|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
|League||Elite Ice Hockey League|
|Home arena||Murrayfield Ice Rink|
White, Blue, and Red
|Owner(s)||Scott Neil, Matthew Tailford, George Ferdinando|
|General manager||Matthew Tailford|
|Head coach||Richard Hartmann|
The Edinburgh Capitals are a Scottish ice hockey club, playing in the UK-wide Elite Ice Hockey League. They are based in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The team play at the Murrayfield Ice Rink, close to Murrayfield Rugby stadium.
The team are owned by Scott Neil - who saved ice hockey in Edinburgh after the collapse of the Murrayfield Racers and Murrayfield Royals - and local businessman, Matthew Tailford and George Ferdinando.
- 1 History
- 2 Elite Ice Hockey League Record
- 3 Club Roster 2013/14
- 4 Season-By-Season Record
- 5 Player Records
- 6 Honours and awards
- 7 Notes
- 8 External links
The Edinburgh Capitals were founded in 1998, following the collapse of the Murrayfield Royals, replacing them in the British National League (BNL).
The first three seasons for the new Edinburgh team were largely unsuccessful, finishing 8th out of 9 in their inaugural season (ahead of the Paisley Pirates), 8th out of 10 in their second season (ahead of the Milton Keynes Kings and the Pirates), and 9th out of 10 in their third season (finishing once again ahead of the Pirates).
The Capitals would receive a massive boost for the 2001/02 season, with the signings of former NHLer, Jason Lafreniere, and SM-Liiga player, Roland Carlsson. That year the club finished 7th out of 12, with Lafreniere amassing 88 points in 44 games. The following summer saw Lafreniere leave the Capitals to join league rivals, the Guildford Flames.
Over the following three seasons, the club developed a European style of hockey, recruiting most of their imports from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Among those included fan favourites, Jan Krajicek, Ladislav Kudrna, Peter Konder and long-serving captain, Martin Cingel. The 2002/03 season also marked the arrival of the popular, Elmira College graduates, Steven Kaye and Adrian Saul. The club once again made a mid-table finish, ending the season in 6th place out of 10.
The 2003/04 season saw the Capitals make a blockbuster signing. Former Murrayfield Racers legend and league winning player/coach, Tony Hand, would be returning to Edinburgh after leaving the Dundee Stars. Under Hand, the Capitals would accomplish their best ever league position, finishing 3rd out of 7 and for the first time, make the playoff semi-finals. The forward line of Hand, Saul and Kaye would top the scoring charts, with the trio finishing as 1st, 2nd and 3rd top point scorers in the league. Adrian Saul would also finish as the league’s top goal scorer, with 31 goals in 35 games.
The 2004/05 season was a very disappointing one for the club. During the summer, the league’s deadliest line from the previous season was split up, with Hand signing for the Elite League’s Belfast Giants, Steven Kaye moving to French side Morzine-Avoriaz, and Adrian Saul moving to the club’s biggest rivals, the Fife Flyers. Ladislav Kudrna, the team’s goalie from the previous two seasons would also switch teams, moving to Yorkshire based Hull Stingrays. The Capitals would finish this season in last place, recording only 6 wins, making it the club’s worst season in the league.
The Step Up To The EIHL
Early EIHL Seasons
Following the demise of the British National League, the Capitals and Newcastle Vipers applied to join the Elite Ice Hockey League, however both clubs withdrew their offers to make a joint application with the other remaining BNL clubs. Terms could not be reached between the Elite League and the BNL teams, so the Capitals and Vipers returned to their initial offers. Both clubs were accepted into the Elite League for the 2005/06 season.
This season saw the return of Tony Hand as player/coach, after taking the Giants to a 2nd place finish during the previous year. In the regular season, the team finished last with 23 points in 42 games. Due to the London Racers folding mid-season, the Capitals made the playoffs by default and were placed in a group with Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers and eventual 2005/06 playoff champions, Newcastle Vipers. The team finished bottom of the group with 2 points in 6 playoff games.
For the 2006/07 season, Scott Neil took over as head coach after Hand signed as player/coach for the league newcomers, Manchester Phoenix. In the regular season, the team finished tied for last place with Hull Stingrays, with 39 points in 54 games.
In the summer of 2007, the club made the announcement that 29 year old, American forward, Doug Christiansen, would be the team's player/coach for the 2007/08 season. Under Christiansen, the Capitals qualified for the Elite League Playoffs for the first time, finishing 8th in the league and picking up 41 points. They were seeded against League champions, Coventry Blaze, who defeated the Capitals 1-0 at Murrayfield and 3-2 at the SkyDome Arena (4-2 on aggregate) at the Quarter Final stage of the competition.
Christiansen was re-signed by the Capitals for season 2008/09, however the team struggled near the foot of the table for the first half of the season. The Capitals showed dramatic improvement in the latter stages and qualified for a playoff position by finishing 8th for the second year in a row. League champions, Sheffield Steelers, defeated the Capitals 8-2 in the Quarter Final first leg, with the Capitals defeating the Steelers 5-4 at Murrayfield in the return leg (12-7 on aggregate). This season was notable in particular for the skill and contribution of Mark Hurtubise, who finished as the league’s top point scorer, recording 89 points in 54 games. Hurtubise also made the Elite League All-Star Team.
Christiansen's 3rd season in charge was injury plagued, losing key players throughout the season, including himself with a shattered kneecap on the first game of the season. But the Capitals showed their battling qualities and set a new franchise record for amount of points in a season (52). They finished 6th in league setting another franchise record. This led to Christiansen being awarded Coach of the Year by the IHJUK. They played the Nottingham Panthers in the playoffs and got a respectable 4-4 draw at home in the first leg but were defeated 5-0 in the second leg (9-4 on aggregate).
2010-11 Season and Management Changes
Following the departure of Steve Thornton as coach, the Belfast Giants swiftly appointed Christiansen as coach for the 2010/11 season. On 1 July 2010, it was announced that Brad Gratton would replace Christiansen as head coach of the Edinburgh Capitals.
The 2010/11 season was an especially difficult one for the Capitals, which saw Gratton resign from his role as head coach after only four months in the job. It was announced that club owner and general manager, Scott Neil, would take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. This was, however, followed by a string of eight import players leaving the Capitals over the course of the season due to club financial difficulties. The Capitals lost the remainder of their games (most of them heavy defeats) and finished the season bottom of the Elite League. They recorded only 6 wins and 15 points and failed to make the playoffs, making it the club's worst season to date.
There was further uncertainty when it was announced on 5 June 2011, that after nine seasons with the Edinburgh Capitals, loyal club captain, Martin Cingel, was moving on to the Manchester Phoenix of the English Premier Ice Hockey League.
After 13 years as sole owner of the club, it was announced that there would be a restructuring of management. Local businessmen Raymond Lumsden and Matthew Tailford would be joining Scott Neil as co-owners - forming a management team which would also include the Capitals Webmaster, Keith Butland.
On 26 September 2011, it was announced that Scott Neil would be stepping down as General Manager of the club, and would be replaced by business advisor, Len Wilcox. It was revealed that Neil would remain at the club as co-owner and Hockey Director. It later transpired that negotiations with Wilcox and Lumsden had broken down and that neither would be involved with the club.
However, on 5 October 2011 it was announced that Matthew Tailford would be taking up the additional role of General Manager. A further addition to the management team was announced on 27 January 2012 as George Ferdinando would become the latest shareholder of the club.
On 16 August 2011 it was announced that experienced, Slovakian forward, Richard Hartmann, had signed for the Capitals for the 2011/12 season. It was confirmed on 24 August that he would also take on the role of head coach, becoming the club's first European coach.
Under Hartmann, the club would once again return to a predominantly European style of hockey, signing all but one of their imports from Slovakia, Czech Republic or Latvia – something unique to the Elite League. After a promising first half of the season, the club suffered a string of injuries and a loss of momentum, which resulted in the team finishing in 9th place and, once again, failing to make the playoffs. The season went out with a bang however, with the last game being against the old enemy, Fife Flyers, who had finished bottom in the league. The game finished 11–3 in favour of the Capitals, but was also notable for the number of fights and incidents, including a bench clearance, a player's jersey being thrown into the Fife support, and several players being thrown out of the game.
It was announced on 22 December 2011 that Richard Hartmann had agreed terms to return as player/head coach for the 2012/13 season. This positive news was followed on 5 February 2011 with the announcement that fan favourite, and league top goalscorer, René Jarolín, would also return for the 2012/13 season. Jarolín would be rewarded for his season's effort by being named to the EIHL Second All-Star Team.
The 2012 off-season saw several key changes to the lineup, with the previous season's captain, Jan Safar, moving to Kazakh club HC Gornyak and alternate captain, Bari McKenzie, moving to Cardiff Devils. Frazer Goldie, who had spent part of the previous season with the club on a two-way contract, joined full-time from Solway Sharks and Willie Nicolson re-joined the club after spending a season with rivals Fife Flyers. Hartmann also continued to recruit from Europe, signing promising Slovak goalie, Tomáš Hiadlovský, and experienced defender, Michal Dobroň, who had previously played nearly 600 games in the Czech Extraliga. On 3 September, it was announced that club legend, Martin Cingel, would be returning to the Capitals and would once again take over the role as captain.
The Capitals had a slow start to the campaign, spending the first couple of months in the bottom two of the league. The team roster was strengthened in November, however, when the Canadian duo Curtis Leinweber and Brent Patry joined from Chinook Hockey League side Sylvan Lake Admirals and Italian Serie A2 side HC Neumarkt-Egna, respectively. The return of alternate captain, Jade Portwood, who had been injured earlier in the season, also gave a boost to the club. The Capitals would go on to beat every team in the league at least once, and finish the season in a respectable 6th place - making the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Capitals faced Doug Christiansen's Belfast Giants at the Quarter Final stage. The first leg took place at the Odyssey Arena and finished 3-1 in favour of the Giants. The return leg saw the Giants progress to the semi-finals after beating the Capitals 4-3 at Murrayfield (7-4 on aggregate). The Giants would finish as playoff runners-up, losing to Treble winners, Nottingham Panthers.
René Jarolín was named for the second year in a row to the EIHL Second All-Star Team, while Richard Hartmann was named as Coach of the Year.
The 2013 off-season would see several key players re-sign for the club. Player/head coach, Richard Hartmann, and forward, Peter Holečko, would return for their third season at the Capitals. Captain, Martin Cingel, alternate captain, Jade Portwood, Canadian forward, Curtis Leinweber, Slovak defenceman, Michal Benadik, and goalie, Tomáš Hiadlovský would also re-new their contracts with the club. It was announced that after spending a season in Kazakhstan, previous captain, Jan Safar, would return to the Capitals.
René Jarolín, who finished as the club's top point scorer for the previous two seasons, would move back to Slovakia to join HC Dukla Senica. Other departures included Michal Dobroň and Brent Patry signing for French clubs Morzine-Avoriaz and Chamonix, respectively. Mārcis Zembergs who spent the previous two seasons with the Capitals would also move on, signing for Kazakh club Beibarys Atyrau.
New additions to the club included Canadian centre, Les Reaney, who joined from the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League and Czech duo, Tomáš Horna, who previously played for Beibarys Atyrau and Martin Lucka, who spent the previous season with Piráti Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga.
On 29th September it was announced that Michal Dobroň would be returning to the Capitals, signing a new two year deal. Dobroň had previously left Morzine-Avoriaz after picking up an injury in pre-season. Head coach Richard Hartmann described the signing as "one of the biggest signings I’ve made for this club... To secure Michal’s services for two years is tremendous".
On 16th March 2014 the Capitals beat Kilmarnock Storm with the score of 12-0, giving them the title of SNL league champions of 2014.
Elite Ice Hockey League Record
Club Roster 2013/14
|No.||Player||Catches||Acquired||Place of Birth||Joined from||Press Release|
|33||Craig Holland||L||2009||Buckhaven, Scotland||Fife Flyers, Northern League|||
|53||Tomáš Hiadlovský||L||2012||Trenčín, Slovakia||HK Dukla Trenčín, Slovak Extraliga|||
|No.||Player||Shoots||Acquired||Place of Birth||Joined from||Press Release|
|14||Daniel McIntyre - A||R||2010||Edinburgh, Scotland||Fife Flyers, Northern League|||
|22||David Beatson||L||2013||Edinburgh, Scotland||No Previous Team|
|24||Jan Safar||R||2013||Prague, Czech Republic||HC Gornyak, Kazakhstan Hockey Championship|||
|39||Willie Nicolson||R||2012||Kirkcaldy, Scotland||Fife Flyers, EIHL|||
|41||Michal Benadik||L||2012||Slovakia||CSM Dunărea Galaţi, Romanian Hockey League|||
|91||Michal Dobroň||R||2013||Prague, Czech Republic||Morzine-Avoriaz, Ligue Magnus|||
|No.||Player||Position||Acquired||Place of Birth||Joined from||Press Release|
|7||Jay King||F||2012||Scotland||No Previous Team|
|11||Curtis Leinweber||RW||2012||Calgary, Alberta, Canada||Sylvan Lake Admirals, Chinook Hockey League|||
|13||Peter Holečko||LW||2011||Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia||HK Spišská Nová Ves, Slovak 1.Liga|||
|16||Neil Hay||RW||2000||Edinburgh, Scotland||No Previous Team|||
|17||Richard Hartmann||C||2011||Bratislava, Slovakia||Lausitzer Füchse, 2.Bundesliga|||
|18||Sean Beattie||RW||2012||Scotland||No Previous Team|
|29||Martin Cingel - C||LW||2012||Považská Bystrica, Slovakia||Manchester Phoenix, EPIHL|||
|34||Marc Fowley||C||2012||Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland||Solway Sharks, ENL|||
|36||Jade Portwood - A||LW||2012||Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada||Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, WCHA (NCAA)|||
|47||Joel Gautschi||RW||2012||Scotland||No Previous Team|
|63||Jordan Steel||RW||2007||Edinburgh, Scotland||No Previous Team|||
|88||Tomáš Horna||LW||2013||Kladno, Czech Republic||Beibarys Atyrau, Kazakhstan Hockey Championship|||
|No.||Name||Position||Place of Birth||Joined from||Press Release|
|17||Richard Hartmann||Player/Head Coach||Bratislava, Slovakia||Lausitzer Füchse, 2.Bundesliga|||
|N/A||Jock Hay||Bench/Asst. Coach||Edinburgh, Scotland||No Previous Club|
|No.||Player||Position||Acquired||Current Status||Press Release|
|26||Martin Lucka||L||2013||Released - Now playing for Frisk Asker Ishockey, GET-ligaen|||
|23||Les Reaney||C||2013||Released - Now playing for HYS The Hague, Eredivisie|||
- 1998-1999: Doug Marsden
- 1999-2000: Jason Heywood
- 2000-2005: Steven Lynch
- 2005-2006: Jim Vickers
- 2006-2011: Martin Cingel
- 2011-2012: Jan Safar
- 2012–Present: Martin Cingel
Most Games Played For The Club
These are the 10 players who have played the most games for the Edinburgh Capitals:
Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
Last updated: end of 2012-13 season.
Club Scoring Leaders
These are the 10 players who have scored the most points for the Edinburgh Capitals:
Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
Last updated: end of 2012-13 season.
Honours and awards
- Number 21 worn by Chris Kelland. On 15 December 2007, Kelland became the first player to have his jersey retired at Murrayfield after playing for the Racers for 10 seasons, totaling 676 points in 310 games.
Hall Of Fame
- Owner of the Capitals Scott Neil was inducted into British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
- FBNL All-Star 2nd Team - Steven Lynch
- FBNL All-Star 2nd Team - Jason Lafreniere
- FBNL All-Star Team - Jan Krajicek
- FBNL Player of The Year - Tony Hand
- FBNL All-Star Team - Tony Hand & Adrian Saul
- FBNL All-Star 2nd Team - Ladislav Kudrna, Jan Krajicek & Steven Kaye
- FBNL All-Star Team - Dino Bauba
- EIHL Second Team All-Star - Tony Hand
- Best British Forward - Tony Hand
- Ice Hockey Annual Trophy - Tony Hand
- EIHL All-Star Team - Mark Hurtubise
- EIHL Top Pointscorer - Mark Hurtubise
- EIHL Second All-Star Team - Owen Fussey
- EIHL Newcomer of the Year - Owen Fussey
- Coach of the Year - Doug Christiansen
- EIHL Top Goalscorer - René Jarolin
- EIHL Second All Star Team - René Jarolin
- Official Edinburgh Capitals Site
- Official Edinburgh Capitals FORUM
- Edinburgh Capitals Supporters Club Website