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Coventry Blaze sign Team GB forward Johnny Curran (again)

The 28-year-old first skated at the Skydome Arena during the Elite League’s pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.

guildford - Johnny Curran, Coventry Blaze (Image: Scott Wiggins)

Johnny Curran wasn’t a free agent for long, with Coventry Blaze head coach Danny Stewart outpacing Elite League competition to land the 28-year-old forward following his Belfast Giants departure.

Curran is a fan favourite at the Skydome Arena, with the Team Great Britain forward recording 141 points (52 goals, 89 assists) in 188 Elite League appearances in his previous three-season stint with the Blaze.

The Niagara Falls-born put pen to paper with the Giants in September, replacing the injured Elijiah Barriga, but was unable to replicate his star form under Adam Keefe and departed the SSE Arena with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 30 appearances.

“First of all, thanks to [Blue Army Supporters Club, Blaze Booster Club, and Tooling Intelligence] for the support that they have given,” Stewart said of Curran’s return. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to bring Johnny back as an additional body to our line-up.

“As for Johnny, it’s great to have him back. He had a career year last season and will bring different dynamic to our group. His ability to create offence and space for others with his speed is something I feel we lack a bit right now. He’s worn the colours before and knows what it’s like to be a Blaze player through and through.”

Analysis: For Johnny Curran and the Coventry Blaze, reunification was the obvious move

Adam Keefe released Johnny Curran because he wasn’t the right fit for the Belfast Giants.

The former Niagara University forward is a formidable offensive presence when deployed on the first or second line – but those shifts were not available to Curran at the SSE Arena, with his average ice time falling to a shade over ten minutes and his point production withering away.

Johnny Curran, formerly of the Belfast Giants (Image: William Cherry)

Johnny Curran, formerly of the Belfast Giants (Image: William Cherry)

In other words, Curran couldn’t stick in Belfast’s top-six and isn’t suited to playing on lines three or four – hence his release and subsequent Coventry Blaze return.

Danny Stewart is understandably thrilled by this development, with the Canadian reunited with one of his most potent offensive players from recent seasons.

Curran, a point-per-game producer last term, is a dominant player on the transition, using his footspeed and skilled hands to convert breakaways with impressive regularity.

With Coventry seventh in the standings – albeit only five points behind third placed Belfast – and into the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, Curran has a point to prove and everything to play for down the stretch.

Overlook him at your peril.

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