The off-ice report

Tuesday, 14th June 2005
Certainly the biggest unveiling of the week, Nottingham's press conference to introduce the new head coach last Thursday saw Mike Blaisdell make his return to British ice hockey.  Replacing Paul Adey as the driving force behind the Panthers bench, Mike Blaisdell returns to the Nottingham team following a long tenure with rivals Sheffield Steelers and a season with the Regina Pats, and his signing has met with approval from the Nottingham staff and fans alike.  Team owner Neil Black is looking forward to the new season with Blaisdell in charge, proclaiming that "Mike Blaisdell is a proven, successful and yet still ambitious coach.  Of course he has been with the club before and now he returns to complete unfinished business!"
Basingstoke Bison continue their team-building with the acquisition of defenceman Mike Rees, the former captain of the Bracknell Bees and long-time regular of the CHL's El Paso Buzzards.  Bison Head Coach Mark Bernard is pleased to add Rees to the roster, noting that "Mike is a big strong aggressive defenceman which is exactly what I was looking for.  He also has a ton of experience which is going to make us better right away on the backend."  Rees joins former Bees colleague Danny Meyers on the Bison squad.
Cardiff Devils have secured the services of Regan Darby for the forthcoming season, with the defenceman joining the Welsh team following a time with the Las Vegas Wranglers and the Augusta Lynx. At 6'2" and 200lbs, Regan is expected to be a strong physical presence for the Devils.
London Racers' Jeremy Cornish has received an invitation to try out with the Toronto Maple Leafs at their prospects camp this summer, following a stand-out season in the English capital in which his scoring and penalty-taking made him a firm favourite amongst the Racers.  Coach Dennis Maxwell is thrilled for his player, announcing "I'm ecstatic for him.  This is just great.  Corny is a great guy to have on any team and we wish him all the best.  Our fingers are very tightly crossed!"
Dino Bauba has become the first re-signing for the Edinburgh Capitals this summer, with new coach Tony Hand retaining the services of his former team-mate.  "Dino Bauba and I played together at Ayr a few years ago," says Hand.  "I know his game, he's a good skater, a very experienced guy, he's a smart skillful player who does well on the big Murrayfield ice.  He was popular with the fans last year who saw some moves only Dino would try, he's a player the fans will be pleased to pay to see next year too.  Dino Bauba will easily make the transition from the BNL moving back to the Elite League and I'm confident that he will do a good job for me this year."
Belfast Giants General Manager John Elliott has moved to silence the rumours regarding the future of the club by releasing an open statement outlining the forthcoming plans for the team, confirming that the search for a new head coach is very much ongoing, and that Belfast will be attending the league fixtures meeting on June 27th.  The GM also confirms that negotiations are ongoing with regard to securing sponsors for the forthcoming season.
Sixteen year old Joe Henry has become the first apprentice player signed by the Coventry Blaze for the coming season.  The left winger will be icing for the Coventry Under 19s squad but will also be joining the Blaze squad whenever his Under 19s duties allow him, as well as helping to manage the changing room and helping out with the team shop.  Henry has represented Great Britain at roller hockey, and has made an impact on coach Paul Thompson over the last year, who says that "Joe has showed great potential in his development so far as a player.  Last season I used him twice in challenge games and he also impressed me at the summer hockey school."
Also at Coventry, defenceman Neal Martin has been promoted to the position of Player Assistant Coach, and will work alongside Luc Chabot in assisting Paul Thompson.
by Richard Allan