While fans were topping up their tans in the beautiful weekend weather, Elite League clubs were topping their rosters as the new season begins to loom on the horizon.
It’s been a busy four days with 11 players announced either coming in, leaving or staying put as fans start to get excited for another campaign.
Glasgow Clan picked up two with the signings of winger Nolan LaPorte, who joins from Atlanta Gladiators in the ECHL just a couple of days after Mikael Lidhammar came in.
And they made it three signings in four days with the confirmation that Mathieu Roy would come out of retirement to join former team-mate Zack Fitzgerald in Scotland.
Roy spoke to British Ice Hockey about his decision to return, a year after ending his career with Sheffield Steelers and the role his old pal played in persuading him to reverse his decision.
“Fitzy’s a great guy, and now that he’s a coach, he knows exactly what I can do which helped me a lot when it came to deciding,” he said.
“He knows what I can do and it’s good to have a coach I can talk to. He’s always been a positive guy and you need that in the locker room. He’s going to do a great job and the passion he has can help win us games.”
Welcome to Nottingham! 😼
— The Nottingham Panthers (@PanthersIHC) July 15, 2019
The changes at Nottingham Panthers have kept coming with one leaving and one coming in and with defenceman Tommy Hughes ending his year in the UK to head to Hershey Bears.
American forward Dylan Malmquist is inbound after finishing four years with the University of Notre Dame and a spell at the Minnesota Wild camp.
And Panthers Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet has high hopes for the latest addition to Tim Wallace’s team.
“Dylan’s highly talented and has been much touted as a player who can make it big in Europe,” Doucet said. “He has good skills and is the pick of the crop from the University of Notre Dame, one of the top hockey colleges in the world.”
“Tim and I have been watching the videos and we think Dylan will be a great fit for the kind of team we are putting together which will excite the Panthers’ army of fans.”
At Sheffield Steelers, they completed their defensive lines with the signing of Aaron Brocklehurst from EHC Linz in Austria.
The experienced 34-year-old has spent the last nine seasons playing in Finland, Germany and Austria and is the final piece of Aaron Fox’s blue line puzzle.
And Fox spoke of how Brocklehurst will fit in: “With this signing, I think we have six defencemen that can match up against any other six in this league.
“We’ll try a few different combinations in practice, but think this will allow us to keep Ben (O’Connor) and Davey (Phillips) together to start the year.”
Evan McGrath left the club announcing his retirement after spending his final year as a professional with the Steelers.
Dundee Stars were another team that saw one in and one out as Charles Corcoran moved on to take up an opportunity in France with Lyon.
But coming in is Canadian Colton Kroeker, who arrives from Mount Royal University, where he played last year and the 22-year-old is finally getting the chance to do something he’s always wanted to do.
“I’ve always wanted to come and play in Europe and it’s going to be a challenge, but I am looking forward to it,” he told the Stars website.
Manchester Storm began life after Mike Hammond when they moved to bring in Adam Hughesman, who ended his two-year stay in France with Bordeaux.
— Coventry Blaze 🐲🏒 (@covblazehockey) July 15, 2019
The 28-year-old helped the club to a sixth place in the regular season, but their play-off hopes were ended in the quarter final stage, with Hughesman contributing with 31 goals and 38 assists in 75 appearances in all competitions.
Coventry Blaze also strengthened as they brought a goalie in with Jamie Phillips arriving from Reading Royals in the ECHL.
Phillips will be reunited with Matt Pohlkamp, who made the move last week and replaces Matt Hackett, who ended his short term spell with the Blaze earlier this summer.
Blaze head coach Danny Stewart revealed they wanted to be patient to fill the spot between the pipes and he’s pleased at what he has.
He told the Blaze website: “We sure have been patient in finding the right fit for us, and we couldn’t be happier.
“Jamie is a fantastic goalie who has had success at every level he’s played. He’s a competitor, a true professional who will give us a chance to win every night and fits exactly what we wanted.”
Finally, only one player stayed put as Fife Flyers announced the return of Danick Gauthier, who will return for his third season once he completes a stint in Australia with Sydney Bears.