Edinburgh Capitals

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Edinburgh Capitals
Edinburgh-capitals-logo.gif
City Edinburgh, Scotland
League Elite Ice Hockey League
Founded 1998
Home arena Murrayfield Ice Rink
Colours

White, Blue, and Red

              
Owner(s) United Kingdom Scott Neil, Matthew Tailford, George Ferdinando
General manager United Kingdom Matthew Tailford
Head coach Slovakia Richard Hartmann
Captain Canada Jade Portwood

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.

History[edit]

BNL Years[edit]

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[edit]

Early EIHL Seasons[edit]

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[edit]

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.

2011-12 Season[edit]

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.

2012-13 Season[edit]

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.

2013-14 Season[edit]

After a positive 2012-13 season, the club looked to retain as much of the team as possible during the off-season. Player/head coach, Richard Hartmann, and forward Peter Holečko returned for their third consecutive season, while other key returnees included captain, Martin Cingel, alternative captain, Jade Portwood, goalie, Tomáš Hiadlovský, Canadian forward, Curtis Leinweber, and Slovak defenceman, Michal Benadik. It was announced that after spending the previous season in Kazakhstan, former captain, Jan Safar, would also 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.

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 Lučka, who spent the previous season with Piráti Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga.

After a poor start to the 2013-14 season, the club announced on 29th September 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".

Despite the importance of Dobron’s return, the club continued to struggle. Further changes to the roster saw Reaney, Lučka and Horna leave the club midseason, while Latvian winger Mārcis Zembergs returned to the club and Czech forward, Jaroslav Cesky, joined from the Cardiff Devils. The team’s fortunes failed to improve after the roster shuffle, and the Capitals finished the season in last place by some distance. Curtis Leinweber would finish as the club’s top point scorer, with 57 points in 51 games.

One bright spot of the season saw the Edinburgh Capitals (SNL) team win the grandslam after finishing 1st in the Scottish National League, and winning both the Playoff and Scottish Cup championships.

2014-15 Season[edit]

After the disappointment of the 2013-14 season, Hartmann renewed his contract with the Capitals for a fourth season with the promise that the team would be competitive in the future. During the offseason, the club would proceed with a clear out of the roster. Backup goalie, Craig Holland; defencemen, Jan Safar and Michal Benadik; and forwards, Jaroslav Cesky, Peter Holečko and Mārcis Zembergs would all leave the club. Despite efforts to re-sign him, Curtis Leinweber, would leave the Capitals to join Danish club, Herlev Eagles. With one year left on his contract, the club also allowed defenceman, Michal Dobroň, to re-join Morzine-Avoriaz.

The only import players to return for the 2014-15 season are goalie, Tomáš Hiadlovský, and alternate captain, Jade Portwood, both of which are in their third season with the club. The team was given a boost when it was announced that former Elite League all-star, René Jarolín, would also be re-joining after spending a season back in Slovakia.

New arrivals to the club include Swedish forward (and former college teammate of Portwood and Leinweber), Daniel Näslund; Canadian winger, Dennis Rix; American forward, Greg Collins; 6’8” Canadian forward/defenceman, Riley Emmerson; former Nottingham defenceman, Joe Grimaldi; and the Slovakian defensive pair, Lukáš Bohunický and Marcel Petran.

After the success of the SNL Capitals in the 2013-14 season, it was announced that several of their players are expected to be called up to join the Elite League Capitals. Other local players to join the club are defenceman, James Wallace, who signed from the Solway Sharks on a 5 year contract, and Callum Boyd, who previously played for the Kilmarnock Storm.

Club Roster 2014-15 Season[edit]

Goaltenders
No. Player Catches Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
53 Slovakia Tomáš Hiadlovský L 2012 Trenčín, Slovakia HK Dukla Trenčín, Slovak Extraliga [1]
33 Scotland Kevin Forshall L 2000 Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh Capitals (SNL), Scottish National League [2]
31 Scotland Craig Mallinson L 2014 Scotland Edinburgh Capitals (SNL), Scottish National League [3]
Defencemen
No. Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
4 Slovakia Lukáš Bohunický L 2014 Bratislava, Slovakia BK Mladá Boleslav, Czech Extraliga [4]
19 Slovakia Marcel Petran L 2014 Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia Peterborough Phantoms, EPIHL [5]
22 Scotland David Beatson L 1998 Edinburgh, Scotland No Previous Team [6]
28 Scotland James Wallace R 2014 Paisley, Scotland Solway Sharks, NIHL [7]
41 United StatesMalta Joe Grimaldi R 2014 Ronkonkoma, New York, U.S.A. HC Valpellice, Serie A [8]
54 CanadaUnited Kingdom Kyle Flemington R 2014 Park Hill, Ontario, Canada Oxford City Stars, NIHL [9]
Forwards
No. Player Position Acquired Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
7 Scotland Jay King F/D 2012 Scotland No Previous Team [10]
9 United States Greg Collins LW 2014 Rochester, New York, U.S.A. HYS The Hague, Eredivisie [11]
16 Scotland Callum Boyd F 2014 Scotland Kilmarnock Storm, Scottish National League [12]
17 Slovakia Richard Hartmann C 2011 Bratislava, Slovakia Lausitzer Füchse, 2.Bundesliga [13]
20 Scotland Sean Beattie RW 2012 Scotland No Previous Team [14]
26 Canada Riley Emmerson LW/D 2014 Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada Arizona Sundogs, Central Hockey League [15]
35 Slovakia René Jarolín C 2014 Skalica, Slovakia HC Dukla Senica, Slovak 1.Liga [16]
36 Canada Jade Portwood - C C 2012 Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, WCHA (NCAA) [17]
40 Sweden Daniel Näslund RW/C 2014 Nyköping, Sweden Ours de Villard-de-Lans, Ligue Magnus [18]
63 Scotland Jordan Steel RW/LW 2008 Scotland No Previous Team [19]
94 Canada Dennis Rix RW 2014 Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada Michigan Tech Huskies, WCHA (NCAA) [20]
Coaching Staff
No. Name Position Place of Birth Joined from Press Release
17 Slovakia Richard Hartmann Player/Head Coach Bratislava, Slovakia Lausitzer Füchse, 2.Bundesliga [21]
N/A Scotland Jock Hay Bench/Asst. Coach Edinburgh, Scotland No Previous Club
2013-14 Players
No. Player Position Acquired Current Status Press Release
31 Scotland Craig Holland L 2012 Signed for Dundee Stars, EIHL
23 Czech Republic Jan Safar D 2013 Signed for Fayetteville FireAntz, Southern Professional Hockey League [22]
91 Czech Republic Michal Dobroň D 2013 Signed for Morzine-Avoriaz, Ligue Magnus [23]
11 Canada Curtis Leinweber RW 2012 Signed for Herlev Eagles, Metal Ligaen [24]
13 Slovakia Peter Holečko RW 2011 Signed for Morzine-Avoriaz, Ligue Magnus [25]
43 Czech Republic Jaroslav Cesky LW 2014 Signed for Wightlink Raiders, NIHL [26]
97 Latvia Mārcis Zembergs LW/RW 2014 Signed for HK Kurbads, Latvian Hockey League [27]
34 Scotland Marc Fowley C 2012 Signed for Solway Sharks, NIHL [28]

Club Record[edit]

Season-By-Season Record[edit]

Elite Ice Hockey League Record[edit]

Edinburgh Capitals Elite Ice Hockey League record
Season League Conference Playoff Challenge Cup
2004-05 EIHL 8th Group Group
2006-07 EIHL 10th Group
2007-08 EIHL 8th QF Group
2008-09 EIHL 8th QF Group
2009-10 EIHL 6th QF Group
2010-11 EIHL 10th Group
2011-12 EIHL 9th Group
2012-13 EIHL 6th Gardiner 5th QF Group
2013-14 EIHL 10th Gardiner 5th Group
2014-15 EIHL Gardiner

Player Records[edit]

Club Captains[edit]

  • 1998-1999: Canada Doug Marsden
  • 1999-2000: Canada Jason Heywood
  • 2000-2005: Scotland Steven Lynch
  • 2005-2006: Canada Jim Vickers
  • 2006-2011: Slovakia Martin Cingel
  • 2011-2012: Czech Republic Jan Safar
  • 2012-2014: Slovakia Martin Cingel
  • 2014-Present: Canada Jade Portwood

Most Games Played For The Club[edit]

Player POS GP G A Pts
Scotland Neil Hay RW 499 44 91 135
Slovakia Martin Cingel RW 480 177 258 435
Scotland Daniel McIntyre D 354 4 21 25
Scotland Jordan Steel C 284 11 16 27
Scotland Steven Lynch LW 255 73 117 190
Scotland Craig Wilson RW 206 22 55 72
Scotland Kyle Horne D 206 18 42 60
Scotland Mark Garside C 200 26 62 88
Scotland Laurie Dunbar LW 186 29 39 68
Scotland David Beatson D 178 1 0 1

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
Last updated: end of 2013-14 season.

Club Scoring Leaders[edit]

Player POS GP G A Pts
Slovakia Martin Cingel RW 480 177 258 435
Scotland Steven Lynch LW 255 73 117 190
Slovakia Richard Hartmann LW 164 61 118 179
Lithuania Dino Bauba C 149 56 91 147
Slovakia René Jarolín C 116 74 72 146
Scotland Tony Hand C 79 35 100 135
Scotland Neil Hay RW 499 44 91 135
Canada Jeff Hutchins LW 113 48 80 128
Canada Adrian Saul RW 71 57 56 113
Canada Steven Kaye LW 68 51 58 109

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points
Last updated: end of 2013-14 season.

Honours and awards[edit]

Retired Jerseys[edit]

  • 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 Members[edit]

Season Awards[edit]

2000/01

  • FBNL All-Star 2nd Team - Steven Lynch

2001/02

2002/03

  • FBNL All-Star Team - Jan Krajicek

2003/04

2004/05

  • FBNL All-Star Team - Dino Bauba

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

2011/12

2012/13

Edinburgh Capitals (SNL)[edit]

The Edinburgh Capitals (SNL) are the "B" team to the Edinburgh Capitals, with whom they share their name. The Edinburgh Capitals (SNL) play in the Scottish National League which is considered a third tier league in the United Kingdom, equivalent to the NIHL. Some players also ice for or have iced for their Elite League counter parts.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]