Braehead Clan

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Braehead Clan
Clan Logo.jpg
City Renfrew, Scotland
League Elite Ice Hockey League
Founded 2010
Operated Clan Entertainment Ltd [1]
Home arena Braehead Arena, Renfrew
Colours

Purple, White and Black

              
Owner(s) United Kingdom Neil Black
General manager United Kingdom Andy McLaughlin
Head coach Canada Ryan Finnerty
Captain Canada Ash Goldie
Affiliates United Kingdom Nottingham Panthers

Braehead Clan are a Scottish professional ice hockey team. They were formed in 2010 as the UK Elite Ice Hockey League expanded into the West of Scotland market, and are based at the 4,000 capacity Braehead Arena in Renfrewshire, around two miles outside the Glasgow City limits. They are currently one of four Scottish clubs playing in the top British league, alongside the Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals and the Fife Flyers.[2]

History[edit]

Braehead Arena previously hosted the Scottish Eagles ice hockey team for a brief period at beginning of the 2002–2003 ISL season following their relocation from Ayr.[3] The Eagles disbanded in November 2002 due to financial troubles.[4] When the Superleague’s successor, the Elite Ice Hockey League was formed, initial plans included a new Glasgow-based team as being amongst the founding clubs, but this never materialised.[5]

Following the 2008–09 season, the Elite League lost two teams with the resignations of the Basingstoke Bison and Manchester Phoenix, leaving the league with eight participating teams for the 2009–10 season. The Elite League subsequently announced the formation of the Braehead Clan as a ninth team for beginning with the 2010-11 season. The team’s ownership was announced as consisting of several of the Elite League's existing team owners, including Nottingham’s Neil Black.[6]

The club began marketing the team through the creation of the 'Braehearts', these were female supporters who would promote the team at events and in the community, they wore specially created 'Braehearts' jerseys, similar to those of the team's home jerseys. The club also held open days which were to attract new potential support. With the arena being based next to the Braehead Shopping Mall, this gave the club good opportunity to further attract new supporters.

2010–11 Season[edit]

After being formed early in 2010 the club announced that Adam Calder would become the first coach of the Braehead Clan taking up a player/coach role for the upcoming season.[7] The club also announced that Kirsty Longmuir would be the General Manager tasked with the job of marketing the new club to potential supporters.

Rumours began circulating in late April that Calder has resigned from the Clan only two weeks after being announced as the player/coach for the new Elite league side. On 4 May, the Braehead Clan announced official confirmation of Calder's departure on their website.[8]

On 5 May, it was announced that Canadian forward Bruce Richardson would replace Adam Calder as player/coach of the Braehead Clan.[9] Bruce Richardson had spent the past two seasons as player/assistant coach for Elite League rivals, Nottingham Panthers.

Richardson moved quickly to announce his first signings, three young British players who had previously played in the English Premier League: Sam Bullas, 19, who was trained in Nottingham and previously played for Swindon Wildcats; Matt Haywood, 19, from Sheffield, who was the leading goalscorer for Sheffield Scimitars during the 09/10 season; and Adam Walker, 23, who spent the previous four seasons with Manchester Phoenix.

Richardson's fourth signing would be another key British player, Kevin Phillips, 24, who spent the previous season with the play-off winning Belfast Giants.

On 19 May, the Clan announced Derek Patrosso as their first import signing. He spent the previous two seasons with Port Huron Icehawks in the International Hockey League. The following day it was announced that the Clan had signed two more British players: defenceman John Connolly, 19, from Scottish rivals Edinburgh Capitals; and forward Shaun Thompson, 22, who split the previous season with Elite League side Hull Stingrays and English Premier League's Basingstoke Bison.

Mathieu Wathier was the Clans next signing, a 6 ft 1 tall defenceman from, Les Coteaux, Quebec, who had spent the last two years playing in the French Ligue Magnus. Player/Coach Bruce Richardson described the signing saying Wathier would be "solid defensively, a leader, and strong on the penalty kill".

Richardson's next signing was ex-team mate Tim Wedderburn, a 28 year old defenseman who played the previous season in both the ECHL with the Victoria Salmon Kings, and in the AHL with Lake Erie Monsters. Bobby Chaumont was Richardson's next signing. The Canadian forward spent the previous two seasons in the CHL with the Mississippi RiverKings, scoring 48 points in 64 games in his last season with the club.

After a dry spell in recent signings, Richardson announced his enforcer for the season, 25 year old Cedrick Bernier. Bernier has racked up 548 penalty minutes in the previous 4 seasons, playing in various leagues such as the SPHL, CHL, and ECHL. Richardson stated Bernier wanted to prove that he was "the toughest guy in the Elite League". He did not, breaking his hand in a fight early in the season, returning for a few games before going out with an injury again. The mutual decision reached that he was to be let go from the club.

On 1 July, the Clan announced that Derek Patrosso would not be joining Braehead team for their first season, and instead would stay in his native America for the upcoming season. Positive news followed, with the club announcing they had agreed terms with Brendan Cook, 27, a teammate of Bruce Richardson at the Nottingham Panthers during the 2008/09 season, where he scored 70 points in 54 games (30 goals and 40 assists).

Cody Bostock, 26, was the next import announced by the club. The Canadian defenseman previously played for Odense Bulldogs in the Danish Oddset Ligaen, and was brought in by Richardson to "solidify" the club's defensive core.

2011–12 Season[edit]

In June 2011 Bruce Richardson unexpectedly resigned from the club, after being offered a coaching post near his family home in Canada. Since joining the Clan Richardson had always made clear his intention to progress his coaching as far as possible, and had received advice that to become an established coach in North American leagues would mean building experience there. He also stated a wish to settle his family, who had moved around the world over the course of his playing career.

On 29 July the club announced former NHL player Drew Bannister as the new Head Coach for the 2011/12 season.

On ice, Braehead finished 6th in the league, finishing just 1 point behind 4th and 5th place. They reached the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup and the Play-Offs being knocked out by the Nottingham Panthers in both competitions. They had some stand out results, winning 4-1 in Belfast and 7-4 in Hull (with players out injured and back up netminder Mike Will in goal). Clan had a largely inconsistent season going on lengthy winning streaks beating top teams to bad losing streaks against teams nearer the bottom of the table.

Braehead finished the season being the only EIHL team to have beaten and lost to each of the other 9 teams at least once.

2012–13 Season[edit]

Early in the 2012 close season Clan announced the re-signing of Brits Matthew Haywood, Adam Walker, Sam Zajac and Kevin Phillips and also Canadian Brock McPherson. On April 30, 2012, Clan announced the signing of Scottish born forward Ryan Watt from EPL side Slough Jets. Back up British goaltender Mike Will was also re-signed for this season. On May 14, Clan announced that Jordan Krestanovich would be coming back and retaining his role as captain of the team.

All theses signings were made despite having not yet revealed the coach for the 2012–13 season.

On May 16, Braehead announced that Drew Bannister would also be re-signing for his second season as player/coach,[10] news that many Clan fans had been hoping for.

However on June 1, Owen Sound Attack of the OHL announced that they had hired Drew Bannister as Assistant Coach for the forthcoming season,[11][12] News that angered many Clan fans as they felt he had gone behind Clans back and signed for Attack without any regard to his current contract or without informing anybody at Braehead.

Braehead announced that bench coach Frank Morris had signed for the following season on June 12, revealing that he had already been working alongside GM Kirsty Longmuir to recruit new players.

On June 15, Braehead confirmed that Jordan Krestanovich would be the player/coach for the following 2012–13 season. Krestanovich said, "I think the Clan has accomplished so much both on and off the ice in their short existence, but I think there is room for improvement and progression. The foundations are laid, and I look forward to building a team that will be competitive on the ice, but that will also be hungry to win."

The first signing of the Krestanovich era was announced one week later and was none other than fan favourite Jade Galbraith who had scored an EIHL record 101 points during the previous season. Galbraith re-signed as player/assistant coach to Krestanovich.

The following Monday it was revealed that 33 year old Canadian forward Ryan Campbell would return for his third season with Braehead and become the first signing of the Krestanovich/Galbraith era. That same week Clan revealed they had signed their first import defenseman of the close season, Canadian born Mitch Maunu. The official Clan website described Maunu ass a 'hard hitting defenseman'. The next signing was 31 year old Canadian forward Ash Goldie. Krestanovich said when speaking of Goldie, "I expect big things from Ash this year. I truly believe he could lead the league in goals this year." The signing of former Fife Flyers goaltender, 23 year old Garrett Zemlak was revealed on July 13. The final forward of Braeheads 2012–13 season roster was to be Canadian Bobby Chaumont, who had played for Clan in their debut 2010-11 season before moving on to America for one season to play for Fort Wayne Komets. After a summer of rumours linking Steve Birnstill to Clan, the American defenseman signing was finally announced on July 27. Canadian defenseman Matt Hanson was next for Braehead, having spent the previous season playing for Laredo Bucks, his signing was announced on August 6. The signing of young Brit forward Robert Farmer was announced after his move to Kazakhstan from Coventry Blaze did not work out. Young Brits Aidan Fulton and goaltender Gary Russell were signed on dual contracts with Solway Sharks in hope to give the two experience of regular games and playing with a top level team. On September 21, the sixth defender of Clans roster was finally revealed, this Finnish/Italian Pippo Limnell Finocchiaro. Finocchiaro was to depart the club without playing a game. On October 10 it was announced that Drew Miller of the Detroit Red Wings would play for Braehead on a lockout contract during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. Following a shaky start to the season defensively, Clan signed Craig Mitchell on a dual contract with Solway Sharks and also Canadian/Italian defenseman Davide Nicoletti. It was announced, on November 12, that Bobby Chaumont and Ryan Campbell had been released from the club with immediate effect. On 27 November the club announced that they had signed Czech defenceman Martin Tůma from Nottingham Panthers and also a major coup with the signing of former AHL star forward Jesse Schultz this signing fell through however on December 10.

2013–14 Season[edit]

The club announced that Paul Gardner would not be returning to coach the team and his successor Ryan Finnerty was confirmed as the new head coach of the Braehead Clan, joining the team from the Sheffield Steelers. Matt Haywood was announced as a returnee from the season before as well as Aiden Fulton and Craig Mitchell signing on full-time deals. Chris Frank[13] and Shane Lust[14] were confirmed as new signings, along with Kevin Bergin as a player/assistant coach. Finnerty continued to bring in players such as the Brit duo of Tristan Harper from the Dundee Stars and Lee Esders, joining Finnerty from the Sheffield Steelers. Veteran forward Ed McGrane was announced as one of the Clan's major signings, along with the return of captain Ash Goldie. Two more returnees in the form of backup netminder Mike Will and defenceman Sam Zajac were announced. The final signing before the season began with announced as former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Joel Champagne.

2014-15 Season[edit]

Elite Ice Hockey League Record[edit]

Season League Conference Playoff Challenge Cup
2010-11 EIHL 5th QF Group
2011-12 EIHL 6th QF SF
2012-13 EIHL 8th Gardiner 1st QF SF
2013-14 EIHL 5th Gardiner 4th 3rd QF

Current roster[edit]

2013–14 EIHL season

Netminders
No. Player Catches Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
Defencemen
No. Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
21 England Zach Sullivan R 2014 Redhill, England 2 year deal from Basingstoke Bison, EPIHL [1]
Forwards
No. Player Position Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
5 Wales Ben Davies C 2014 Cardiff, Wales Cardiff Devils, EIHL [2]
11 England Matthew Haywood C 2010 Doncaster, England Sheffield Scimitars, EPIHL [3]
17 England Lee Esders RW 2013 Beverley, England Sheffield Steelers, EIHL [4]
26 Scotland Tristan Harper LW/RW 2013 Dundee, Scotland Dundee Stars, EIHL [5]
Coaching Staff
No. Name Position Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
N/A Canada Ryan Finnerty Head coach Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada Sheffield Steelers, EIHL [6]
N/A CanadaScotland Frank Morris Assistant coach Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
Last Season's Players
No. Name Position Acquired Current Status Press Release
29 Canada Kyle Jones G 2013 Free Agent
33 England Mike Will G 2010 Free Agent
4 England Sam Zajac D 2010 Signed for Telford Tigers, EPIHL [7]
6 Canada Scott Aarssen D 2013 Free Agent
7 Canada Daniel Nycholat D 2012 Free Agent
22 United States Chris Frank A D 2013 Free Agent
27 Canada Kenton Smith D 2013 Free Agent
28 United States Ray Macias D 2013 Free Agent
71 Canada Mario Larocque D 2014 Free Agent
5 United States Joe Cullen C 2013 Free Agent
9 ScotlandCanada Ed McGrane A C 2013 Free Agent
10 Canada Nathan Moon RW 2013 Free Agent
15 Canada Ash Goldie C LW/RW 2012 Free Agent
18 Canada Julien Corriveau LW 2013 Free Agent
19 Canada Neil Trimm LW/RW 2013 Free Agent
24 Canada Shane Lust LW/RW 2013 Free Agent
25 Canada Kevin Bergin LW/RW 2013 Signed for Nice Eagles, Division 2, France [8]
64 Canada Joël Champagne C 2013 Free Agent
74 England Matt Towe RW/LW 2013 Signed for Guildford Flames, EPIHL [9]
93 Scotland Aidan Fulton RW/LW 2013 Free Agent

2013–14 Team staff[edit]

Team Staff
No. Name Position Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
N/A Scotland Andy McLaughlin General Manager Glasgow, Scotland
N/A England Gareth Chalmers Operations Director Darlington, England Newcastle Vipers, EIHL [10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]