Elite League preview: Bordeleau ready for ‘something new’

Cardiff Devils’ new-boy Patrick Bordeleau hits the ice this weekend eager to make a big impression on the Elite League.

The former Colorado Avalanche enforcer makes his debut on Saturday at Manchester Storm in the Challenge Cup, before returning to home ice the following day to face Braehead Clan in the league.

Bordeleau was a much-wanted man during the summer, but says he’s delighted to have the opportunity to play in Britain.

“Lordo (Head Coach Andrew Lord) has told me so much about Cardiff Devils, the city and the fans,” said Bordeleau.

“This is a new phase of my career and I couldn’t be more excited about the season ahead. I’m going to enjoy skating out at Ice Arena Wales for my debut and can’t wait.

“There were a lot of offers from AHL clubs while I was considering my options for 2016/17, but my feeling was that I wanted something new.”

The 30-year-old made 136 appearances in the NHL, in addition to nearly 300 games in the AHL and Lord expects his new signing to be a difference-maker this season.

“This is a huge signing for us – we dedicated our lives to filling this position on our roster and we’ve brought in a great character guy who also has a lot of hockey quality,” said Lord.

“Yes, he’s a great fighter, but he can also skate and get on the forecheck. There is so much to his game than physical presence – our fans will love him.

“Patrick brings an awesome dynamic of size, energy and physical play. He is a great fit for Cardiff Devils – and we are a great fit for him.”

Nottingham Panthers start their EIHL season with a three-game road trip in Scotland.

The Panthers play Dundee Stars, Braehead Clan and Fife Flyers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing cup defeat at Coventry Blaze.

Despite the loss Head Coach Corey Neilson is confident his team is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

“I think we’re getting closer and closer to where we want to be in terms of fitness and sharpness,” he told the Nottingham Post.

“We’re close to getting that full comprehension of the tactics we want to play.

“When we get that really competitive game of physical hockey under our belts it will serve us well. I imagine the teams we’ll play at the weekend are in a similar situation.

“We lacked sharpness. We kept to the outside too much and I think we need to get in those tough areas more.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Dundee Stars v Nottingham Panthers

Saturday

Belfast Giants v Fife Flyers (Cup)
Braehead Clan v Nottingham Panthers
Manchester Storm v Cardiff Devils (Cup)

Sunday

Cardiff Devils v Braehead Clan
Coventry Blaze v Belfast Giants
Edinburgh Capitals v Dundee Stars (Cup)
Fife Flyers v Nottingham Panthers
Sheffield Steelers v Red Bull Salzburg (Champions Hockey League)

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