Around the Rinks: Party time!

Good morning, hockey fans!

Many of you will be heading to work. Many of you will be getting ready to enjoy a weekend of hockey so whatever you’re up to, take some time to bring yourself up to speed with the latest from around the rinks.

And if you are heading to one of the play-off weekends going on, have a great time!

Milton Keynes Lightning have began to prepare for life in the NIHL with the appointment of Lewis Clifford as their head coach (MK Lightning, MK Citizen, British Ice Hockey)

Coventry Blaze have confirmed three of their players from the roster this season are returning for the second year of their contracts (Coventry Blaze, British Ice Hockey)

Manchester Storm captain Dane Byers has announced his retirement after completing his second year with the club as he pursues a new opportunity in business (Manchester Storm)

Glasgow Clan have released four players from the team that helped them to fourth place this season, including long-serving defenceman Zach Sullivan (Glasgow Clan)

Back in Coventry, retiring equipment manager Steve Small is holding his final equipment sale as he prepares to say his final goodbye to the club (Coventry Blaze)

Great news for Dumfries as hosting ice hockey tournaments has generated a seven-figure sum in the Scottish town (BBC Scotland News)

Not going to make the Elite League play-off weekend in Nottingham?  Then you can purchase a webcast from one or both semi finals.  Head to the Elite League website for more info.

Also, the Elite League have announced a Fans Forum at Saltbox in Nottingham, next to the Motorpoint Arena, taking place on Sunday, with info on the EIHL site.

Belfast Giants’ Jordan Smotherman talks about the weekend where the newly crowned league champions can complete a Grand Slam this weekend and the forward insists they can cope with the expectation (BBC NI Sport)

Great Britain’s Men’s Under 18 team completed their warm-up for next week’s World Championship campaign with a narrow loss to Okanagan Hockey in St Polten (Ice Hockey UK)

Nottingham Panthers’ Brett Perlini has spoken of how they need to bring their ‘A’ game when they take on Cardiff Devils in Saturday’s semi final, while Luke Pither spoke of last year’s experience and how that will serve as motivation this time around.

Sheffield Steelers’ Eric Neiley was the club’s best performer, according to statistics (Sheffield Star)

You’ve got one full day to go to take part in our poll we’ve been running all week about the Elite League play-off finals:

 

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