PLAYERS are queuing up to join Scotland’s new top-flight ice hockey team, The Braehead Clan.
It was officially announced today that Coventry Blaze goal machine, Adam Calder will be the player-coach of the UK Elite League outfit playing out of Braehead Arena, next season.
Calder revealed: “I’ve already had lots of players who fancy coming to the Braehead Clan getting in touch with me by phone, text and email offering their services.
“And I’ve no doubt once I move to Braehead, my email in-box will be swamped with messages from agents from all over the world suggesting I sign this or that player.
“Players will want to come here because The Braehead Clan is a well-run organisation, we’ll be a top-notch Elite League team and the Arena where we will play our home games is one of the premier places to play hockey in the country.”
Originally from Manitoba, in Canada, Calder, 34, has been playing with Coventry Blaze for the past six seasons and is the Elite League’s all-time leading goal scorer, helping his team lift seven trophies in his time with the club. He is captain of the Blaze, who are this year’s league champions.
Although he is preparing for this weekend’s Play-Off Finals, in Nottingham, Calder has also given some thought to who he wants lining up beside him in the Clan colours next season.
He said: “This league has some very good players and I’ve come up against guys who I would want to have had in my team. I haven’t talked to any of these guys yet, but I certainly have players in mind that I will make contact with after the Play-Off Finals.
“I hope to start getting players signed up for next season by the middle of April.
“My team will be a good mix of solid goaltending, a physical defence made up of guys who can push the puck around and also fans’ favourites who won’t take any nonsense from opponents and won’t be afraid to drop the gloves. We will have a tough team – no doubt about that.
“And like every good team, we will also have a good mix up front. Skilful guys who can pass the puck well and score goals alongside wingers who can fight their way out of a corner with the puck.”
Calder reckons his Braehead Clan team won’t be the new kids on the block who take a beating from the old hands in the Elite League. But he’s not making outrageous claims of success either.
“We’ll be going out there every night to play exciting hockey and win our games. I wouldn’t be taking the job on if I didn’t think we’ll do well in the UK Elite League,” he said.
“I won’t be making exaggerated predictions about winning the league in our first season, but we’re not here to come last. I’m confident we can finish in the top half of the table and make the play-of finals next season. Then we’ll see what happens.”
Calder is undaunted that this is his first coaching job and said: “I’m not a young buck any more and I have put my time in playing top-flight hockey in the UK. I know what’s required to make the grade.
“This is a great opportunity to move on to the next stage of my career.
“Although I have had a great time at Coventry, the move to The Braehead Clan gets me into a coach’s role and I’m very excited about that.
“It’s a new club and we want to put on a new and exciting product for hockey fans and families alike in Scotland. If we can get people into the rink they will get excited about what they will experience on a game night.
“West central Scotland has a great ice hockey tradition and I want people to know that the hockey boys are back in town. I’m excited about that prospect and the fans should be excited as well.
“Saturday night is hockey night at Braehead Arena and it’s definitely the place to be next season.”
For further information contact Norman Macdonald on (o) 01505 816980 or (m) 07958 648814