Adam Calder was left “overwhelmed” after being informed by Coventry Blaze his No 25 jersey will be retired.
Calder joined Blaze at the start of the 2004/05 campaign and in a glittering six-season career played 384 games, posting 534 points (257 goals and 277 assists). He remains the all-time leading goalscorer in Coventry colours.
He was a key member of all four of Coventry’s Elite League title successes and added a further two Challenge Cups, one Knockout Cup and one play-off championship to his trophy cabinet.
Calder was named Elite League player of the year in 2007/08 and was a First Team All-Star on three occasions. He also holds a number of all-time Coventry records.
He said: “It was nice when I found out. I was hoping it might slide under the carpet but I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support I have received.
“There have been lots of nice things said on social media, it is a great honour and I am looking forward to the game and seeing a lot of old faces again.
“To be honest I had no idea about some of the stats and records – I thought they had embellished them a bit!
“The individual stuff is nice but it is not what you play the game for. You play to win trophies as part of a team and that is what you cherish.”
Coventry captain Ashley Tait described Adam Calder as the most natural goalscorer he has played with.
Tait, who played alongside Calder for three seasons, said: “Calds was one of those guys who was kind of quiet but just went about his business very well.
“If he was having a bad night you kind of just left him alone because you knew he would come good if you put the puck in the right area.
“There was no better natural goalscorer I have played with over the years. He was calm and collected – he did not say much but when he did you listened.
“He served this club extremely well for a lot of years. There are only two numbers up there and it is very apt and well deserved.”
Joel Poirier, who also played alongside Calder, said: “Calds was one of the most threatening goalscorers I have played with. If he had the puck and was within shooting distance then goalies definitively tightened up.
“In many cases your most offensive player can generally have a really big ego. This was not the case with Calds. Every game he turned up to play and you knew every night what you were going to get from him.
“I have never known a guy to shoot as hard as Calds with such little effort. The crazy thing is he used this little stick – I am sure it was a junior flex!
“Calds is the kind of guy that leads by example. His numbers while playing for Coventry speak for themselves.
“But add his commitment to contributing to the team first and that is why he was such an integral part of the success of the Blaze while he was playing.”