Coventry Blaze forward Alex Forbes was always confident of an Elite League return, but didn’t expect it so soon.
The Scot was one of Danny Stewart’s Protected Players ahead of the draft earlier this month and can’t wait to be back in action.
Speaking on British Ice Hockey’s BIH Show, he revealed there could be an element of making up for what could have been when they step on the ice at the Motorpoint Arena.
“I always knew ice hockey would come back, but, like everyone else, I didn’t know when,” Forbes said. “I had been getting some ice time in Inverness for three months, once a week, but it was shut down because of the rules.
WATCH: The BIH Show this week, featuring Coventry’s Alex Forbes
“All I could do was work and try to keep fit as much as I could. As I said, I knew it would come back, but admittedly didn’t think it would be this soon.
“I haven’t been on the ice since the start of December so it was good to finally get back on. I admit I’m a little rusty after so long of it, but delighted to skate again.
“Everyone’s been good and ready to go and the new players seem to have settled in well off the ice, so it’s all been positive so far from our point of view.
“It was frustrating the way the last season ended. We’d been on such a good run of form right towards the end of the season and that sadly taken away from us.
“The guys who have come back can’t wait to get back into it as I know there’s a feeling of unfinished business.”
Forbes is a former GB Under 18 and Under 20 and made over 150 appearances in all competitions in the Elite League since 2017, when he spent a year at Milton Keynes Lightning.
He admits he’d love to be considered for international duty by GB head coach Pete Russell, he’s looking more short term for now, discussing what it’s been like adjusting to the new environment he’s working in.
“I’d love to go to Latvia with the GB boys, but right now, I’m only concerned with taking it game by game and see how it goes,” he added.
“This would have my third season with the team and I feel like I’ve gained a lot as a player as time has gone on. My experience has grown a lot and the coaching staff have really helped a lot with that.
“Looking ahead to the tournament, adjusting to the protocols has been easier than I thought. As long as you keep it simple, remember to wear your mask, sanitise your hands and all that, you’ll be fine.
“We’ve also got the procedures we have to follow in the mornings as well, which leads to taking a Covid test and having our temperature taken before we enter the arena.
“It’s down to the players at the end of the day and if one person can’t abide by the regulations, they risk messing it up for everyone else. We’re all on the same page so I don’t see any issues.