SIX players have been released by Coventry Blaze as new coach Danny Stewart prepares for a new chapter in the club’s history.
Boris Valabik, James Isaacs, Michael Quesnele, Cale Tanaka, Carl Lauzon and Brenden Walker will seek new opportunities this summer, leaving Chris Bruton as the only player from last season’s roster to remain for the 2016/17 Elite League campaign.
“I want to take the time to publicly thank the guys that we have decided not to re-sign next year,” said Blaze’ director of hockey operations James Pease.
“There isn’t a bad guy among this group of players and the club wishes each of them all the very best in their future endeavours whether it be in hockey or the world outside.
“For those guys to help us reach a play-off final, knocking out the number one and two seed was a fantastic achievement and one which as a club we were extremely proud of.
“The only guy we haven’t yet made a final decision on is Chris Bruton, who has asked us to give him some time, a few weeks away from hockey, which we totally respect and have agreed to.
“Chris made a big impact when he came in last season and fits the blue-print for the type of player we want in our roster next season. All I can say is that as soon as we have some news to share with our fans we will do so.”
One player in particular that the club and Pease himself have singled out for priase is Canadian forward Cale Tanaka who played nearly 200 games for the club, posting over 100 points and he was voted the fan’s Player of the Season back in 2014.
“Tank (Cale Tanaka) is a guy I want to personally thank for his time and efforts in Coventry,” said Pease. “He is a popular guy with the fans, has a couple of hundred Blaze games under his belt and won a Play-off Championship with us.
“Everyone at the club wish him all the best and I’m sure the fans will also show their full appreciation to him and also the other players we have decided not to retain.”
Blaze are currently in talks with possible signings but there are unlikey to be more faces through the Skydome door before the end of May.