Six out for Blaze, Bruton decision on hold

Coventry Blaze have confirmed the departure of six players from last season’s roster.

Cale Tanaka, Boris Valabik, James Isaacs, Michael Quesnele, Carl Lauzon and Brenden Walker will seek new opportunities this summer leaving Chris Bruton as the only player from the 2015/16 squad with the opportunity to return to Coventry for the new campaign.

Bruton (above) made a big impact with Blaze after joining from Braehead Clan, scoring 11 goals with 19 assists in 20 games to help the club to the Elite League play-off final.

Director of Hockey Operations, James Pease, said: “The only guy we haven’t yet made a final decision on is Chris who has asked us to give him some time, a few weeks away from hockey, which we totally respect and have agreed to.

“Chris made a big impact when he came in last season and fits the blueprint for the type of player we want in our roster next season.

“All I can say is that as soon as we have some news to share with our fans we will do so.”

Pease singled out Tanaka for special praise, with the Canadian forward posting over 100 points in nearly 200 games during his time with the club.

“Tank is a guy I want to personally thank for his time and efforts in Coventry,” said Pease.

“He is a popular guy with the fans, has a couple of hundred Blaze games under his belt and won a play-off championship with us.

“Everyone at the club wishes him all the best and I’m sure the fans will also show their full appreciation to him and also the other players we have decided not to retain.

“I want to publicly thank the guys we have decided not to re-sign next year.

“There isn’t a bad guy among this group of players and the club wishes each of them all the very best in their future endeavours whether it be in hockey or the world outside.”

(Image permission: Scott Wiggins)

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