Braehead Clan may or not have completed their roster with the signing of Matt Towe (couple of two way signings may yet follow) but they really seem to have upped the ante this season under new coach Ryan Finnerty and Ass coach Kevin Bergin.
From the back with netminder Kyle Jones all the way to the front, Clan have a tough, agile, flexible team with speed and skill to boot. Other than the new coaching team, a major coup was the return of Ash Goldie, didn’t see that happening to be honest after the debacle which was last season.
Clan have a sturdy group of brits and Matt Haywood will only continue to improve in his 4th season with the Clan, Aidan Fulton and Craig Mitchell both gain full time contracts having been on 2 ways last season with the ever present Mike Will as back up goalie for a 4th season (how much longer clan can keep this talented lad, I do not know).
I really like the look and balance of the clan roster this season, it’s young and strong and many are used to playing multiple roles on ice which means shots on goal and of course, a defence in front of Kyle Jones, unlike his unlucky predecessors last season.
How will Clan do this time out?
On paper they should win the Gardiner Conference at a canter but I said that last year lol! But this time around, experienced non playing coach and his hard philosophy on toughness and fitness… better than last year.
Nottingham Panthers may struggle to repeat last years treble as the Sheffield Steelers look to be strong in all areas so far with Doug Christianson assembling an excellent side. Belfast Giants may find themselves treading water this time around.
Cardiff Devils seem to be heavy on the D and may lack the firepower up front to make a major impact.
Coventry Blaze? Hmm write them off at your peril! No idea how they will do!
In the Gardiner Conference I can’t see Hull Stingrays challenging too much, unlike other teams, they have stayed with the same formula whilst other teams have gone with flexibility.
I don’t see Edinburgh Capitals or Fife Flyers making a major impact dude to budget issues (sorry folks but that is the way I see it)
Dundee Stars will, I think, be the team to compete with Braehead Clan this season, although,,,, coach Jeff hutchins has tweeted recently that players should get real about demands as it is mid august, a sign here is having problems getting a team together.
Soo the clan? Sticking my neck out and reckon 4th place in league, play off finals and challenge cup finalists.