty box to join an altercation. 

Danny Meyers (Nottingham Panthers): 7 matches

Meyers was handed a one-match ban for excessive rough play and as per Elite League suspension tariffs, an additional one-match penalty is added to the offence.

After the supplementary discipline review, Meyers has been handed an extra five-match ban for a blindside hit on Coventry netminder Brett Jaeger and will serve a total of seven matches. 

Alex Penner (Nottingham Panthers): 5 matches

Penner was handed a match penalty for leaving the penalty box to join an altercation. He was also handed a match penalty for fighting and, as Elite League suspension tariffs, an additional one-match penalty is added to the offence.

After the supplementary discipline review, Penner has been handed an extra two-match ban for having another altercation after the incidents had stopped. Penner will serve a five-match ban (one of which has already been served).

Report from EIHL website

 

KSP ANSWERS SOS CALL FROM THE PANTHERS

06/12/2010

Challenge Cup winning goalie Kevin St Pierre flies to the UK tomorrow to ease the loss of injured starting netminder Craig Kowalski.

 The GMB Panthers coach and office staff have worked flat out today in a bid to find cover for the injured Kowalski.

A club spokeswoman said: “We’re all disappointed with the way Craig was injured, especially as he was clearly the best goalie in the league on recent form, but the management of this club will do everything in its power to give the coaching and playing staff every possible resource in their quest for silverware whatever the tactics of opponents and the outcome of those tactics. Our fans deserve that.

“The medical team have set themselves a target of getting K-wall back as soon as possible, that’s a given, but it could be three weeks at best.

“In the meantime potential replacements made up a short-list of around half-a-dozen candidates including a Latvian, a couple of Swedes and a Finn but Kevin was first choice and he started packing his bags as soon as contact was made.”

Coach Corey Neilson said today : “After the weekend we went through this is great news. We all know what to expect from Kevin. He knows our rink and the opponents’ rinks. He’s ready to jump straight into the line-up and he’s itching to get back here. He’s made a commitment to provide cover until Killer is fit again, it was a big ask given he is leaving his family in North America at this time of year but he didn’t hesitate. He was a class act, is a class act and I’m sure he will be a class act on the ice for us again.

“Meanwhile I can’t say enough about back-up Dan Green he did everything I expected of him over the weekend and certainly wasn’t to blame for points dropped.

“With the arrival of new signing and ex-NHL-er Jeff Heerema this week too we’re still in with a big shout in all competitions and it is little wonder that others try to ruffle our feathers one way or another.

“We’re a big organisation with big ambitions and every time the owner, management and staff is tested they come through for the fans!”

Report from Panthers website

 

Giants Sign Simon Lambert

03/12/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of 27 year old forward Simon Lambert who joins the Giants from Olofstroms in Swedish Division 1.

Lambert joins Coach Doug Christiansen in Belfast after playing for him last season in Edinburgh with the Capitals. Last season, Lambert led the Capitals in scoring with 34 goals and 88 points in 64 games. He finished 4th in the overall Elite League scoring charts last year.

Giants Head Coach Doug Christiansen believes Simon Lambert will make an immediate impact on the Elite League and will give the Giants a player that makes things happen every time he steps on the ice.

“Simon gives us another weapon. He is lightning fast; I think he might be the fastest player I have ever played with or against. He is also a tireless worker who can definitely score. He puts opposing defencemen under pressure with his skating ability alone.”

“He had a break-out season last year finishing 4th in the EIHL in scoring and is coming to Belfast looking to improve our team, which I think he does immediately.”

Simon Lambert is looking forward to joining the Giants and to the potential of playing for a team that is gunning for silverware this season.

“All season I was following the progress of the Giants through Doug, Garside and Welch,” said Lambert. “I was very impressed with what they accomplished so far this year.”

“When my situation this season was not what I expected it to be, I contacted Doug to talk about where I was standing and what his plans were for the team. It was not too long before we got to an agreement. What the Giants have to offer at this point fits me perfectly and I am really excited to join a team at the top of the standings.”

Lambert flies in Friday afternoon and is expected to play both games this weekend in the away double header against his old team the Edinburgh Capitals.

Report from Giants website

 

PANTHERS SIGN NHLer

29/11/2010

Christmas comes early for Panthers fans

Nottingham Panthers have signed NHL first round draft pick Jeff Heerema.

The 30-year-old Canadian forward could be in the line-up as early as this weekend. He’s signed a contract for the rest of the current season and comes to Nottingham after a year in Austria ’s top flight last season.

Before that he had two successful seasons in the DEL in Germany , another top European League and before that he was playing in the highly regarded AHL for six seasons.

The six feet two inch forward's impressive resume includes two stints “in the show” where he played for Carolina who drafted him 11th overall in 1998 and also for St Louis .

Panthers’ coach Corey Neilson said today : “A guy with Jeff’s resume would be an asset to any team in our league, patience is a virtue and we have been looking for the right kind of player to add to the roster for a few weeks. We already had a full quota of imports so there was no need to panic buy and we’ve added a player who we’re sure will be a fans’ favourite.

“He has great numbers in some of the top leagues, he played in the NHL just a few years ago and he will be a scoring threat. Teams have been paying attention to our snipers in recent games, now they have someone else to worry about as well.”

Heerema was wanted elsewhere in the Elite League but the GMB Panthers today paid tribute to the professional way another, unnamed, club conducted themselves after they joined the hunt late in the chase.

 For the time being at least, no-one will be leaving the Panthers and the arrival of a player of Heerema’s pedigree is being seen as an early Christmas present for the biggest fan base in the league, who, if all goes to plan will have their first chance to see Jeff Heerema in action this coming Sunday in a game sponsored by CSI Ltd, against the Hull Stingrays.

Report from Panthers website

 

BLAZE MISS OUT

28/11/2010

Coventry Blaze 3-7 Rouen (France)

Coventry Blaze’s hopes of reaching the Super Final of the Continental Cup came to an end following a 7-3 defeat to hosts Rouen Dragons in the final-game decider. 

Blaze had won their first two Group D games 6-1 against Latvian champions Liepajas Metalurgs and Polish side Cracovia Krakow. 

But they came up short against the Dragons, who punished Blaze with four powerplay goals and two short-handed strikes. 

Powerplay markers from Francois Pierre Guenette and Calle Bergstrom put Rouen two up inside 13 minutes before Russell Cowley pulled one back for Blaze. 

Guenette claimed his second of the night but Sean Selmser ensured Coventry went into the first interval just one goal down. 

Blaze suffered a double setback in the second period as short-handed markers from Jonathan Janil and Marc Andre Thinel stretched Rouen’s lead to three. 

Captain Jonathan Weaver, with the third short-handed strike of the period, again got Blaze back into the contest but Julien Desrosiers (powerplay) restored Rouen’s three-goal cushion. 

Jens Olsson then scored Rouen’s fourth powerplay goal of the night with 10 minutes left as the Blaze dream ended. 

Coach Paul Thompson said: “I am really disappointed. We took selfish, undisciplined penalties and we have been banging the drum about penalties for the last two weeks. Also, some of my top players did not show up. 

“Five on five they were not a threat. But their powerplay was better than ours and they had a higher skill level so when they have five-on-threes, they are going to make it count. 

“I thought this year was our best opportunity we have had to succeed in this competition but they capitalised on the opportunities we gave them. We handed it to them.”

Report from EIHL website


TWO IN TWO FOR BLAZE

27/11/2010

Coventry Blaze 6-1 Cracovia Krakow (Poland)

British youngster Aaron Nell scored twice as Coventry Blaze registered a 6-1 victory over Polish side Cracovia Krakow in their second Continental Cup third-round group match in France. 

Blaze, who opened Group D with a 6-1 triumph over Latvian champions Liepajas Metalurgs yesterday, took the lead in the eighth minute through Luke Fulghum but were pegged back when Leszek Laszkiewicz netted a short-handed marker for the Poles. 

Nell put Blaze back in front and Russ Cowley stretched their advantage before Dan Carlson grabbed a vital fourth with just a second of the middle session remaining. 

Owen Fussey, on the back of his hat-trick against Liepajas, notched his fourth of the tournament in the 52nd minute and Nell rounded off the scoring two minutes from time. 

Coach Paul Thompson said: “Although both results would suggest we are playing poor opposition, they have in fact been hard games against two very good sides. We have just brought our ‘A’ game and our netminder [Brett Jaeger] has been outstanding. 

“I am pleased for our younger British guys. We put Cowley out there on centre along with Nell and Robert Farmer and I thought they lifted us with the way they battled and cycled the puck.” 

Coventry will now face hosts Rouen Dragons tomorrow night in a final-game showdown with the winners progressing to the Super Finals in Belarus in January.

Report from EIHL website

 

WINNING START FOR BLAZE

26/11/2010

Coventry Blaze 6-1 Liepajas Metalurgs (Latvia) 

Man-of-the-match Owen Fussey netted a hat-trick as Coventry Blaze opened their Continental Cup third-round group with a 6-1 win overLatvian champions Liepajas Metalurgs in France. 

Blaze, representing the Elite League in Europe for the fourth time, never looked back after captain Jonathan Weaver gave them the lead after just 56 seconds. Fussey (powerplay) and Dan Carlson added further markers in the first period. 

Fussey, who is Coventry’s leading goalscorer this season with 21 in 25 Elite League games, notched a fourth 53 seconds into the second period and completed his hat-trick in the 32nd minute before youngster Aaron Nell got on the scoresheet 56 seconds before the interval. 

The only score of the third period came courtesy of a five-on-three powerplay marker from Liepajas forward Juris Stals, who broke Blaze goaltender Brett Jaeger’s shut-out with four minutes left. 

Blaze next face Polish side Cracovia Krakow tomorrow evening before finishing their Group D schedule against hosts Rouen Dragons on Sunday night. 

Coach Paul Thompson said: “We executed really well and played really well. 

“Brett was also in top form and it was a shame we couldn’t give him a shut-out. 

“We took a lot of penalties and that is something I have been banging on about all week. You can get away with some of them in our league but not in these competitions. 

“When you are killing penalties it exhausts you and we probably killed a period of penalties so we are going to have to learn from that. 

“But it is a fantastic start and I am overjoyed. I have to also thank the 350 fans who came here to support us, they were brilliant. 

“It was not a cakewalk by any means, they are a good team and we really had to work hard. Our application and dedication was phenomenal.”

Report from EIHL website

 

Stars complete their roster

23/11/2010

Dundee Stars have now completed their roster by announcing the capture of Finnish defenceman, Lauri Kinos.

Kinos is a 30 years old who has played in both North America and in Europe. With 21 games in the American Hockey League and a further 134 matches in the East Coast Hockey League, he brings a wealth of experience to the Stars' ranks.

Lauri has also played in the SM-Liiga, Finland's top league, as well as the Italian Serie A for HC Milano. Last season he turned out for Sport Vaasa in the Finnish Second Division. A tough 207 lbs defenceman, Konis was drafted by NHL's St Louis Blues in 2000.

Coach Dan Ceman said of his signing, 'I've been looking for quite a time to get the right fit for the team and Lauri came up and I'm delighted to sign him. I noticed him in the summer but things didn't work out but then he became available and I moved to bring him in. He is a very mobile defenceman with a tough, mean streak to his play. He moves the puck well and has a fierce shot. He is what I have been looking for.'

Lauri commented, 'I am excited to be coming to Dundee Stars and to be playing hockey again this season. I've heard a bit about the Elite League and am looking forward to playing North America style hockey. I look forward also to meeting the Dundee fans.'

Report from Stars website

 

NHL COUP FOR STINGRAYS

16/11/2010

Hull Stingrays have pulled off the biggest signing in the club’s history by landing former National Hockey League defenceman Drew Bannister.

The 36-year-old, who hails from Belleville, Ontario, comes to Hull Arena with a first-class pedigree having been a second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and making 176 appearances in ‘The Show’.

He also has more than 200 games in the American Hockey League under his belt and has experience of playing in the top flight in Germany, Finland and Russia.

Bannister has had huge success during his career having won the Ontario Hockey League twice, the Memorial Cup (Central Hockey League), the Calder Cup (American Hockey League) and the German Bundesliga.

On top of that he was part of the Canada Under-20 squad which won World Championship gold in 1994.

It is a sensational pick-up by player-coach Sylvain Cloutier, who believes the signing will send a statement of intent throughout the Elite League of Stingrays’ aspirations this season.

Cloutier said: “He is the real deal. He is a proven winner. He has won a lot of championships and knows what it takes. He is a character guy.

“It’s the biggest signing I have had and I am extremely excited Drew has agreed to come to the Stingrays.

“It was a no-brainer. The calibre of player we are getting is top notch. He has been around a long time and his resume speaks for itself.

Report from Stingrays website

Former NHL player joins the Clan

04/11/2010

Welcome to the Clan Jordan Krestanovich!

The Clan team are delighted to announce that the newest Clan member is 29 year old forward Krestanovich. The 6ft 1” Canadian played for the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL in seasons 2001/2002 and 2003/2004, also playing  for the Hershey Bears in the AHL from 2001 – 2004 Playing alongside Coach Richardson and Tim Wedderburn. 

Jordan has recently spent time in the ECHL and Italian Hockey League, playing for the Pensacola Ice Pilots in the ECHL in 2004/2005 and in 2006/2007. He also spent some time with the Victoria Salmon Kings in 2006/2007. Since 2008 Jordan has played for Italian side SG Cortina, and is now ready to make the jump over to the UK to play in the EIHL, and we couldn't be happier that that jump is right into Braehead Clan.

Coach Richardson had the following to say on his latest signing:
With Kyle Bruce injured and Cedric Bernier no yet 100%, and with a number of  important games coming up in November and December, I needed to make a move and try to get the best possible player that could help us keep our team  competitive. Having played with Jordan I know what kind of person he is and what he will bring to the team. He will fit in perfectly with the family we already have in the dressing room. 

On the ice you can expect skill and speed from Jordan. I spoke with him in the summer but he had already signed to play in the Czech Republic, which in the end didn't work out. When I found out that Kyle was going to be out for 2 months I decided to contact Jordan again.. The first thing Jordan told me was “I want to come and play for your team and I don't care about anything else. I want to play hockey". Now that we will be back to full strength I am confident we can keep moving up the standings."

Jordan will fly into the UK on Friday and all being well will debut for the Clan on Saturday when we face the Nottingham Panthers on home ice at Braehead Arena. Face off 7pm.

It should be a great game and a fantastic way to welcome Jordan to the UK, and the Clan.

Report from Clans website

 

Brad leaves the Caps

03/11/2010

It is with regret that the Edinburgh Capitals have accepted the resignation of coach Brad Gratton.  Brad has put a huge amount of work and effort into the team and the Capitals thank him for his commitment, dedication and professionalism throughout.  

Scott Neil said, "I know how difficult it is for a coach to work under the conditions and environment that we have to play and we are often restricted by the resources that we can offer.  The ability to change and restructure is always limited and this is not an ideal situation for any coach. 

"Some coaches are judged by their teams performances but in reality we have performed well against some very high spending teams and have to date performed very well against the similar budget squads.  I would like to wish Brad well for the future." Brad Gratton, said "I would like to thank the fans and the City for the hospitality they have shown to me during my stay".

Report from Capitals website

 

Devils sign Craig Weller

01/11/2010

Versatile, experienced ex-NHL defenceman signs for the Cardiff Devils

The Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce that Craig Weller has joined the team.

Devils staff are working on his Visa paperwork to bring in the big blueliner as soon as possible to help the Devils depleted defence corps.

The 6’ 4” Weller is a Calgary, Alberta native and brings size, skill and a wealth of experience at hockey’s very top level, the NHL, to the Devils and the Elite League. Weller has played nearly 100 games for Phoenix and Atlanta in the NHL – the top league in the world, captained his team in the AHL and will be the most experienced ex-NHLer to be playing in the UK this season.

Head Coach Gerad Adams, speaking after Saturday night’s victory over Hull Stingrays, said,

“I am dead tired but still jumping over this signing. We just played our 5th game in 8 nights but I cannot get rid of this grin. Craig is a fantastic signing for both the Devils and the league and I am so pleased to be able to bring him to Cardiff.”

“I asked for patience from the fans and let me tell you – it was worth it. Craig is a big guy with a tonne of skill who is capable of providing offensive support whilst being a tough, physical defenceman who will calm and stabilise us in defence.”

The former draft pick of the St. Louis Blues is ready to come to Cardiff and is excited to embrace the opportunity of playing here, says Adams.

“One of the main things that it was important to have in our search for a new player was the right guy; the right fit. We have a fantastic dressing room spirit this year and I was not going to upset that.

Craig is a great guy and all our research shows him to be top drawer as a team player. And that’s before we talk about his size, strength, skill and the fact that he is a very capable enforcer who will protect his team-mates by dropping the gloves if necessary.”

Report from Devils website


Stars sign American forward

29/10/2010

Following their impressive win against Cardiff Devils last night Dundee CCS Stars' fans have been given an added boost as the club announce the signing of 28 years old American forward Jay Latulippe.

Jay has played in the Elite League for the past two seasons when, with Cardiff Devils, he amassed 39 goals and 70 assists during that period. The 5ft 11ins, left winger from Saratoga, New York has also played in North America's Central Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League.

Coach Dan Ceman said of his signing, 'Jay brings a lot to the team. He has proven he can score goals at this level and he is also a fiesty player that will stand no nonsense. He also takes up good defensive positions so he will be a big asset to the roster. He also has great experience of playing in this country and that is important for us. Few of our signings have had the experience of playing in the Elite League and it's been a bit of a learning curve for them. We don't have that with Jay.'

Latulippe is expected to arrive in Scotland within the next two weeks as he is currently awaiting his work permit being granted.

Report from Stars website


Prpich to add scoring touch

29/10/2010

Canadian winger Mike Prpich has joined Danny Stewart's Newcastle Vipers for the remainder of the season, the club have announced today.

 

The 28-year-old from Kenaston, Saskatchewan, played in the Elite League previously for Cardiff Devils where he totalled 63 points in 54 games.

 

Newcastle coach Stewart has seen his side win two of their opening 13 games, and this move adds a little more experience to the front end.


"I felt we were missing a little scoring finish and a bit of grit up front," said Stewart today.

 

"With Mike Prpich we get quality in both areas and we get a guy who will improve our club drastically.

 

"Mike is going through the visa process and we hope to get him in as soon as possible."

 

Stewart had another boost today when Polish forward Jaroslaw Rzeszutko had his cast removed from the broken wrist he sustained at the beginning of October.

 

"It looks like Jaro's wrist has healed really well, it's a case of getting his strength back in the wrist.

Report from Vipers website

 

Jacobsen Returns To The Giants

27/10/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the return of defenceman Michael Jacobsen for the remainder of the 2010/11 Elite League season. Jacobsen was among the league’s best defenders last season leading all Giants defencemen in scoring with 17 goals and 37 assists for 54 points in 68 games. He was an integral part of the Giants powerplay a year ago scoring 12 times, second highest on the team, with the man advantage.

Jacobsen agreed to terms with the Giants just minutes before the opening faceoff in last night’s clash with the Hull Stingrays at the Odyssey Arena, a game the Giants won in overtime 5-4. Jacobsen is expected to fly in Monday morning and will be in the line up against the Cardiff Devils on November 7th.

The loss of defenceman Rich Seeley, who is likely to miss the remainder of the season left the Giants short staffed on the blueline. Coach Doug Christiansen looked at a number of players but at the top of his list was Jacobsen.

“Mike was a star for the Giants last season and probably one of the top three defencemen in the Elite League,” said Christiansen.

“He can play in every situation and adds another offensive weapon to our line up, particularly on the powerplay. We are looking forward to getting Mike into a Giants jersey and in the lineup for the Devils match in November.”

Jacobsen, commenting from his home in Thunder Bay, Ontario is excited to return to Belfast for another season.

“I am really looking forward to getting back to Belfast. I had a great time last season and we ended up winning the playoffs, which was a career highlight. Hopefully we can do more of the same this season.”

Report from Giants website

 

Lomanno out and Kudrna in for injured Kaufmann

19/10/2010

Dundee Stars have signed experienced goalie Ladislav Kudrna following a groin injury to starting goalie Jerad Kaufmann.

Czech Republican Kudrna, who is 33, first played in the UK for the Edinburgh Capitals in the British National League but he is no stranger to Elite league hockey having since played for Nottingham Panthers, London Racers and more recently with Newcastle Vipers and Hull Stingrays.

Ladislav arrives in Dundee today and will train with the team today and tomorrow before travelling to Braehead Arena on Friday evening for the Stars second game of the season against their Scottish rivals, the Braehead Clan.

Stars' coach Dan Ceman explained, "We don't know how long Jerad will be out and we need two healthy goalies as we've a tough schedule coming up. Mark has played really well but he is still learning his trade and it would be wrong to expect him to play game-in and game-out. Ladislav was one of a number of players we considered but he has experience of playing here in Britain. I saw him play for London Racers and I felt he was the best goaltender in the league then. We also considered two others but they are in North America and that takes time. Ladislav was available immediately."

Canadian/Italian defenseman Luciano Lomanno has been released from his contract with immediate effect.

Ceman said, "We were looking to freshen up the team and Luciano has another job in Canada. It doesn't mean that I'll be looking for another defenseman. I'll look around the market and pick the best player available to us."


Report from Stars website

 

PANTHERS SEND ANGEL NORTH WITH THEM TO BRAEHEAD

12/10/2010

Nottingham Panthers have added top flight Czech defenceman Angel Nikolov to the roster.

The 34-year-old was a second round (37th overall) draft pick of the San Jose Sharks but has played nearly all his career in the high quality top flights in his home country, as well as stints in Russia’s top league and Finland’s.

He finished last season in another top league, the DEL in Germany where he made the play-offs with Ingolstadt.

GMB Panthers’ coach Corey Neilson said of his latest recruit : “Once again we’ve heard good things and Angel could be the answer to our prayers. Jon Zion is out injured at the moment and there’s no telling how long that will take to sort out. We didn’t want to take any risks and thanks to the way we’re run we were able to bring in cover. It could be a long term signing, we’ll see.”

Nikolov is due to make his debut at rivals Braehead tomorrow night in the Elite League and is scheduled to make his home debut against more Scottish based opposition when the league’s other newcomers Dundee visit the TrentFM Arena on Saturday.

He's in the UK and arrived in Nottingham this afternoon. The paperwork is all with league and international oficials and we're hoping for clearance overnight or tomorrow for him to take his place in the line up against the Clan in Glasgow.

Report from Panthers website

 

BELLAMY SIGNS FOR THE PANTHERS

06/10/2010

Nottingham Panthers have announced the signing of AHL forward Rob Bellamy. The six feet tall American will join the club as soon as paperwork is finalised.

He is unlikely to be in the line-up in time for the weekend’s big clash with the Steelers but coach Corey Neilson believes he will be an asset when he does arrive: “We need someone to do the Jay Henderson role, and when Jay’s injury took him out of our plans for the time-being, it left a hole that needed filling.

“Slovakian Robert Liscak came in on a trial basis and we’d like to thank him for his efforts but he is leaving the GMB Panthers and Rob is coming in.

“Rob played for Philadelphia and Adirondack. He comes highly recommended for the job we need doing by his last coach, he fore-checks and skates well. He hits like a tank.

“He very much isn’t a ‘Corey Neilson’ kind of forward but he is the piece we need for our jigsaw and he’s just what the doctor ordered.”

Rob Bellamy was a third round (92nd overall) draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2004 and went on to play at the University of Maine for four seasons before joining the professional leagues.

Report from Panthers website

 

Giants Add Former NHLer Brad Smyth

06/10/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian forward and former NHL player, Brad Smyth.  Smyth comes to the EIHL from Austria and is a veteran of nearly 600 AHL games and 88 NHL games over an impressive 17 years of pro hockey.

The loss of Brandon Benedict (leg) and Jeff Mason (hand) for a long period due to injuries has forced the Giants to find someone who can help during their absence and Smyth, who has been waiting for a job in the German Elite League, is the perfect fit. The Giants had planned to have coach Doug Christiansen step into a player/coach role, but the team doctors have ruled Christiansen out of action.

Brad Smyth is one of the most prolific goal scorers in AHL history. He comes with an unblemished resume and he is excited about coming to Belfast.  He has won a Calder Cup in the AHL and an SM-Liga title.  He has been one of the captains of 4 different AHL teams and will wear number 10 for the Giants. 

“We came very close this summer to signing Brad. He is very good friends with our defenceman Rich Seeley and Rich really helped recruit him to Belfast.  Numbers don’t lie. He is a goal-scorer and has been one of the top scorers on nearly every team he has played for. He is a guy who goes hard to the net and wins battles in the corners and will be expected to put up some serious points in the Elite League. With Benedict and Mason out, we needed another offensive weapon and he is definitely that type of player.”

Brad Smyth is expected to make his home debut with the Belfast Giants against the Cardiff Devils on Saturday night at the Odyssey Arena. 

Report from Giants website

 

Thompson strengthens Blaze roster

06/10/2010

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has today confirmed that he has completed the signing of rising British star, Robert Farmer from the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League.

Despite being drafted in the first round of the OHL import draft, Farmer’s time with the Canadian club proved to be short lived and he now returns to the Elite League where he made such an impact with the Sheffield Steelers last season.  After stepping up from the English Premier League to join the Steelers full time in November, Farmer posted 17 points in 36 games and earned rave reviews for his powerful, aggressive play that he combined with an eye for goal.

At just 19 years of age, winger Farmer is one of the country’s top young prospects and has already won international medals with the Great Britain team at both under 18 and under 20 levels.  In the GB Under 20’s most recent gold medal winning campaign, Farmer contributed an outstanding 9 goals and 5 assists in just 5 games.

“I’m really pleased that Robert is joining the Blaze,” said Thompson.  “He is going to give us the depth that we’ve been lacking in the roster so far this season.  He’s a big lad with huge potential and I know that he will make an impact in our line up.  I had the chance to look at him first hand at the last senior Great Britain training camp and obviously we all saw the impact he had when he came into the league last season.  He’s going to have the chance to play with a great teacher and veteran, Sean Selmser as his centreman and I’m sure we’ll see his game develop even further.

“Once it was clear that he had no intention of playing in the English Premier League again this season, we simply had to make a move for him.  With Russ Cowley still out of the line up and Jonathan Weaver waiting for surgery, this signing has come at a very important time.

Report from Blaze website

 

DEBUT FOR ROBERT ?

17/09/2010

Nottingham Panthers were joined at training today by new signing Robert Liscak from Slovakia.

Everything is in place for him to debut against Coventry in the big game tomorrow (Saturday) apart from international clearance.

The club has been working flat-out on getting Robert and his kit here and he arrived late last night and was skating with his new team mates this morning. Although born in Slovakia he played junior hockey in Canada and went to the University of Main before the NHL lock-up messed up his chances with the Boston Bruins. You can hear him on Panthers Radio at the click of a button from the home page right now.

A club spokeswoman said : "Fingers crossed that international clearance comes through today, it has been more complicated than usual because of an international congress and certain officials not being at their desks in their countries but we're hopeful it will be resolved. The decisions surrounding Jay Henderson were only taken at the beginning of the week so we've moved a long way in just over three days and we think the hard work will pay off."

Coach Corey Neilson said of his latest signing, Robert has a good reputation. The coach who recommended Billy Ryan says Robert is a solid player who works both ends of the rink, he's good on face-offs and "very good in all situations, very dependable".

The 32-year-old five feet eleven inch forward has played for several clubs in the top flight in Slovakia.

Report from Panthers website

Chris St Jacques puts pen to paper for the Capitals

15/09/2010

Edinburgh Capitals have captured the signature of experienced forward Chris St. Jacques.  

Chris comes to
Edinburgh straight from Tilburg Trappers where he amassed 94 points from 42 games. Chris has extensive experience at ECHL and AHL levels and has proven he can score at any level. 

Coach Brad Gratton had this to say “ St. Jacques comes highly recommended by his previous clubs and my contacts in
North America . Chris is a fast, exciting player, who will be a great addition to the team. 

I’m happy that he has chosen
Edinburgh as the place he wants to play hockey”.

 

Paperwork permitting he will join his teammates on the ice in time to face local rivals the Dundee Stars on Sunday 19th September.

Report from Capitals website

 

Alex comes in from the cold

11/09/2010

Edinburgh Capitals are please to announce the signing of Alex Kim.

Alex joins the Elite league Capitals direct from the Asia league where he averaged a point a game.
Coach Brad Gratton says he is delighted to have captured Alex's signature and believes that Alex will be a great addition to the team and will quickly become a fans favorite.

Brad also states that Alex is extremely fast and is a great all round player. While in the Asia league Alex was awarded the league’s Best playmaking forward 07-08, Asia League most goals 07-08, 09-10, Asia League Most points 07-08 and 09-10.

Alex said “I am looking forward to playing in Edinburgh this season and hope that I will be able to make a positive contribution to the team.  I am excited about the opportunity and will do my best to help the team have a successful season.”

Report from Capitals website

 

Vipers sign Latvian forward Hartmanis

03/09/2010

22-year-old Toms Hartmanis has swapped Riga of the Belarus League and KHL for the Elite League and Newcastle Vipers, becoming the 11th import signed by coach Danny Stewart.

 

The 6'0" 180lbs winger takes a spot on the Vipers scoring line, and coach Stewart is expecting good things from him.

 

"At 20 years of age he was icing with Dinamo Riga in the KHL, which is arguably the second best league in the World behind the NHL so the Riga club obviously saw something in him.

 

"Toms brings a lot of speed and skill to the team and will fit in well alongside the forwards we have and I'm sure he will do well in the Elite League.

 

"He skates really well, and that will be important as much in the bigger rinks when we're away from Whitley Bay.  But he's looking for a chance to play serious minutes on a scoring line and he's hungry for this chance.

 

"It's hard to compare but his numbers last year were very good, and he ticks a lot of boxes for our team.  He's young, hungry, determined and I look forward to seeing him in a Vipers uniform pretty soon."

 

Although Hartmanis has only just signed his contract, as a Latvian he does not need to go through the UK Visa and Work Permit process so will be in the North East with the rest of the squad next week.

 
Report from Vipers website

 

Rob Globke signs in as final import

30/08/2010

The Sheffield Steelers are delighted to announce that they have obtained the services of ex-Florida Panther Rob Globke, for the 2010/2011 season.

Globke, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2nd round, 40th overall in the 2002 NHL draft. He went on to play 46 games in The Show and is also an experienced AHL and DEL forward. He joins the Steelers from Krefeld Pinguine of the DEL.

Steelers player coach Ben Simon had the following to say:

"I am pleased to announce the signing of Rob Globke. Rob has an outstanding resume, and has the potential to be one of the best players in this league. He has experience in European Elite Leagues and has played in the AHL and NHL as well. Knowing him personally, I am excited to add such a high calibre player that also brings quality characteristics off the ice as well. Steelers fans will absolutely love this player not only for being a tremendous hockey player, but for his off-ice attributes as well. This addition has made our club even stronger today, and I am excited to get him here in a Steelers uniform."

Rob Globke will take up a place at the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Steelers wish to thank everyone at the University for their help in making this signing possible


Report from Steelers website

 

Belfast Giants Win Charity Shield

25/08/2010

The Official opening to the ice hockey season is the Charity Shield and the Aer Lingus Belfast Giants  started the season where they finished off last season, celebrating a trophy win.

A new coach in Doug Christiansen and a team of new faces for the Giants took on the defending league champion Coventry Blaze on Wednesday Night.

New Giant forward Dan Welch opening the scoring at 10:22 for the Giants with a blistering shot from just inside the Blaze zone.

Craig Peacock in his second season with the Giants doubled the lead at 22:34 to make it 2-0 to the Giants. Coventry’s Luke Fulghum, last season’s leading goal -scorer in the league scored the first for the Blaze to make it 2-1 at 28:17.

Despite ample scoring opportunities, the Blaze could not equalise until the middle of the third period when Jonathan Weaver made it 2-2 at 49:22.  The game winning goal came on the powerplay when Josh Prudden scored at 54:27 to give the Giants the lead for good.

Rich Seeley sealed the victory in the dying seconds of the game with the Blaze pulling their goaltender for the extra attacker to give the Giants a 4-2 win.

Standout performances from Rich Seeley on defence and the always impressive Stephen Murphy in net highlighted the win for Belfast, who looked solid from top to bottom after only one day of training together as a team.

The Giants are still awaiting the arrival of Brandon Benedict, Mike Hoffman and the return of Graeme Walton, which will only bolster a strong line up this season.

After the game, Coach Christiansen was happy with his team’s performance.

“We looked comfortable together but obviously both teams were working out some kinks and the play was sloppy at both ends of the ice.  I thought Murphy made some huge saves for us and I think our defence looked very strong. It is day one of a long season and I know the guys are going to be tired but it is nice to start the season with a big win in the Charity Shield.”

Report from EIHL website

 

CAPITALS BEEF UP BLUELINE

25/08/2010

Edinburgh Capitals have signed 6ft 4" 220lb defenceman Jacques Perreault to add a huge physical presence to the blueline. Jacques will be entering his second professional season after spending a successful year with the Quad City Mallards of the IHL.

Coach Brad Gratton commented, "Jacques is a solid defensive defenseman who earned a regular role at Northeastern University. "He has great reach, and there's one thing about Jacques Perreault - you can't teach size." Brad continued, "Whilst we do want to be tight defensively, I believe Jacques will have an offensive upside as he skates and carries the puck well and has a good first pass from the defensive zone.

Video footage of Jaques can be found on the following link. http://vimeo.com/13659222

Report from Capitals website

 

Schwarz signs to complete Vipers defensive core

22/08/2010

Defenceman John Schwarz has signed up to fill the Vipers' final spot on the blueline for the coming season.

The 6'3" Calgary native is about to embark on his second professional season, having turned pro with Las Vegas Wranglers in the ECHL last season.

In 66 ECHL games he scored three goals and added nine assists for 12 points, while chalking up 122 penalty minutes.

Before turning pro Schwarz graduated from Michigan Tech in the NCAA where he played 126 times in four years with 13 points and 217 penalty minutes.

Danny Stewart, coach of the Winn Solicitors-backed Vipers, said today: "John gives us yet another big presence on the back end.  He is a very steady dman that plays his own end especially well.  He is a pain in the backside to play against and gets under other players skin.

"He also adds an element of toughness in the way he plays, and although it is not a main part of his game he will drop the gloves when neccessary.

"With this signing my d-core is complete and I think we have the right balance of size, toughness and skill."

Schwarz joins Blair Stayzer, Kyle Sibley and Scott Langdon as the import blueliners for the Vipers, with Sam Zajac and Rob Wilson looking to take good minutes as a fifth and sixth defenceman.

Newcastle's season starts on September 11/12 with home and away challenge games with Edinburgh followed by the 'Bragging Rights' game against Whitley on Wednesday 15 September.

Report from Vipers website

 

Clan sign final import

20/08/2010

Elite League new boys, Braehead Clan have signed their final import for the season - and he’s someone who can both score and make goals.

Canadian Ryan Campbell joins the Clan – who will be playing out of the 4000-seater Braehead Arena – from Central Hockey League side, Wichita Thunder.

Campbell, 31, has impressive stats in his 332 games as a pro ice hockey player in North America and Europe having scored 147 goals and 178 assists.

Clan coach Bruce Richardson said: “Ryan comes with a pretty impressive resume. Wherever he has played he would always be top on of the points table for his team and that's something that I am expecting from him this year.

“Ryan has incredible puck-handling skills and has a great hockey sense. What I also like about Campbell is that he plays with an edge and does not take any nonsense from anybody on the ice.

“Ryan is really pumped about coming to Braehead and showing off his skills. I will be looking for some leadership from him and he is keen to help us win some trophies this year.”

Richardson added: “I am really happy with all of the guys that I have signed this year. I believe that I have a group of imports to match those of the other teams in the league.”

Report from Clans website

Hull Stingrays Saved

17/08/2010

Hull Stingrays to ice in the 2010/11 Elite Ice Hockey League

The 2010/11 Elite Ice Hockey League will, after all, have a full complement of ten teams after the Coventry Blaze ownership team of Andy Buxton, Mike Cowley and Paul Thompson, along with Blaze General Manager, James Pease, have assumed full operational control of the Hull Stingrays today.

They have confirmed that after extensive preliminary discussions and thanks to support from the local council and outgoing owners, Mike and Sue Pack, the Stingrays will take their place in the league this season. It is anticipated that the team will play its opening league fixture on Sunday 3rd October although this is subject to league confirmation this week.

Whilst there remains a significant amount of work to do before the team can take to the ice, it can be confirmed that last season’s Player/Coach, Sylvain Cloutier has committed himself fully to the new organisation and will fly into the UK this Wednesday to take an active role in getting all aspects of the organisation up and running.

Whilst several of the originally announced roster have already found new clubs, Cloutier has been speaking to all of the other players who were keen to wait in the hope that a new operator could be found. He hopes to re-sign several players in the next few days and has already started the process of recruiting replacements for those who have moved on.

“It’s been a crazy few days to say the least,” said Buxton. “We’ve only had a very short time to get our heads around this to make sure that we believed we could make a success of it. Right now we don’t have all of the answers to the many questions I’m sure people are going to have but over the coming few days and weeks we’ll hopefully be able to communicate just about everything that people want to know.

“It was important to us to get the news out now that the fantastic Hull Stingrays fans and sponsors are going to have an Elite League team to support this season and we are going to really need them to continue to get behind the team and us as an organisation as we look to move the club forward. Until we have a more permanent presence in Hull, for any additional information or if there are any businesses who would like to get involved with the club, we’d like to invite them to contact the Coventry Blaze office on 02476 223220 or via email at blazeoffice@btconnect.com

Report from Stingrays website

 

Stars Sign Defenseman Matt Suderman

14/08/2010

Dundee CCS Stars are delighted to announce that tough Canadian defenseman Matt Suderman has joined them for the forthcoming Elite League campaign.

Stars’ player/coach, Dan Ceman, said today, “It was a hectic day yesterday, with lots of time spent on the phone, but it’s been well worth it. Matt is exactly the type of player I was looking for to round out our team. I was looking for a defensive defenseman who would play tough and shut down other teams and I've found exactly that in Matt. He is a player that will do anything to win. He is a great shot blocker, which is especially important on the penalty kill. Matt is also great in the dressing room and a leader who has won championships in the past, he also knows a few of the guys on the roster so he should have no problems settling in at Dundee. I'm really pleased with how the team looks now. We will be a tough hard working team who will play exciting hockey and will be an extremely difficult team to play against no matter the opponent. I can't wait to get on the ice with this team!”

Matt had signed up with Hull Stingrays but was left without a club when they recently announced their intention to cease operations with immediate effect. He was a 7th round draft pick by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2001 and his previous clubs include French side Morzine-Avoriaz and CHL outfit Arizona Sundogs, where he helped them to win the CHL Championship for their first time in 2007/08. In the following season with the Sundogs he played alongside Stars’ new forwards Peter Cartwright and AJ MacLean. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 27-01-1983, is 6’ 3” (191 cm) and weighs 236 lbs (107 kg).

Matt commented, “It’s been an upsetting couple of days, but that’s behind me now and I’m keen to get started at Dundee. Like I always say, in hockey you just never know what’s round the corner. I’m just happy to get settled into this team, meet the fans and play some hockey

Report from Stars website

 

GIANTS ROSTER COMPLETE

13/08/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signings of Canadian Mike Bayrack  and American Mike Hoffman for the 2010/11 season.  32 year old forward, Bayrack,  comes to Belfast from the ECHL where he played 34 games last season, finishing the year with the Florida Everblades.

Bayrack has spent eight seasons in the ECHL over his career, scoring 386 points in 453 games. He has also played in 30 Kelly Cup Playoff games, scoring 24 points. In 2006-07 with Texas, Bayrack enjoyed a career-high 78 points in 66 games, ranking second in scoring for the Wildcatters.

Throughout his eleven year professional career, Bayrack has scored 581 points in 670 games, adding time in the AHL with Grand Rapids, Norfolk, Bridgeport and Springfield and in the United Hockey League with Danbury, Muskegon and Missouri.

Commenting on Bayrack, Coach Doug Christiansen said: “Mike is a proven scorer. He has dynamic speed and is extremely dangerous on the powerplay. For years, Mike has been one of the top players in the ECHL. In order to accomplish our goals, we needed one more offensive player and Mike is it. He is a point-a-game player and has the ability to have a phenomenal season playing with good players.  Mike will start on the wing but gives us another centre if needed.  Mike suffered a broken finger last season from a violent slash, however, he has fully healed and had a successful play-off run with Florida.”

 The Giants’ roster is completed with the addition of Mike Hoffman from Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. Defenseman Hoffman joins the Giants with 7 years’ AHL experience behind him. The 29 year old native of Scituate, Massachusetts has recorded 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists) and 621 penalty minutes in 289 career AHL games.

 Coach Christiansen commented: “After an exhaustive search, I am ecstatic to bring Mike Hoffman to Belfast. Mike is a true heavy weight fighter, however, he can do much more than just play tough. I did not want to add a one dimensional tough guy. Mike has scored 10 goals in a season in the AHL and he can play defense. Mike gives us a lot of flexibility.  He will play a lot for the Giants. He skates well for a big man and can drive the net hard. Mike will start on defense for us and move to forward if we need some power up front.  He has played both forward and defense in the AHL and allows us to bring in one more weapon up front.”

Report from Giants website

 

PANTHERS COMPLETE LINE-UP

12/08/2010

Nottingham Panthers have added big and mean defenceman Guillaume Lepine to the roster for the upcoming 2010-11 Elite League season.

The six feet four inch tall French-Canadian, from Montreal , has patrolled the blueline for the Elmira Jackals in the East Coast Hockey League for the past two seasons.

Panthers coach Corey Neilson said today : “I’ve spoken to this guy's previous coaches and they rate him as mean on the blueline. He led the East Coast in fights two seasons ago and was second in fights last year.

“He skates well and hits hard and like everyone on the roster this year, he wants to win and he sets his sights on playing solid good ‘D’.”

 Lepine takes the vacancy that was created when Brock Wilson revoked his decision to join the Panthers and his arrival completes the line-up for what promises to be an exciting season of ice hockey action which starts in earnest on Saturday September 4th with the visit of the Belfast Giants to the National Ice Centre in Nottingham .

Report from Panthers website

 

Ceman adds another tough defenseman

11/08/2010

Dundee CCS Stars head coach, Dan Ceman, has added another impressive defenseman to his roster for the new season. Canadian Jamie Lovell from Elora, Ontario has joined the Dundee club from Port Huron Icehawks who play in North America's IHL.

Lovell spent the last three seasons with the Icehawks and during that spell clocked some impressive stats, scoring 91 points. In his first year with the club, he teamed up with Stars’ new forward Brent Hughes and defenseman Mark Nebus. He was also a team-mate of Sean 'The Sheriff' McMorrow at London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League in 2000/2001 and will be reunited with them again in Dundee. He also has a connection with Dundee having played alongside former Stars' championship winner, Mark Scott at Tulsa Oilers during the 2006/2007 season. Jamie, who is 6ft (182 cm) tall and weighs 190 lbs (86 kg) is a defenseman who likes to go forward and has an eye for goal as his stats suggest.

Ceman was once more excited by this signing and said, "Again I have had nothing but good reports about Jamie. He is an excellent skater, has great stick handling skills and likes to go forward. He also chips in with important points throughout the season and that is always a bonus from a defenseman. He is a tough cookie and will be a great asset to the team. All in all I am very happy with the way the roster is coming together."

Lovell, speaking from Canada added, "I am really thrilled with this, my first move overseas. Coach Ceman really sold me the club and the city and I am looking forward to coming to Scotland. It will be good to link up with 'The Sheriff' once more, he is quite a character. I understand that the Stars' fans are a bit special and I can't wait to meet them. I hope these bagpipes will be playing real loud next season. See you all soon."


Report from Stars website

 

Caps sign Scott Reid as starting N/M

09/08/2010

Scott Reid today put pen to paper for Edinburgh Capitals to end the club's global search for a goaltender.
The 6ft 4in stopper comes to Edinburgh well recommended after nine years as a professional ice hockey player.

He has iced in the highly competitive American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.
And Brad Gratton, Capitals' coach, said ''Coaches and players who played with him or against him think highly of him''

The 33-year old played 38 games for Alaska Aces last season and Gratton added: ''He's a big goalie, who covers alot of the net. Scott should be one of the most experienced goalies in the Elite League. 

He is the goalie that our team has been waiting for. He is a veteran and when you're picking a goalie it is very important to have good experience at top levels of hockey. 

Scott has proven he is a top notch goalie. He has very good stats as a goalie and he will also be good for our younger defencemen. 

He is the type of goalie that wins you games and who can make the big save when you need it. I'm very happy that Scott is coming to Edinburgh. He has a great attitude towards the game.''

Report from EIHL website

 

Another Hemingway For The Giants

09/08/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of former NHL Draft pick and ECHL All Star, Brett Hemingway for the 2010/11 season.  The 27 year old Canadian comes to Belfast from the East Coast Hockey League where he played for Stockton Thunder and the Alaska Aces last season, scoring 19 points in an injury interrupted season.  He joins his brother Colin, who signed earlier this summer, both for their first season as Giants in Belfast.

In the 2008-09 season, Hemingway helped guide the Alaska Aces (ECHL) to a berth in the Kelly Cup Final, achieving career-highs in assists (32), scoring 42 points in total.

Head Coach Doug Christiansen is excited that Hemingway is coming to Belfast: “I think Brett will be a diamond in the rough for us. Brett has a good pedigree but is coming off a tough season. My discussions with him have been great. He is extremely hungry to get back to the form that made him an ECHL All-Star and AHL player. He has a passion for the game and I know the fans of Belfast will enjoy having two Hemingway’s on their team. I spoke to two of his former coaches, both of whom were trying to bring him back to their team.  They raved about his work ethic and attitude”.

Christiansen continued: “Brett brings us another player who can score and a player who can play on all 3 lines. He gives us great depth up front.  Brett can kill penalties and play on the power play. There is no question Brett has the tools to be extremely successful in the EIHL”.

General Manager Todd Kelman added:  “This is a first for the Giants, having two brothers playing together on the team.  Colin and Brett have played together in the past and we are looking forward to seeing them in action in Belfast. Brett will have every opportunity to get back into the form he was in two seasons ago and he gives added depth to our forward lines.”

Report from Giants website

 

Stars Sign Goaltender

07/08/2010

Dundee CCS Stars are thrilled to announce the signing of American goaltender Jerad Kaufmann from International Hockey League (IHL) side Quad City Mallards.

Stars’ coach, Dan Ceman has been speaking to the 6’ 3” goalie for a few weeks now and is delighted to have finally secured his signature. Dan said, “After spending countless hours searching for a goalie, I’ve finally found the one I wanted. Jerad comes to us having had a great year last year where he battled his way into the starting position in his rookie year. I loved it when I heard about his desire to succeed and his ambition to take his career to the next level. With his work ethic and his determination, I think he will fit in perfectly with the team I have put together so far. He also has the reputation throughout his college career as a ‘big game’ goalie, which will certainly help us as all our games are going to be big games.”

CCS Stars’ director Charlie Ward added, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have secured the signing of Jerad. He’s clearly a player with great potential and I’m sure in Dundee we’ll see some fantastic stuff from this guy. Dan is putting together an excellent roster that seems certain to light up the national game.”

Jerad started his hockey career at Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the Junior A North American Hockey League before moving to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) side University of Nebraska-Omaha where he spent 4 seasons, posting an average save rate of just under 90% and setting a school record with a 2.31 Goals Against Average in his fourth season. He finished the 08/09 season with a single game in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with Bakersfield Condors, posting an impressive 94.1%, before moving on to the IHL last season where he stopped 91.7% of 1210 shots on his goal.

The 25 year old, who is from Roseville Minnesota, said yesterday, “It’s a big thrill for me to join Dundee CCS Stars. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the area and the people. I’m looking to improve my career and I know that in Dundee I can do that and help the team to become an established Elite League side. I’m looking forward to hitting the ice with my new team-mates and, hopefully, we’ll make a big noise in this league. I’m sure the fans are ready for the new season – I know I am!”

Report from Stars website

 

Effinger takes up key position for Vipers

05/08/2010

Charlie Effinger is the man Danny Stewart has signed to fill the "most important position in hockey", and the American will be starting in goal for the Newcastle Vipers this season.
 
24-year-old Effinger has had two pro seasons after graduating from Miami University (Ohio) where he won a Conference championship in 2005-6.
 
Last season in the CHL he split the season between Allen Americans and Missouri Mavericks, finishing with the second best stats in the League.  He also had a call up to Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL) for training camp and again during the season for injury cover.  The CHL also named him their Goalie of the Month in October 2009.
 
The Belleville, Illinois, native will combine his season on the ice with studying for The Newcastle Business School MBA at Northumbria University as part of the Vipers' successful partnership with the highly-rated University.
 
Coach Danny Stewart said today: "Charlie is a huge signing for the club. He gives us a top end goalie at this level and makes our team so much better at the most important position in hockey.
 
"He had the second best numbers in the CHL last season and a great season the year before for the Trenton Devils of the ECHL. 
 
Stewart has also this week confirmed deals with two 6ft-plus defencemen, and once paperwork has been completed these details will also be released.

Report from Vipers website

 

Clan Net Goalie!

05/08/2010

Braehead Clan can now announce their long awaited netminder signing......Former EIHL Goalie JF Perras will be between the pipes for the Clan in their inaugural season. 

The 29 year old from Ontario is no stranger to the EIHL having played with the Edinburgh Capitals in the 2007/2008 season and then the Coventry Blaze in 2008/2009. Perras played with the Arizona Sundogs last season in the CHL and is looking forward to coming back to the EIHL for the 2010/2011 season. 

Perras attended the Detroit Red Wings training camp in 2000 and the Montreal Canadians Training Camp in 2002, as well as playing in the CHL All Stars team in 2007.

Coach Richardson said on the signing "When I was searching for a goalie I was looking for somebody that had EIHL experience. Being a new expansion team I wanted somebody that did not need to adjust to the league or European hockey and JF fits that bill. 

2 years ago JF played for Coventry and was one of the best goalies in the league. He had the best stats in the league and helped Coventry to 2nd place that year. Perras is a true professional on and off the ice. His work ethic is second to none. He will also bring some leadership to the team and will be able to help out the new players and help them settle into their new surroundings and the league. 

Report from Clans website

 

Two More Giant Signings Announced

05/08/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signings of Canadian Rich Seeley and American Dan Welch for the incoming season.

Standout defenceman Rich Seeley, who has played 399 AHL games, joins the Giants from Austria, where he returned from injury in the 2009/10 season to play 28 regular season and 11 playoff games for Medvescak Zagreb.

In Seeley, Coach Doug Christiansen is delighted to have found the defensive leader he has been searching for:

“Rich Seeley has been a captain of 8 of the 11 professional teams he has been on. The fact that he has captained 3 different American Hockey League (AHL) teams shows the quality of person and player he is. He was also nominated 3 times for AHL Man of the Year. He is a strong defender who can play on the power play but he is known as a steady defender who can play against other teams top lines.”

“I am looking for Rich to be a leader on our defensive core. He brings experience at many levels and can help our d-core improve over the course of the season.  He has a great hockey mind and is someone who will help us in crucial games throughout the season.”

Christiansen continued, “One of my main goals is to have a much improved road record and I believe adding leaders helps the team find ways to win on the road. Rich has seen it all and will be a player who will rise to the occasion in those tough road games.”

Forward Dan Welch returns to the Elite League for a further season, having played for Christiansen in Edinburgh last season, scoring 16 goals and 24 assists in 44 games.

Christiansen has a specific role in mind for Welch: “Dan Welch is a well known player in our league. He is a player who has great skill and can make something happen out of nothing. He has played 3 seasons in the AHL, had a point a game in the ECHL, and won an NCAA University Championship. Having coached him last season in Edinburgh, I know what he brings to the table. He is a player who can play any line and can kill penalties.  He gives us depth on all 3 lines and can play a defensive role when needed.  Dan is excited to be coming to Belfast. Of all of the players I recruited this summer, he was the one who wanted to come to Belfast the most. He was great in the contract talks and said that he understands that his role for the Giants will be different than it has been in other places.  I think his role as a depth forward allows him to produce but helps our team by having someone with his pedigree on every line.”

Report from Giants website

 

Stars sign another defenseman

04/08/2010

Dundee CCS Stars' Player/Coach, Dan Ceman, has signed Canadian defenseman Steve Makway from Central Hockey League team Wichita Thunder.

Steve, who is 27 years old, is a 6’ 5” (196 cm) no nonsense defenseman from Trail in British Columbia. His previous clubs include Memphis Riverkings (CHL), where he played beside Jason Tessier, Mississippi RiverKings (CHL), Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL) and Laredo Bucks (CHL).

Dan said, “I've been tracking Steve for several weeks now and judging by his stats and by the reports I’ve had back about him I’m convinced he has the potential the be one of the premier defenseman in our league. Not only is he a big imposing player, he is physically tough and dominates his sector of the ice. He also has the ability to create quick offensive style hockey that will suit our style of play perfectly. I'm convinced he will be a major impact player for us. He is also a character off ice and should certainly liven things up in Dundee.”

Steve Makway said, “I've been speaking to Dan for a couple of weeks now and I like what I’m hearing, although it is a new set-up in Dundee, they do have a history of running quality hockey and I’m looking forward to getting involved for the new season.”

Stars' director Charlie Ward said, “Looks like Dan has struck gold here and the final places in the roster are filling nicely. Steve looks to be a tough character who is keen to show Dundee what he can do on the ice.”

Report from Stars website

 

Clan Sign Kyle Bruce

03/08/2010

Braehead Clan are happy to announce that their latest signing is Right Wing Kyle Bruce. The 27 year old Canadian is no stranger to the EIHL, as he played with Manchester Phoenix in the 2008/2009 season. Bruce played with the Wichita Thunder in the CHL last season and in the 2007/2008 season. He also won a championship withe the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL 2006/2007 season.

Coach Richardson had the following to say on signing Bruce: “Kyle Bruce represents the kind of team I am trying to put together and the game will be passionate, gritty, professional and in your face hockey. A couple of years ago I played with Kyle and I always told him that if I became a coach he would be the type of player that I would be looking to sign, so I signed him. Kyle is player that gives his all at practice and on game night. He hits like a train and can fight when needed. He can also bring some offensive play to the game.  Kyle and I have been talking for over 3 months now. I wanted to take my time and make sure he was 100% fit before I made a final decision. I am all about giving chances when I know the player is 100% committed and wants to succeed.”.

Richardson added “Kyle is very excited about coming to play for me and the Clan and coming back to the league. I think he will become a fan favorite in Braehead. With Kyle signing it gives me 10 imports and I have 2 left to sign. 1 of them will be a skill forward and my last one will be my goalie. I want a goalie that has played in Europe and it would be a big bonus if he has previously played in the EIHL.”

Report from Clans website

 

Stars complete offensive line-up

02/08/2010

Dan Ceman's latest signing is 26 year old forward AJ MacLean from Nova Scotia. AJ, who weighs in at 93kg and is 6 feet tall, last played for Dayton Gems in the IHL and his previous clubs include Arizona Sundogs (CHL), where he played alongside Peter Cartwright.

Charlie Ward said, "Good to see Dan has completed his offensive line up for the team, from the guys he has brought in it's clear we are going to be competitive against anyone. There looks to be a god work ethic within the squad, and their physical abilities will make sure they don’t get pushed around. I'm sure the Dundee fans are in line for some very interesting hockey next year.”

Coach, Dan Ceman said, "AJ is the perfect signing to round off our forward unit. He is a very difficult player to play against and relishes the chance to shut down other teams scorers. Saying this he has displayed a knack around the goal when given the opportunity. He also plays all 3 forward positions and is exactly the kind of well-rounded player that I was looking for. I have heard great things about AJ's attitude on and off the ice and he will be a pleasure to coach and have as a part of the Dundee community.

AJ said, “I'm excited to join the Dundee Stars, and am ready to have a great season. Being a MacLean I look forward to playing in Scotland where my roots are from. My heritage is important to me and it's going to be great to play in front of the Dundee fans and get in touch with my roots.”

Report from Stars website

 

Mark Nebus joins Dan Ceman's Roster

30/07/2010

Dundee CCS Stars are delighted to announce the signing of American Mark Nebus from Toledo Walleye. Mark is a 28 years old from South Lyon, Michigan and is a skilful, no nonsense power forward and was one of America's brightest young prospects.

At the age of 16 years he was closely watched by many of the top clubs in the NHL but a serious car accident left him in a coma and put his hockey career on hold. Mark made a remarkable recovery and returned to the ice to continue playing ice hockey at a high level. In season 2007/2008 Nebus played alongside Stars' new signing Brent Hughes in the IHL with Port Huron Ice Hawks and has also been a team-mate of former Stars' fans' favourite, Scott Barnes when they played together at Muskegon Fury in the UHL in America.

Coach Dan Ceman is delighted with his new acquisition and commented, "I am excited to sign a player like Mark. He is a true power forward who competes hard game in and game out. He also is outstanding on the forecheck and is very willing to do any dirty work that may be called for. Mark had an outstanding year offensively two years ago but was in a position where he didn't get much of an opportunity to excel last year. He is really fired up to come to Dundee and be an all-round threat again. I think we've definitely found another piece to the puzzle that will fit in perfectly in our line up."

Nebus said of his move to Stars, "I am excited that my first professional hockey move outside of North America is in Dundee. I have heard so many good things about the city and the club that I can't wait to get started. I understand that the Dundee fans are among the noisiest in the country and I certainly hope to give them something to shout about."

Report from Stars website

Steelers Sign Player/Coach for the 2010-2011 Season

28/07/2010

Ben Simon Accepts Job With The Sheffield Steelers as Player/Coach for the 2010-2011 Season

Ben Simon, a veteran player with 80+ NHL games and over 500 AHL games, has agreed to terms with the Sheffield Steelers to take over as the Player/Coach for the 2010-2011 seasons. Ben most recently played 44 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and 18 games Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL) in 2009-10 season. Ben has prior experience in European hockey, having played with the Iserlohn Roosters in the German DEL in 2008-09.

Ben will be a valuable addition to our club and with his leadership and work ethic; we expect Ben’s impact to be felt immediately. In the next few weeks, Ben will review and make any necessary alterations to our current roster. Below are some quotes from Ben about the why he chose to come to Sheffield:

On the decision: “I am very excited to join the Sheffield Steelers as a player/coach for the upcoming season. There is a long tradition of winning here, and it made my decision much easier. Sheffield is and will continue to be one of the top tier teams in the EIHL. I have only heard great things about the town and the people, especially the fans.

On the team: “In the next couple days I will be contacting all of the players under contract for this upcoming season. From there, we will figure out the best course of action for the team going forward. One thing I will promise is that this team will give 100 percent every time they touch the ice, in practices and games.”

On Expectations: “This season we are going to be a fun team to watch. I want the fans in Sheffield to be excited when they come to the arena because they know it’s going to be a great game of hockey. Our goal is to win hockey games and we will take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.”

On the situation in Sheffield: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the ownership in structuring my deal. Mr. Phillips has been very accommodating and I look forward to working with him. My focus is solely on hockey and preparing the best possible team for the upcoming season.

Report from EIHL website

 

SHEFFIELD STEELERS TO REMAIN WITH CURRENT OWNERSHIP

27/07/2010

In sport there is often only a short window of opportunity to successfully conclude negotiations to sell a club. Interest had been shown by a couple of bodies in taking over the operations of the club but not in terms that were acceptable.

A spokesperson for the Elite League confirmed: “There had been a number of meetings and negotiations with interested parties. However, they had not reached a successful conclusion.

“Having looked into the option for sale, the owners of the club are continuing with their focus on preparation for the season, which starts for Sheffield Steelers on Saturday 4th September with a home game against Dundee Stars.”

With the mid-summer discussions regarding ownership concluded, Bob and Maraini Philips will now be redoubling their commitment to the fans, sponsors and players of Sheffield Steelers to ice a competitive team come September.

Maraini Philips added: “We need to put behind us the events of recent weeks and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2010/11 season.

“There is a huge amount of work going on at the club in terms of recruiting players, planning marketing campaigns, developing the new website along with communication platforms and discussions with sponsors.

“Above all, the fabulous supporters of Sheffield Steelers deserve to have the best product possible on the ice and that it exactly what we are going to deliver for them.”

All season ticket holders can look forward to enjoying the magic atmosphere that makes the club, the Sheffield Steelers, and they are encouraged to seek out even more supporters to come along and join the hockey family in Sheffield.

Bob and Maraini Philips look forward to making further announcements during the lead up to the first games of the season and ask sponsors and supporters to be patient as they certainly will not be disappointed.

Report from EIHL website

Adam Taylor takes centre stage

26/07/2010

Forward Adam Taylor is the Edinburgh Capitals latest roster addition. Taylor spent last season playing in the ECHL for the Victoria Salmon Kings where he had 31 points, from 13 goals and 18 assists, and had 68 penalty minutes. Taylor as played over 300 professional games, is a strong two way centre who competes every night. He is a face off specialist who likes to shoot the puck.

Taylor said, "I am very excited to been coming to Edinburgh. I have had some real good talks with Gratts and he's the type of coach I feel will push me and the Capitals in the right direction. When going overseas you need to feel some kind of comfort with your coach because you never really know what you're getting into, Gratts' honest and down to earth approach made coming to the EIHL an easy choice." 

Edinburgh Capitals coach, Brad Gratton, commented, "Adam was drafted in the NHL by the Carolina Hurricanes and also signed a two year deal in the AHL. He has very good experience as a player and will be one of our leaders. I am hoping he will be a big part of our team; he is a good skater, a smart player with a good shot. Taylor has great size for a centre and he will be our key face off man. Games can be won or lost on face offs so it is good to have a great faceoff man.

"Adam plays hard every night and that is what we need. With a great attitude and lots of experience he will make us a better team."

Highlights in Taylor's career so far are:
2002 Memorial Cup Champion (Kootenay Ice)
2002 NHL Draft 7th round Carolina Hurricanes
2002 2nd WHL All-time Consecutive games played (289)
2005 ECHL All-Star (Victoria Salmon Kings)
2005 Signed 2 year Contract NHL/AHL Florida Panthers
2007 Captain of China Sharks (Asia Ice Hockey League)

Report from Stars website

 

DC and Matty sign new contracts

26/07/2010

Thompson brings experienced duo back for further term as Soderstrom and Carlson sign new contracts

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has completed his import contingent ahead of the new Elite Ice Hockey League season, by bringing back two of the club’s longest serving players for a further campaign.

Thirty-three year Swedish defenceman, Matt Soderstrom and thirty-one year old American centre, Dan Carlson have both put pen to paper on new contracts as Blaze look to defend their league title in what is set to be the best Elite League season ever.

Soderstrom will enter his 9th season with the Blaze, having originally joined the club in 1999.  The last remaining player from the club’s Solihull days became the first ever overseas player to register 500 games for the club last season and has helped Coventry to win five major titles during his time at the club.

Carlson will enter his sixth season with the club, having made his debut in the 2004/05 Grand Slam winning season.    In a Blaze career broken only by one season with Munich in Germany, Carlson has helped the club to win all of its four Elite League titles as well as four other major titles.  In 357 games for Coventry, Carlson has posted a highly impressive 467 points, fourth on the club’s all time point scoring chart.

Report from Blaze website

 

Giants Add Offensive Defenseman Jeff Mason

25/07/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of 28 year old American born defenseman Jeff Mason for the 2010 /11 season. Mason, from Easthampton, Massachusetts has an impressive point scoring record, scoring over 40 points in two seasons in the ECHL in 06/07 and more recently for the Gwinnett Gladiators in 2008/09. Last season, Mason moved mid season from the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL), where he amassed 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 36 games, to Europe for the first time where he played for the Heilbronn Falcons in the German 2nd division.

Head Coach Doug Christiansen is delighted to have signed Mason: “Jeff brings a lot to our team. First of all, we needed an offensive defender, especially someone who skates well and can jump in the play. Any defender in the ECHL who score 40 or more points twice and was on pace to do it a third time is a player who will succeed in our league. What I also like about Jeff are his intangibles. He was captain of his team in Gwinnett. Jeff is another player coming to Belfast who has worn a letter as a professional before. I think leadership is especially important with our demanding road schedule. It is our leaders who will be pushing the team on the ice and driving them forward.”

Jeff Mason added, “I am very excited for the opportunity to come to Belfast and play for the Giants. It is truly one of the top organizations and has a great tradition of winning. I am looking forward to getting started and helping the Giants to win another championship this season.”

GM Todd Kelman added “Signing Jeff is another important step for us in building our team. He is a great skater, who moves the puck well and can run a power play. His ability to score points from defense gives us the added depth we have been looking for”.

Report from Giants website

 

Stingrays land Read

22/07/2010

Hull Stingrays are pleased to announce the signing of Canadian defenceman Trevor Read for the 2010/2011 Elite League campaign.

The 29-year-old Calgary native is no stranger to the Elite League having iced for Basingstoke Bison during the 2008/09 season and he completes player-coach Sylvain Cloutier's roster.

Read began his career with Fort Saskatchewan Traders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and then spent a season with South Alberta Institute of Technology in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference before turning professional in 2002 when he joined Toledo Storm of the ECHL, helping them win the divisional title.

The following season Read split his time between Toledo and ECHL rivals Peoria Rivermen and Long Beach Ice Dogs, where he stayed until 2005 before moving to the Central Hockey League with Austin Ice Bats.

After a brief spell, Read finished the 2005/06 season with Amarillo Gorillas (CHL) and enjoyed two more years with them until a move to Europe materialised, with Basingstoke his destination. Last season he was in France with Gap HC.

Read said: "I'm very excited to be part of the Hull Stingrays organisation this year. Although the situation in Basingstoke was tough I really liked the style of play in the Elite League.

Report from Stingrays website

 

The Sheriff is Coming to Town!

21/07/2010

After a week of feverish negotiations Dundee CCS Stars' coach Dan Ceman has secured one of the most colourful characters in ice hockey for his roster for next year.

Ex Belfast Giant and Buffalo Sabres forward Sean McMorrow put pen to paper last night in Toronto to sign up for Ceman’s new look CCS Stars outfit next season. Tough guy McMorrow is also renowned for his work in the various communities he has played in, proving to be an ambassador for his team and ice hockey in general and has won 2 “Man of the Year” awards from previous leagues for his contributions to the communities.

Dan Ceman said "I'm extremely excited to bring such a special player as Sean to Dundee. He has the ability to make every player on our team better with his presence alone. Saying this, I also believe that when Sean gets the opportunity to play consistently he will become a feared forechecker who can make things happen with his strength and intense desire to win. The icing on the cake when I was researching Sean was his impressive reputation as a tireless contributor to the community and I know he can't wait to become a part of the fabric of Dundee. The impact that Sean will make at the arena and in the city will be like nothing Dundee has ever seen and my excitement to start the season is even greater now that we have the ultimate weapon in Sean."

Report from Stars website

6'6" Blueliner signs for Blaze

20/07/2010

Thompson turns to five time Champion, Jeff Smith to bolster the Blaze blue line

With the confirmation that personal circumstances would prevent Jason Robinson returning to the Blaze defensive unit for a second year, Coventry Head Coach, Paul Thompson has turned to 6’6” Canadian, Jeff Smith to add size and presence to his blue line for the forthcoming Elite Ice Hockey League season.

The twenty nine year old Saskatchewan native joins the Blaze after two seasons with the Nijmegen Devils in Holland, winning the Dutch Cup in his first season before captaining the side to the Dutch Championship last season.

Smith had an outstanding junior career with the Red Deer Rebels which included scoring the overtime game winning goal to secure his team the 2000/01 CHL Memorial Cup Championship.  He then turned professional, signing a three year contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers organisation and became the first player in franchise history to play more than 50 games for both their East Coast Hockey League (Trenton Titans) and American Hockey League (Philadelphia Phantoms) affiliate teams.

Report from Blaze website

 

Giants Sign Playmaking Centre Josh Prudden

19/07/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of American born forward Josh Prudden. Prudden comes to Europe from the East Coast Hockey League where he played for the Las Vegas Wranglers, scoring 36 points in 68 games last season. Prior to 2009/10, Prudden played regularly in the AHL and ECHL, amassing 31 points in 56 games for the Worchester Sharks in the 06/07 season.

Head Coach Doug Christiansen has tried to recruit Prudden the last two years, as did former Giants coach, Steve Thornton. Commenting on the latest addition to his roster, Christiansen said,

“Josh is a very skilled centre. He is a player who makes his teammates better.  I am looking for him to be someone who can distribute the puck to players who can score goals.  He will be a key player on our power play.  Josh is a proven leader. Last season he was player assistant coach and captain in Las Vegas. He is coming off a season where he had a couple injuries that are now fully healed and he is looking to be an impact forward. I am very excited to bring him to Belfast. He will be a great player for us.”

Report from Giants website

 

Sheffield Steelers – Club for Sale

14/07/2010

After an extensive review of the current situation and in the interest of the sponsors and supporters of Sheffield Steelers the current owners have decided that after their huge contribution to the success of the club it is now time to find new owners.

The recent bad press has only exacerbated the owner’s frustrations who worked tirelessly in the interest of the club but now feel that it is time to enable new ownership to take the club forward in a positive manner.

The Elite League has been advised by the owners of their desire to sell and asked to assist in making the transition.

The League hope’s that new owners can be found quickly so the season ahead can continue uninterrupted and the superb Sheffield Steelers fan base and sponsors can look forward to an exciting 2010/11 season.

Sheffield Steelers has a long and very proud tradition of being one of the premier clubs in top flight ice hockey in the UK and it is expected that considerable interest will be shown by investors willing to take on the opportunity.

Genuine parties interested in making an offer should forward their proposals to the Director of Hockey Operations of the league – andy.french@eliteleague.co.uk 

Report from EIHL website

 

PANTHERS COMPLETE LINE-UP

13/07/2010

Nottingham Panthers have completed their line-up for the 2010-11 UK Elite season with the signing of defenceman Brock Wilson.

The six feet one inch blueliner was born in St Louis. The 25-year-old followed up his Merrimack College career with three years of professional hockey at Stockton Thunder in the East Coast Hockey League, Flint Generals in the IHL, Albany River Rats in the AHL, then Augusta Lynx and Dayton Bombers in the ECHL. He split last year between Toledo and Utah in the coast.

Brock is a defensive defenceman and Panthers head coach Corey Neilson said of his latest and final signing: "I have known Brock for a long time, his father is former NHL player Rik Wilson, and Brock has lived and breathed hockey all his life.

"The way our team is set up we needed a solid, stay-at-home defenceman to complete the roster and that's just what he is.

"He plays mean and he ticks all the right boxes for me."

Wilson is likely to take some classes at the University of Derby as part of the club's important link-up with them.

And the coach says he is pleased with the Nottingham line-up for the upcoming campaign which starts at home with a league game against the Belfast Giants on Saturday September 4th at the TrentFM Arena.
"It's good. We've got a team of guys who all know they have to go out and earn their money every game we play. They all want to play in Nottingham and they're all ambitious. We've got goal-scoring, we've got physical presence, we've skills and speed and toughness when required.

"It's going to be a fantastic season. We've got record season ticket sales and everyone is excited about the new campaign. The NIC is going to be the place to be whenever we are at home. It's only July but the message to our brilliant fans is simple, tell your friends there's going to be a great night out in Nottingham with the Panthers every time we step on to the ice," added Neilson.

Report from Panthers website

 

Latest D-man to Sign for the Clan

09/07/2010

The latest signing for the Clan is 26 year old Canadian defenseman Cody Bostock. The 5ft11, 200lbs defenseman started his 2009/2010 campaign in the top league in Denmark with the Odense Bulldogs. When the Bulldogs missed out in progressing further in the Playoffs, Cody joined the Rapid City Rush in the CHL for their last 6 games and helped them in their playoff campaign to be crowned Playoff Champions. Before playing pro Cody played 4 years in the NCAA D1 for Bemidji State University.

Coach Richardson said ”I have always said that  you win games with good offensive play but you win championships with good defense,  and Cody will come in and solidify our D core. He comeshighly recommended from players and coaches who have worked with him in previous teams.  Bostock plays a hard game and skates really well. He really takes  pride in playing well in his Defensive zone and because of this he is  able to bring some offense to his game. I would like to thank our Partner University, who we will be announcing soon, for helping us attract Cody to the Clan. Cody will be studying for an MBA as well as playing for the Clan, hoping to be rewarded academically with a new MBA certificate and professionally with some silverware from his efforts on the ice.”. Richardson also added “I have one more defensive spot to fill and the ball is already rolling. I have sent a contract out to the intended player and as soon as he signs and returns it too me we will be in a position to make a formal announcement.”

Report from Clans website

 

Giants vs Bruins Clash In Belfast

07/07/2010

The National Hockey League (NHL) is coming to Belfast for the first time ever!  The one and only Boston Bruins, one of the most famous ice hockey teams in the world are coming to Belfast in October as part of the Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge.

The Bruins will be facing off against the Belfast Giants Selects, an all-star team made up of the best players from the Giants and the best of the rest of the UK Elite League.  This is the first time an NHL team has ever played a team from the Elite Ice Hockey League and the first time an Elite League All-Star team has been assembled to take on one of the best teams in the world.

This once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Boston Bruins in action is surely to be the Sporting Event of the Year at the Odyssey Arena.  Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of history when the NHL comes to Belfast on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010.  The doors open at 6pm and the puck drops at 7pm.

Tickets for the forthcoming game between the NHL Boston Bruins V Belfast Giants Elite League Selects on October 2nd 2010 are now on sale.

Remaining ticket prices range from £50.50 to £70.50 .

Tickets can be purchased from the Odyssey Box Office, telephone number 028 9073 9074, or online from www.ticketmaster.ie . For those customers booking from North America, please call 011 44 28 9073 9074.

Report from Giants website

 

PANTHERS SIGN THE K-WALL

07/07/2010

Nottingham Panthers have signed highly-rated American netminder Craig 'K-Wall' Kowalski.

The five feet eight inch Carolina Hurricanes draft pick (2000) comes to the UK after a season in Italy. Before that he played at North Michegan University and then had four years of successful professional ice hockey in the competitive ECHL and he had three spells at the even higher level of the AHL.
Throughout his years at university, ECHL and at AHL level, Craig also nicknamed "Killer" posted a save per centage in excess of 90.

In 2008-9 at Phoenix in the ECHL his numbers stood at 91.8 and at Norfolk Admirals in the AHL in the same season he was rated at 92 per cent.

The GMB Panthers were forced to seek a new netminder after last year's starter Kevin St Pierre at first signed a contract for a second season in Nottingham but later changed his mind and opted to stay with his family in North America and retire from the sport.

As ever in sport, one door closes and another opens, Kevin's decision gives the club the opportunity to sign 29-year-old Kowalski and Panthers head coach Corey Neilson is pleased with the news:
"Craig was one of my top targets when I was recruiting in my first year in charge here and he has stayed on my radar ever since. At that time he was playing some great hockey and he was regularly in demand from the higher level AHL.

"I have played against him and he has the ability to win games for his teams almost single-handed.
"He has proved he can stand the pressure of facing a lot of rubber whilst also being able to maintain his concentration in games where he only has around 25 shots to deal with. His numbers are fantastic. He had a tricky start to his European career on an expansion team in Italy last year but even there his stick-handling skills shone through and he even scored a goal!

"He's desperate to win, wants to get that winning feeling back and he wants to be part of a good team with big ambitions. His save per centage was still as high as 89.7 last year and yet he says he wants to prove himself all over again and that fits with what we're aiming for this year, every guy is going to earn what he gets, every night we play.

"All the reports on him are good. His stick-handling will help us break up opponents'  forechecks. A former coach of mine (and Craig's) said 'I'd take him on my team any day, in the ECHL or the AHL' and David Beauregard who is coming to us this year played on the same team in Italy last year and he said the same thing too!"

GMB PANTHERS PLAY THEIR FIRST LEAGUE GAME OF SEASON 2010-11 AT THE TRENTFM ARENA AGAINST THE BELFAST GIANTS ON SEPTEMBER 4th.

Report from Panthers website

 

Clan sign Chaumont

11/06/2010

Braehead Clan are proud to announce their newest signing, right winger Bobby Chaumont. 25 year old Chaumont has played with the Mississippi Riverkings in the CHL for the last 2 seasons.

The 6ft, 200lbs Canadian played 64 games for the Riverkings last season scoring 20 goals and had 28 assists.

Player/Coach Bruce Richardson is excited about adding Chaumont to the Clans roster and said

"I am really happy about Bobby joining our club. He comes highly recommended from a former coach of mine, who has also coached Bobby.

Bobby is a player that will bring some goals and a great work ethic to the team. He will also excel in all 3 zones and is a true professional.

He is thrilled about coming to Scotland and like me he thinks we can cause some damage in our first season!"

Report from Clans website

 

Thommo signs Sean Selmser

10/06/2010

Third new face of the summer for Blaze as Thompson lands Selmser from Vienna Capitals

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has today confirmed that he has completed the signing of Canadian forward, Sean Selmser from the Vienna Capitals of the Austrian Elite League.


After four seasons in the WHL with the and Red Deer Rebels (1992-95), the Calgary, Alberta native made his professional debut in 1995-96, splitting the year between the ECHL's Hampton Roads Admirals and the AHL's Portland Pirates. The 6’0” winger went on to play over 200 games in the American Hockey League with Portland, Hamilton and Syracuse and also played over 100 games for Team Canada.


Having been selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 NHL entry draft, Selmser finally made his NHL debut as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2000/01 season. After a season with Hamilton in the AHL, Selmser made his move to Europe, being named captain of Ayr Scottish Eagles at the start of the 2002/03 (and final) Superleague season. After the early collapse of the Eagles organisation, he joined the Belfast Giants for their Continental Cup campaign before moving on to Villach in Austria part way through the season.


Two seasons in Villach, two in Graz and the last four in Vienna saw Selmser spend eight seasons in the high quality Austrian Elite League before signing for the Blaze for the new season.


The feisty forward, who joins tough defenceman, Brad Zanon and free scoring forward, Owen Fussey as new Blaze signings, will combine his playing duties with a course of study at Coventry University


“My family and I are really excited to be coming to Coventry next season,” said Selmser. “It will be my 16th year of professional hockey and my 9th in Europe and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge with the Blaze.

Report from Blaze website

Clan Latest Signing Canadian Tim Wedderburn

08/06/2010

The latest signing for the Braehead Clan is 28 year old Tim Wedderburn from Okotoks, Alberta Canada.

The left handed,  218lbs,  6ft 2" defenseman is a huge bonus to the Clan roster.

Wedderburn played in both the ECHL and AHL last season with the Victoria Salmon Kings in the ECHL and Lake Erie Monsters in the AHL.

Player/coach Bruce Richardson said:

"Tim is a former teammate of mine, having played together at the Hershey Bears. I know what type of player he is and I know what he will bring to the table; leadership and consistency. He can play in any situation and he will use his vast experience which he has gained from playing in higher leagues in North America.

Tim has also played in the top Italian league so he is no stranger to Europe. Tim is excited about this new challenge and with his experience he will be a great asset to our D core"

Report from Clans website

 

PANTHERS COMPLETE FORWARD UNIT

07/06/2010

Nottingham Panthers have completed their forward unit for the upcoming Elite League campaign with the signing of 25-year-old six-feet-three-inch Ian McDonald.

The Edmonton native won an award for the most assists during his top flight junior years and has most recently been at the University of Alberta where his accolades included play-off finals MVP in 2008.

His skills level drew attention from several professional clubs in North America but the highly rated centre-man opted for the chance to play in Europe.

“Like others before me, I was told Nottingham was the place to be in the UK and I’m very excited to be joining the Panthers’ organisation,” he said after signing a contract for season 2010-11.

GMB Panthers coach Corey Neilson said : “Some of the scouting reports on this guy have been fantastic. He’s big and strong and he had a point a game through all four years at Alberta. One coach even likened him to NHL star Joe Thornton, if he’s even close to that we know we will have added another winner to the roster.

“He wanted to come here and that has been a key factor in signing all the players for next season. He had a choice to go elsewhere and a choice of clubs in the East Coast Hockey League but he wanted to come to us.

“With the recent addition of Brit Matt Myers, who’s coming back to us from a year in America, we have got a lot of options for next season. I love the idea of being to go hard and fast at opposition teams and with four sets of wingers we’ll be able to wear down even the strongest of opponents.”



Coach Neilson has one import spot left to fill on defence. An announcement on that could come sooner rather than later. The GMB Panthers’ recruitment drive is the most advanced in the league. Season 2010-11, with ten teams in the UK Elite League, promises to be the most exciting yet.

“It’s going to be a great year, a tough year, and an exciting year for the fans. We’ve put together a team with a bit of everything, a team that wants to win for the fans and each other and the organisation,” added the coach.


Report from Panthers website

 

MATTHEW'S BACK IN NOTTINGHAM!

04/06/2010

Nottingham Panthers are pleased to announce GB international Matthew Myers has signed for the club for the upcoming season.

Matthew spent last season in the East Coast League in North America and was somewhat hampered by injuries before returning to the GB team at the World Championships.

Having decided to stay in the UK for next season his signature became a prized target for several clubs. Having spent five seasons with the GMB Panthers after moving from his home town of Cardiff because of university studies, Matthew is back for a sixth season in the black and gold.

“Nottingham were very good when I had the chance to go to America after having already signed with the Panthers last year. It is a great organisation, the fans know what I think of them, it is a lovely arena and I want to do my best for everyone involved,” said the 25-year-old today.

Coach Corey Neilson added : “It won’t have done Matt any harm playing in Bakersfield and Johnstown last season and he brings a lot to the table for us. We know what he can do, he can be a surprise package for opponents and it gives me a new batch of options when it comes to filling the last two import berths on the roster.

“Matthew ticks some of the boxes that might otherwise have to be filled by, say, a defenceman who can go forward on the powerplay.

“Having Matthew in the line-up would be a bonus for any team and the fact that we’ve got him will make the other teams envious. That’s their problem, not ours.”

The GMB Panthers will go with the full allocation of imports and with the return of young Robert Lachowicz from a season in the minors, it will give coach Neilson the option to short-shift and double shift a centre to put out four forwards lines instead of the usual three. And that will give him options of speed up front as well as skill.

Report from Panthers website

 

WORKAHOLIC FORWARD JOINS THE PANTHERS

04/06/2010

Twenty-nine-year old Dustin Sproat played in 91 games last season with Cincinnati in the East Coast League and Milwaukee in the AHL.

He said today: “I guess I’m known as a great two-way player, this year I had about a point a game playing on the best defensive team in the league but there’s more than that to come in a different system, I outscored some of the top names in the coast this year in all the big games and I can’t wait to bring that work ethic to Nottingham.

“I spoke to players around Europe and everyone told me Nottingham was the place to go in the UK, I’m looking forward to it and you can add me to the list of players who’ve told you they can’t wait for the new season to get going.”

GMB Panthers coach Corey Neilson added: “Dustin has five years in the pros under his belt, in Cincinnati, they made it to the Conference Finals last year and they won the Kelly Cup this year. In both campaigns Dustin led the team in playoff points, goals, and plus-minus.

“I can see him leading by example and making the big plays in the big games. He knows what’s expected of him and he is relishing the challenge. He’s a high energy guy and will be good value for the fans to watch.”

Dustin has also played for Reading and Fresno in the ECHL and is a graduate from Princeton University. The six feet tall Canadian is likely to extend his studies thanks to the unique tie between the GMB Panthers and the University of Derby. 

He has also set up his own hockey foundation which has done a lot of work in the community so his approach will fit in with the Nottingham Panthers own programme and ideals of getting into schools and meeting kids from all walks of life.

Report from Panthers website

 

Mathieu Wathier newest Clan signing!

28/05/2010

The Clans newest signing is 27 year old Mathieu Wathier! The 6ft 1” left handed defenseman has played in the top French League for the last 2 years.

Originally from Les Couteaux, Quebec, Wathier has played in various leagues including the UHL and CHL.

Player/Coach Richardson said “Mathieu knows what kind of person I am and knows what I will demand from my team. When you  are a player/coach you need guys that will respect you and work hard for you and I know that  Mathieu will do that for me. He will be really solid defensively and be a big asset on the Penalty Kill. I expect Mathieu to come here and be a great leader on and off the ice for the  Clan”.

Report from Clans website

Steelers Sign New Goalie

27/05/2010

Steelers head coach David Matsos has admitted that the signing of new goalie Ervins Mustukovs is one of the biggest gambles he could have taken but is confident that he has signed a super star and a man who will back stop the Steelers to a Championship

"I'm a Canadian coach who believes in the Canadian way" said Matsos "and I've just signed a 25 year Latvian, of course it's a gamble but I tell you I think it's one that is worth taking and one that could win us a league title"

Mustukovs will become the Steelers first Latvian player when he arrives in Sheffield in late August. Last season Mustukovs backed up for the Latvian National Team at the Olympics after spending time with Dinamo Riga in the Russian KHL, the 2nd best league in the world

Mustukovs started for both the Latvian under 18 and 20 team in his earlier career before heading to North America where he played 2 seasons in the East Coast League "His saves percentage is excellent, this is a goalie who stops a lot of rubber and gives the players in front of him huge confidence" said Matsos

"There are times you come across a player and you get a gut feeling that this guy is going to be a star and that's the feeling I get with him. I've taken references from people in Europe and North American, where Ervins has played as well and I've been told nothing but great things

"This is a player that wants to be a starting goalie in the KHL but needs to play 60 games a year before he can do that. You don't go to the Olympics if your a poor goalie, this guy is a risk but he is a real find, a star in the making and a player our fans will get behind

"This is a one off chance for us to sign a potential super star, it's a unique situation but I feel very, very good about it
.

Report from Steelers website

 

Dundee Stars Sign Player/Coach

25/05/2010

Dundee CCS Stars are delighted to announce their player/coach for this forthcoming season in the Elite League.

Dan Ceman comes highly recommended from some of the best names in professional ice hockey, both as a player and a coach in the dressing room.

Over the past four seasons he has played in the Danish Elite League with Soenderjyske, and in the last two seasons he has captained them into a domestic treble last year and the Elite League title the previous year.

His career stats and performance levels all indicate that he is a proven winner and he is determined to develop his hockey career in coaching by taking the reigns at the Stars in this top flight in Britain, he has shown the ambition to build a team in a very competitive league.

Dan’s previous Clubs include Hampton Road Animals in the East Coast Hockey League and Portland Pirates and Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League. 

In Europe as well as the Danish Elite League, Dan has played for Sheffield Steelers, Bracknell Bees and Nottingham Panthers in both the Super league and Elite league, in fact, in the super league he was one of the top goal scorers, clearly his knowledge of the Canadian, UK and mainland Europe hockey scene will bring huge benefits to the Dundee Stars, his playing career has been based on determination and an excellent work ethic. 

He has first class leadership and communication skills and is keen to develop young players for the future. He keeps himself extremely fit and has strong discipline qualities.

In the off season Dan resides in Windsor, Ontario where he works as a teacher. He is married to wife Melani, a native of Bracknell who is a former UK champion hurdler and is an accomplished athlete in her own right.


Report from Stars website

 

Talbot Back for a 4th Season

24/05/2010

Sheffield Steelers have confirmed that top scorer Joe Talbot will be returning for a 4th season with the Arena club

Talbot who joined the Steelers from Alaska Aces in 2007 has played 165 games for Sheffield scoring 94 goals, last season Talbot hit 34 making him the clubs join top scorer with Jeff Legue

Head coach David Matsos was delighted to be welcoming back his top marksman "Joe Talbot is pure quality, a go to player, a clutch player, a guy you want out on the ice at the most crucial and important moments in a game

"Whilst we all except that the club had to make significant changes in our roster following last season we all knew that the club couldn't afford to lose the services of a guy like Joey. On the ice he leads us with his work ethic and big goals

"We certainly are trying to build a great club around the likes of Joe Talbot, we are confident in the way the team is taking shape and we all believe that Joey will once again help us lift silverware next year"

Report from Steelers website

CANADIAN DEFENCEMAN SWITCHES TO PANTHERS

22/05/2010

Top drawer Canadian defenceman Jonathan Zion has signed for the GMB Nottingham Panthers.

The six feet-plus Ontario born blueliner is no stranger to Panthers fans having iced last season at arch-rivals Sheffield after a professional career that has seen him play at Richmond, Reading, Greenville and Idaho in the ECHL and at Cincinnati, Portland, Manchester, Utah and Syracuse in the AHL after being a fourth-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1999.

He has also had stints in the top flight European leagues including Austria, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

He had hoped to join the GMB Panthers last season but at the time his representatives made enquries it wasn’t a viable option and he landed in Sheffield instead.

Now he says he is thrilled to be finally joining the Nottingham organisation and his new coach Corey Neilson is very excited about his latest recruit:
“Jon is an offensive threat but also knows his job on the blue-line. He brings a lot to the table and I can see him having a big role on special teams for us as well as playing a defensive game at times whilst also jumping into the play to help the forwards.

“He was one of the top defencemen in the Elite League last year and his skills shone out so it was no wonder a lot of clubs wanted to sign him for next year.

“With two D-men to sign and two forwards I have made no secret of the fact that I wanted a solid defenceman and another who would add more adventure up front, an offensive-defencemen,.

“In Jon that’s exactly what we’ve got. I don’t think we could have added a better player for the role that I have in mind.

“This is another key signing in our quest for more honours.”

Report from Panthers website

 

Giants Sign New Import Defenseman

21/05/2010

Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of 26 year old Canadian Jon Gleed. The 6’2” defenseman comes to the Giants off a successful seasonwith the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League, playing 74 games, amassing a personal best season high of 15 points along the way. Number 5 Gleed was a draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2004.

Director of Hockey Operations, Doug Christiansen commented on his first import signing, “With one minute left and up a goal, I expect Jon to be on the ice. Last season he was given the role of shutting down the top players in the AHL. He is big, strong, physical, and tough. He is not afraid to stand up for himself or his teammates. That will not be his job in Belfast but he does play a physical game.

The reviews I had on him were as good as any player I have ever recruited. It was the first time in four years of recruiting players that I sent a contract offer the same day as I got a players name and heard from his references. I know he is excited about coming to Belfast and helping to continue its championship tradition. His increasing point total is a sign that his best hockey is ahead of him.”

Jon Gleed is very excited to be joining the Giants, “I am thrilled to be coming to Belfast to a club with such a strong championship winning record.”

Report from Giants website

Carroll signing brings goals to Newcastle

20/05/2010

Vipers coach Danny Stewart says new signing Jamie Carroll will be one of his 'go-to guys' at the offensive end of the ice after the 26-year-old American signed up to join the much changed Vipers lineup.
 
Carroll has spent his three pro years in the IHL, staying two seasons at Port Huron Icehawks before icing for Bloomington PrarieThunder alongside Cardiff's Ryan Finnerty last season.
 
Before turning professional, Carroll iced in the NCAA with Providence College, facing off against Jason Tejchma of UMass-Lowell in the ultra-competitive Hockey East Division.
 
Carroll's professional career to date has been fairly prolific, with 79 goals and 126 assists for 205 points in three seasons.  His rookie season of 30+40=70 saw him attract the eye of the AHL's Rockford IceHogs where he iced in two games as well as practicing with Grand Rapids Griffins. 
 
He won a place on the IHL's All Rookie team that year, and was named the IceHawks Rookie of the Year by the Booster Club.
 
His career year to date was 2008-9 with a total of 80 points (28+52) from 73 games, again with the IceHawks.
 
"Jamie brings us that go-to guy that every team needs," said Danny Stewart today.
 
"He has consistently put up offensive numbers throughout the college and pro level, and his 80-point season is a measure of his capabilities.
 
"With us next year he will have every chance to succeed again.
 
"Added to his skill he is a good character on and off the ice and, it's becoming a mantra of mine, he will compete every night, which is exactly the type of player we want in Newcastle."

Report from Vipers website

 

Fussey moves to Blaze

20/05/2010

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has today confirmed that he has completed the signing of highly rated forward, Owen Fussey from Elite League rivals, Edinburgh Capitals.

Twenty seven year old Fussey joins the Blaze after an outstanding debut season in the UK where his 35 goals in 46 games led the Capitals to their best ever Elite League finish.  His performances resulted in him being named the Elite League Newcomer of the Season at the 2010 Elite League awards.

A standout junior career, primarily with the Calgary Hitmen, led to Fussey being drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 2001 NHL draft and two seasons later, after turning professional in 2003, he played four games for the Capitals in the best league in the world.  He has played over two hundred games in the high quality American Hockey League for Portland Pirates, Hershey Bears and Toronto Marlies, winning the Calder Cup with the Bears in the 2005/6 season.

Report from Blaze website

First Import Announced!

18/05/2010

Braehead Clan are happy to announce their first import signing for the 2010/2011 season (subject to work permit), Derek Patrosso. The 6ft1" 25 year old American from Northville,MI joins the Clan after playing the last 2 seasons with the Port Huron Icehawks. Racking up 30 goals, 40 assists and no less than 94 penalty minutes last season, Clan fans can expect an exciting shift when Patrosso is on the ice.

Player/coach Bruce Richardson said "Derek will be a huge asset to the team and we look forward to working with him. He will be an integral part of what this team is all about, being a strong, energetic and entertaining side that the fans will really connect with. He is a real impact player and is hungry to come over and make his mark."

Report from Clans website

 

Mark Smith signs for Devils

15/05/2010

Former Edinburgh Capital defenceman to join Devils for next season

Defenceman Mark Smith has signed for the Cardiff Devils for the 2010/11 season.

The highly rated blueliner will be another player combining his ice hockey career with further studying at the Cardiff Business School.

"We are very very pleased to have Mark join us," said Head Coach Gerad Adams. "One of our main goals in recruitment this season is consistency and Mark was one of the most consistently strong performers in the league last year, at home and on the road."

Bench coach Neil Francis adds, "Mark is a quality D-man who is great positionally, strong on the puck and gives us great confidence that he will just take care of things at the back, while still chipping in with valuable points."

Report from Devils website

 

PANTHERS ANNOUNCE RETURN OF JAY HENDERSON

14/05/2010

Nottingham Panthers are pleased to announce the return of former Boston Bruin, gritty forward Jay Henderson.

 Jay had a strong finish for the Panthers last season and it is the second deal in a week that owes much to the club’s tie-in with the University of Derby.

 Coach Corey Neilson said of the returning forward : “You win some, you lose some. Kevin Bergin revealed yesterday that he wasn’t coming back and now Jay has confirmed that he is.

“He is another guy who will have a bigger role to play for us next season. It is important to keep a core of faces around, he’s great in the locker room, a great leader on and off the ice and he brings a wealth of experience to the club.

“He’s thrilled to be back and we’re thrilled to have him.”

This will be the 31-year-old Alberta-native’s second season with the GMB Panthers. He is married with two children.

Report from Panthers website

 

PANTHERS ANNOUNCE SWITCH IN THE BACK-UP GOLIE DEPARTMENT

14/05/2010

There will be a change up in the netminder department for the GMB Nottingham Panthers next season with the arrival of Dan Green from the Sheffield Steelers.

The former Basingstoke netminders takes over the role of back-up netminder from Mark Hartley and Geoff Woolhouse.

Said coach Corey Neilson today : “Dan has won games at the Elite League level, he has connections with Nottingham as a city and he has wanted to come here for a while.

“He’s a good guy and he will fit in well with everything we’re trying to do.

“Mark and Geoff move on with our best wishes and it may not be the last we see of either of them. They’re both great guys with a great attitude and leave us, for now at least, with our very best hopes for the future.”

The 28-year-old was born in Leamington Spa. He started his pro-career at Bracknell before spending several seasons at Basingstoke and most recently he has been with Sheffield for a couple of years.

Report from Panthers website


Tylor's back !!

13/05/2010

Tylor Michel returns to the Devils roster for the 2010/11 season

Tylor Michel returns to South Wales for another season with the Devils.

The popular forward enjoyed a career year with Cardiff last season (improving his previous best 7 goals to an impressive 20) whilst showing he could play on any line and in any situation required.

“Tylor was a big plus from last season and has earned the right to come back and help us challenge for honours." Said Head coach Gerad Adams of Michel. "He came with expectations of being a gritty hard working player but he proved to be much more than that. He scored 20 valuable goals including several game winners, played the back end of our powerplay extremely well and provided more than adequate cover on defense when needed."

 The signing of Michel has been one of the most-talked about topics for Devils fans along with the potential return of Brad Voth, who is still in talks.

 Known for his gritty, no-nonsense approach to the game, Michel's first season in the UK saw him pick up both the fans and coaches player of the year award at the end of the campaign. He is a versatile player who will bring tenacity, a high work-rate and 100% effort to every shift for the Devils and Adams is pleased to have him in the line-up.

 "We will be looking to use his versatility again this season and he is another valuable piece of the puzzle for us” he continued. "Last year showed once again that having players who can adapt and will throw themselves into the job at hand 100% can make a huge difference when it counts."

 The Devils have also agreed terms with a defencemen and look to announce his signing in the next few days, once paperwork has been received.

Report from Devils website


Stayzer fits the bill for Stewart's Vipers

12/05/2010

6ft 3in defenceman/forward Blair Stayzer is Danny Stewart's first import signing for the Newcastle Vipers.

 

The Ontario native was drafted by Calgary Flames in the 1999 draft, and played in the AHL for St John Flames in 2001-2.  The 29-year-old is a veteran of ten seasons in the North American minor leagues, most recently in the IHL with Fort Wayne Komets.

 

The no-nonsense Stayzer - who describes his own playing style as "crash and bang" - weighs in at 225lbs and fits into the mould of players that coach Danny Stewart is looking to bring to Newcastle.

 

"Blair is the perfect fit for the Newcastle Vipers," said coach Stewart today.

 

"He is a character guy, plays a hard nosed style and competes every single night.  He isn't afraid to defend himself or his teammates against anyone.

 

"He has added versatility in that he can play forward and defence, and will play in all situations whether on the penalty kill or the powerplay.

 

"Blair will bring us toughness on the back end with the ability to move the puck which is crucial to our transition game.


"I will be looking at Blair to be one of our leaders, and he is a great presence in the dressing room."

 

Stewart indicated that Stayzer will be his number four defenceman, with the option of playing as forward in special team situations.

 

Blair Stayzer will arrive on Tyneside in late August ahead of the VIpers' Elite League campaign which gets underway in September.

Report from Vipers website

 

Fulghum signs for Blaze

11/05/2010

Luke Fulghum signs new two year contract after stand out first season with the Blaze

Coventry Blaze Head Coach, Paul Thompson has today confirmed that top scoring American forward, Luke Fulghum has signed a new, two year contract with the Elite League Champions, Coventry Blaze. 

Thirty year old Fulghum, joined the Blaze at the start of last season and in seventy games for the club, posted an incredible 60 goals and 44 assists for a 104 point total.  As well as being Coventry’s top scorer, Fulghum was also the highest goal scorer in the Elite League and was named the Best Forward and the Fans Favourite Player at the League’s end of season awards. His prolific point scoring played a huge part in the Blaze recapturing the Elite League title last season.


Report from Blaze website

 

Panthers sign American centre

10/05/2010

Panthers have announced the signing of new forward Billy Ryan The six feet one inch forward comes highly recommended to the club and coach Corey Neilson is delighted with the capture of his second new face to Britain in this summer's recruitment drive Billy played at the University of Maine for four seasons and was drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round (80th overall) in 2004.

Two years ago he split his season between Wheeling in the East Coast League and Philadelphia in the prestigious AHL.

He was back at Wheeling last season where he has been a point a game man in that league's toughest division.

Said coach Neilson today:"I have done my homework and Billy ticks the right boxes. His college coach has played in the UK and he gave him a glowing reference.

"I have spoken to a bunch of guys who have played with and against him and he has all the skills I was looking for and a potentially big role on the powerplay for us."where we missed having a left handed passer last season."

"Billy had injury problems last year but they're behind him now and he's raring to go. He is keen to join us and thanks to our link up with the fantastic University of Derby, Billy will also be able to add to his schooling too.

"He will be an asset to our organisation and he is thrilled to be joining us."

Coach Neilson also expects to announce further signings, possible returnees from last year's Challenge Cup winning roster, in the next few days as soon as paperwork is finalised.

The upcoming Elite League campaign promises to be the best yet with ten teams fighting for honours and the GMB Panthers intend to be up there with the best of them. Season tickets are now on sale.

Report from Panthers website

 

Leader Macrae joins Devils

08/05/2010

University star and Amarillo top-scorer Stuart Macrae is heading to South Wales

The Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Stuart Macrae for the 2010/11 season, his first in the UK.

Following the announcement of Jon Pelle earlier this week, Gerad Adams adds to his squad by signing a player with a proven track record of both scoring and championship success.

The Coxheath, Nova Scotia native has led his team in scoring four times in his career and has tasted success at college and international level.

Macrae brings his experience, six feet two inch frame and consistency to the line-up. He also brings a recommendation from a Devils favourite: Wes Jarvis.

Bench Coach Neil Francis, working alongside Adams in the recruitment process this summer, says:

“Stuart was recommended by Wes Jarvis who spoke very highly of his great all round game. He is described as a smooth playmaker with the added ability of being able to consistently put the puck in the net. He has strong leadership qualities and was a captain at St Francis-Xavier University.

This guy was part of the Canadian College National Championship winning team (as top scorer) as well as the gold-medal winning Team Canada side in the World University Championships. “

 This continues Devils recruitment style of good players and good people for the coming year as Adams places great emphasis on leadership, consistency and positive attitude.

He says, “We are really pleased to add a player like Stuart who will giv