Fans favourite Joey Martin has committed to Cardiff Devils again and says: “It’s feels great to be coming back.”
Centre Martin is without doubt one of the best players in British hockey and Devils coach Andrew Lord insists: “Joey is probably too good for Elite League, but he is committed to Cardiff.”
And Lord has pledged to play Martin on a forward line with even more firepower for 2017-18.
“Cardiff is my second home, my wife and I are so happy living there through the season,” says Martin. “I love the city, I love the people and I love our Devils organisation.
“When I first came to Cardiff I wasn’t sure what to expect, but thought I would maybe stay a couple of seasons. Here I am preparing for a fourth year and I’m excited to be returning.
“Todd (Kelman) and Lordo (Andrew Lord) have nurtured a winning mentality and they help make playing for Devils such fun.
“Clinching the League title last season was almost surreal. It felt so good, a special moment. Devils had been trying to achieve that for quite a few years and it was great looking around and seeing how happy the guys were.”
Devils’ players will start their new season in mid-August and Martin admits rival clubs will be fired up against them.
“Teams will be gunning for us because we are League champions defending the title,” he says. “But that’s a challenge we will enjoy.
“Overall we won three trophies and qualified for the play-off final against Sheffield Steelers. Losing deep into sudden death overtime was bitterly disappointing, but that was a fun game to be part of.
“We were all exhausted and there were so many emotions. If we had come out on top we would have won every trophy available and that would have been special.
“It took a few days to wear off and only then could we reflect on what a tremendous season it had been. Missing out on the play-offs probably adds motivation for us to take that extra step and lift the trophy next season.
“We are in the Champions Hockey League and that, too, will be special. The future looks bright and it feels great that I will be in the Cardiff Devils team again.”