Cardiff Devils fans have a first glimpse of the new-look Nottingham Panthers team this weekend.
Head coach Andrew Lord takes his Devils to Nottingham on Saturday for a pre-season fixture and the teams clash again at the Viola Arena in Cardiff Bay on Sunday (6pm).
These are the first fixtures for new Panthers coach Tim Wallace, who was in charge of MK Lightning in 2018-19, and former Devils forward Gui Doucet, who is Nottingham’s new Director of Hockey.
They had a busy summer recruiting and Panthers have 14 new players on their roster.
Wallace says his appointment: “I was going into a typical summer, you have your agent working for you and wait to see what comes.
“The opportunity from Nottingham came in, and it took me a day or so to realise what an opportunity it was.
“Now I’m really excited to get things rolling, we’ve had a great few days already on the ice.”
— Cardiff Devils (@cardiffdevils) August 17, 2019
Wallace was hired by another new Panthers’ appointment in Doucet, and the pair worked together all summer on the new roster.
“We talk every day for at least an hour,” says Wallace. “We had the same mindset on what was needed, and it was a busy, busy summer,” he explained. “Now it’s been nice to see the guys here, and it’s getting close to the time where they need to show what they can do. But so far, so good.
“We have a plan – we want to be hard to play against, and we’re a fast team. From the goalie out we have a really good defensive core, and our forwards are deep.
“We’ll know a month or so in what our identity is and adjust our systems around that, but what I’m looking for is that we’re difficult to beat and fast-skating.
“Our goal is to win all trophies in front of us. There are no excuses or reasons why we shouldn’t.
“Now, though, we have to produce on the ice, making sure every player is on the same page. We want to be entertaining and make it fun to come to our games, but ultimately my job is to win games.
TICKETS: Click HERE to purchase Viola Arena match tickets online or give the club a call on 0800 0842 666 to book. Tickets are also available from the reception at The Viola Arena.
FACE-OFF TIME: Puck drop is at 6pm on Sunday with doors to the arena open from 5pm and the bar from 4pm.
Cardiff Devils recruitment
Signings: (22 players announced – 14 imports, 8 British – maximum 14 imports can ice in any one EIHL game):
Head coach: Andrew Lord
Netminder: Ben Bowns, Thomas Murdy, Jordan Lawday.
Defence: Sean McMonagle (import), Mark Richardson, Mark Louis (import), Gleason Fournier (import), Bryce Reddick (import), Sam Jardine (import)
Forwards: Sean Bentivoglio (import), Masi Marjamaki (import), Blair Riley (import), Stephen Dixon (import), Matthew Myers, Matt Pope (import), Mike McNamee (import), Sam Duggan, Joey Martin (import), Joey Haddad (import), Charles Linglet (import), Josh Batch, Toms Rutkis.
— Cardiff Devils (@cardiffdevils) August 16, 2019
Cardiff Devils pre-season and Champions League schedule:
Saturday 17: Nottingham Panthers v Cardiff Devils (in Nottingham, 7pm)
Sunday 18 Cardiff Devils v Nottingham Panthers (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay, 6pm)
Sunday 25 Cardiff Devils V MAC Budapest (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay, 6pm)
Friday 30 Cardiff Devils v Mountfield HK (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Sunday 1 Cardiff Devils v Graz 99ers (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 6pm)
Thursday 5 Mountfield HK v Cardiff Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 5pm)
Saturday 7 Graz 99ers v Cardiff Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 6.15pm)
Tuesday 8 Frolunda Indians v Devils (Champions Hockey League fixture, 5pm)
Tuesday 15 Devils v Frolunda Indians (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)