Andrew Lord is leaving Cardiff Devils after seven years to take up a head coaching role in North America.
The Devils coach has been in charge for the last six years and has oversaw the club’s most successful period in its history.
He led them to the top of the Elite League table before the coronavirus shutdown once more, earning the club another crack at the Champions Hockey League.
But he leaves with the best wishes of Devils, with managing director Todd Kelman paying tribute to Lord after working together since 2014, when Kelman arrived at the club.
“It is hard to put into words the impact that Andrew Lord has had on this organisation,” Kelman said.
“He brought a commitment to excellence and dedication to the job that I have never seen before because he loves the game and loves coaching.
“That carried over into the players and although he was a very demanding coach, he also got the most out of the guys and made them better players and better people.
“I’m going to miss him, we are all going to miss him. He’s a great coach, but more than that he is a great person, a genuine big personality that we all love. He brought a passion every game and it showed in the way he played and the way he coached.”
Lord was hired when the new ownership took over in the summer of 2014 on the advice of former Cardiff Devil, Neil Francis, who recommended Lord be given the chance to coach.
He was initially hired as a player/coach to save money during that first season, but his coaching ability shone through even then.
In his time in charge, he won three Conference Titles, two Challenge Cups, two Elite League Titles and the last two Playoff Championships for a total of nine trophies in six campaigns.
His last game, as it turned out, was the Challenge Cup Final where he couldn’t quite take them to a third success when Sheffield Steelers won 4-3, but a league meeting between the sides two days before yielded a victory that put Devils top of the table, where they were to end the season.
An announcement on where he’s going is expected by his new club later today.