Cardiff Devils trio Scott Hotham, Layne Ulmer and Gleason Fournier have headed home to North America after completing their university studies in South Wales.
They have been studying their MBA (Masters in Business Administration) at Cardiff Metropolitan University all season, balancing studies with a hugely successful ice hockey season for Devils.
“Studying and playing has made this a busy year, but it is totally worth it when we are finally finished up with classes and know we are going to have our MBA degrees out of it,” said Ulmer.
“We still have our final dissertation to hand in, but we will be working on those in Canada over the summer months.
“I want to thank all the staff at the Cardiff Met Business School for their support all season. It is a great programme and we have all had a challenging but rewarding year.”
While the three completed their dissertations, former Devils team-mate Chris Culligan has revealed he is going into coaching.
Culligan announced his retirement from playing this week and he has been named a new assistant coach for Cape Breton Unionised Tradesmen, joining head coach Ken Tracey and fellow assistant Shaun MacLeod,
“Getting into coaching has been on my mind over the last few years and I’m looking forward to taking that first step with the Tradesmen,” says Culligan, who also played his Major Midget hockey with Tradesmen in 2003-04.
“My time there as a player was a huge part of my progress as I worked towards playing major junior hockey.”
Culligan played five seasons for Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and was captain for his final season.
He then moved on to play CIS hockey for University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and was captain for his final two seasons as they won two CIS National Championships.
Devils have signed seven players for 2017-18 so far and they are Andrew Lord, Sean Bentivoglio, newcomer Craig Moore, who has moved from Dundee Stars to South Wales, plus Joey Martin, Joey Haddad, Mark Richardson and Ben Bowns.
Devils early fixtures:
Saturday 12 Aladdin Cup v Nottingham Panthers (away, 7pm)
Sunday 13 Exhibition match v Nottingham Panthers (home, 6pm)
Saturday 19 Aladdin Cup v Braehead Clan (home, 7pm)
Sunday 20 Exhibition match v Krefeld Penguins (home, 6pm)
Sunday 20 Aladdin Cup, Nottingham Panthers v Braehead Clan (Nottingham, 4pm)
Cardiff Devils will travel to Switzerland and the Czech Republic for their first two Champions Hockey League matches.
They take on HC Davos away on Thursday, August 24 and then travel to take on Czech team Bili Tygri Liberec two days later.
The first home match for Devils in CHL Group E is against Liberec on Thursday, August 31.
Davos travel to South Wales on Sunday, September 3, while Swedish team Vaxjo Lakers are at Ice Arena Wales on Tuesday, October 3.
Devils complete their group matches when they travel for the return in Sweden eight days later.
The top two teams in the group progress to the next round of the CHL.
Cardiff Devils Champions Hockey League group fixtures
Thursday 24: HC Davos v Cardiff Devils (7.45pm CEST)
Saturday 26: Bili Tygri Liberec v Cardiff Devils (3.30pm CEST)
Thursday 31: Cardiff Devils – Bili Tygri Liberec (7pm UK time, 8pm CEST)
Sunday 3: Cardiff Devils – HC Davos (6pm UK time, 7pm CEST)
Tuesday 3: Cardiff Devils – Vaxjo Lakers (7pm UK time, 8pm CEST)
Wednesday 11: Vaxjo Lakers – Cardiff Devils (7pm CEST)
Ticket information is available on the club’s official website at cardiffdevils.com