The weekend saw another flurry of announcements with five players confirmed for the new season in the Elite League.
Nottingham Panthers fitted a major piece of their puzzle with the signing of netminder Kevin Carr, who arrives from ECHL side Utah Grizzlies.
The 28-year-old becomes the fourth new face for coach Tim Wallace and the Panthers’ Director of Hockey Operations, Guillaume Doucet, believes he’s a good fit for the team.
He told the Panthers website: “Kevin’s a good goalie and comes highly recommended and was one of the top netminders in the coast last year.
“Coach Tim Wallace knows him and we’ve had good scouting reports. I’ve watched him play on tape myself and he looks like a good fit for us.
“We’ve talked at length about what’s expected in Nottingham and he’s very much on board. He wants to win.”
Omar Pacha was busy adding to his own roster as Dundee Stars completed a move to bring versatile Brett Stovin to Tayside for his first pro move.
The 24-year-old comes in from the University of Manitoba, where he played his hockey for the last four years and can play in defence, right wing and in the centre.
And Stovin was swayed by the feedback he got on the city and the Stars after talking to Pacha and one of his team-mates.
“I am really excited to come and put a Stars jersey on and get to know some people in the community and work hard for them,” Stovin told the Stars website.
“After speaking with a few teams overseas, it just seemed right to come to Dundee and speaking with Omar (Pacha) and Drydn Dow, they both seemed to talk about how close-knit the community is there.
“I’m there to do what it takes and the fans will see it because that’s what I am about.”
— Manchester Storm (@Mcr_Storm) June 22, 2019
Manchester Storm have also added with the signing of forward Kyle Hope, who comes in from Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL.
The 26-year-old moved there from the University of Windsor and made 25 appearances, picking up 13 points and for Storm coach Ryan Finnerty, he’s pleased to land a player who was sought after.
Finnerty said on the Manchester Storm website: “Kyle has been on our radar for a while now. We had to work really hard to get him in the end, but that can only be a good thing.
“He is a big body; he plays the game hard and has good skill on the puck. I think he is suited to the professional game and he knows what we expect of him.”
Fife Flyers added their sixth returnee for next season as Mike Cazzola committed for his second season with the Kirkcaldy outfit.
The 28-year-old will head into his third campaign on these shores after a first season with Edinburgh Capitals and told the Flyers website he renewed his love for the sport again.
“It was a no brainer to come back to Kirkcaldy to play for the Flyers. Last year I came to Fife and found the passion for hockey again,” Cazzola said.
“The organisation was first class and the crowd electric. It made coming to the rink something to look forward to which was refreshing. I’m looking forward another season with a great team and great fans.”
Cardiff Devils also brought back Sam Duggan for what will be his second season in Wales after a debut campaign that ended with play-off silverware.
The 20-year-old returned to the UK after spells in Sweden and North America and made himself a big part of Andrew Lord’s team as they battled for the title.
And the Cardiff coach was pleased to re-sign for another year, telling the Devils website: “Sam was a great addition for us last season and was someone we’d looked at very closely for a couple years.
“As soon as we knew he wanted to come back to the UK, we knew we had to bring him to Cardiff.
“Sam loves the game and I love the attitude he brings to the rink every day. He wants to get better and he works so hard at it. The amount he’s improved was incredible and I’m excited to see what this season will bring for him.”
— Cardiff Devils (@cardiffdevils) June 24, 2019
Also remaining at the Viola Arena is Gleason Fournier, who confirmed as re-signing on Monday night, making him the ninth signature for the Devils of the summer.
He was voted the Elite League’s Defenceman of the Year and scored the winning goal in the play-off final that saw Cardiff kill off Belfast’s dreams of a Grand Slam.
Naturally, Lord was pleased to welcome another key component to his team as he plots the return of the title back to his club.
“Gleason is an exceptional talent and a huge piece of our team here in Cardiff,” Lord said. “He’s an elite skater at any level of hockey, and I think the entire league knows about his memorable end to end rushes.
“I wasn’t sure if we’d be wishing Gleason good luck as I know teams were looking at him, but I believe this is another example of a player really enjoying his time in Cardiff and being able to keep him for another year speaks to what we’ve all achieved together here.”