Gleason Fournier celebrates scoring for Cardiff Devils.

Smooth-Skating D-Man Gleason Is Back With Cardiff Devils

Gleason Fournier, a speedy, smooth-skating defenceman, will be back with Cardiff Devils for the 2017-18 season.

The 25-year-old Fournier was a third round NHL draft pick for Detroit Red Wings in 2009 and was in the Grand Rapid Griffins team when they won the Calder Cup four years ago.

He played a major role from the blue line when Devils won a trophy table of Elite League, Challenge Cup and Erhardt Conference last season.

Fournier, who plays on the powerplay and penalty kill units, has played 78 matches for Devils since he arrived from Alaska Aces during January 2016, scoring 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists).

He talked about his role in the Devils team, saying: “I am an offensive defenceman who has good transition and takes pride in getting the puck out of our zone.

“I have been working a lot on the defensive side of my game and feel I am more of a two-way D-man now, an all-rounder.”

Fournier played alongside Joey Martin in Toledo, while he also knows Guillaume Doucet, who has moved on from Cardiff to sign for MK Lightning.

Fournier is the eighth player signed by the Devils for 2017-18. The other seven 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:

August

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

August

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)

September

Sunday 3: Cardiff Devils – HC Davos (6pm UK time, 7pm CEST)

October

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

Edinburgh Capitals have announced former NHL star Dmitri Khristich as their new head coach.

The Ukrainian takes over from Michal Dobron, who left the Murrayfield side at the end of last season to take up an assistant coaching role with French side Brest.

Khristich, 47, played for New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

“Dmitri brings a wealth of experience playing at the top level of the game in the NHL and coaching at International level and the KHL in Russia,” said Caps co-owner Scott Neil.

“When the opportunity arose to sign someone with Khristich’s pedigree, it was an easy decision to make.

“He was one of the best players in the world during his era and we’ve spoken at length about our views on how to drive the club forward.”

Khristich played nearly 900 games in the NHL between 1990 and 2002, was selected for two All Star games and won the World Championships with the Soviet Union.

He also played in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City with Ukraine and served as their assistant coach between 2010 and 2013.

He was video coach in the KHL with Traktor Chelyabinsk and Amur Khabarovsk before becoming Edinburgh’s first bench coach since Brad Grattan in 2010.

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