The news that Andrew Lord has decided to move on from Cardiff Devils is one that can be looked upon in many different ways – but pride should be the foremost emotion.
The takeover at the club in 2014 changed them exponentially, which is why we talk about them in the sort of terms that used to be reserved for the so-called “arena teams’.
Andrew Lord was a man given the job when some fans expected more of a bigger name to come in and he didn’t just deliver – he delivered in spades.
Two league titles, two Challenge Cups and two play-off titles are honours that can be the envy of most clubs, even those so-called bigger organisations and while Cardiff fans will weep at seeing Lordo move on, once the fog lifts, they’ll realise how big his legacy is.
One of the nicest coaches I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with, Lord wasn’t just a coach for Cardiff, he was an ambassador and carried himself and the weight of the organisation with great ease.
At the time of writing, we’re still to find out which club in North America he’s going to, but you can only hope it’s somewhere of an AHL level. He’s earned it after all.
As for Cardiff, who do they find to follow that? It’s like the old saying about following Frank Sinatra on the mic, but it’s definitely true.
I wrote some years back about the difficulty Coventry Blaze had in replacing long-serving Paul Thompson, which seems to have finally sorted itself out in Danny Stewart and the job he’s done there.
Lord set the bar really high in South Wales and from the signings they’ve made so far, keeping the core was important.
Whoever his replacement is to be, they’ll rely upon the experience of those players to keep the good times going until changes need to be made and the coach is familiar with their surroundings.
Of course, we’re still waiting to hear when a season is likely to be so the question is, do Cardiff take their time or have they got someone in mind already?
That’s something we’ll find out in the fullness of time, but right now should be all about celebrating Andrew Lord and the job and impression he made on Cardiff Devils.
It was a gamble to bring him in initially, as managing director Todd Kelman has admitted, but his faith was duly rewarded.
As for Lord’s departure for the league as a whole, it’s undoubtedly a blow, but Cardiff will recover and with a great set of people working there and the ownership, they’ll face this challenge head on.