Cardiff Devils will unleash their ‘bull in a china shop’ again for 2017-18.
Power forward Matthew Myers is aiming to increase his haul of major domestic medals again after helping Devils win the Elite League title and two other championships last season.
The Welshman is one of the most decorated players in Britain, having won the Challenge Cup seven times and the play-offs in five seasons plus two Elite League titles.
“When Matthew takes over a game he is out and out one of the best power forwards in British hockey,” said head coach Andrew Lord.
“He can really take over with his seize – a bull in a china shop.
“Matthew plays big body hockey, a character guy who has probably won more trophies than anybody across the league. The guy is a winner, hugely effective at face-offs, so strong in front of the net and in corners.
“He had one heck of a season for us, incredibly consistent, great hand-eye co-ordination and is a real driving force.”
Lord says his relationship with Myers has grown, saying: “He’s a fun-loving guy, while I am an intense, detail orientated. We bounce off each other well and he has become a great leader in our locker room.”
Cardiff-born Myers plays a major role for Devils at face-offs, where he has proved to be among the best in Britain, and on penalty kill special teams.
He has played over 650 Elite games and has also been a mainstay with Great Britain for the past 14 years and was a key figure when they won gold at the World Championships.
Myers returned to the Devils after a year in Nottingham, having played the previous two seasons in Cardiff, scoring nine goals with 16 assists for 25 points in 65 games in 2016.
Having grown up playing in the Cardiff junior system he made his Devils debut in 2001-02.
Devils have confirmed that Grosvenor Casino will again be sponsoring Myers for the season.
Grosvenor manager Vince Dale said: “Matthew had a great season for Devils and GB last year and to factor that in with Matthew being a local lad, it made the decision to sponsor him again a simple one.”
Players who have signed for Devils 2017-18: Andrew Lord, Matthew Myers, Sean Bentivoglio, Craig Moore, 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