THE Genting Casino Coventry Blaze can confirm that Canadian forward David Broll has left the club to pursue an opportunity as a firefighter in Oakville, Canada.
The 29-year-old last iced for the club on 13th November 2021, for what was his 54th appearance in Elite League Competition and last as a professional player.
In those games, the 6ft 2in winger contributed 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) with 217 penalty minutes.
Broll was granted permission by the club to return home to take part in the competitive application process in mid-November.
Broll said: “This is something that I have been working at for the last couple of years with courses and voluntary experience which led to me getting the opportunity for an interview at the fire department within the town right next to the city that I’m currently living in.
“I did the first interview (online) and I didn’t know where it was going to take me, but I spoke to Stewy (Danny Stewart) to tell him I was getting pushed onto the second interview as I didn’t want to blind-side anyone.
“To cut a long story short, I had to come home for an evaluation in person. I was then on stand-by for a while, but received an offer. They hire between 15-20 people from 900-1,000 applicants so it’s a very hard job to get into which leaves me here not being able to come back to Coventry.”
The fan favourite was named Clubman of the Year for the 2019/20 season with the Blaze with his leadership skills acknowledged by being rewarded with an associate captaincy.
Prior to his time in the UK, Broll was a regular at the AHL and ECHL level playing near 375 regular season and playoff games, most notably for Toronto Marlies, Syracruse Crunch, St. John’s IceCaps and Laval Rockets.
Broll was drafted by the famous Toronto Maple Leafs in round six (152nd overall) of the 2011 NHL draft, going on to sign a three-year entry-level contract. Over 2013/14, he played five games for the Leafs and collected an assist.
Other notable highlights for Broll were being selected to the ECHL’s All-Star game (2014/15) and in 2016/17 he was named St. John’s IceCaps Speciality AHL Man of the Year.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “Broller was a big part of our team and organisation. He is a big loss on and off the ice. It’s unfortunate that it has turned out this way, but these guys aren’t making millions of dollars and life after hockey can be daunting.
“I like to think as staff and an organisation, we’re not just invested in guys as players, but also as people. We talk so much about getting good people in, it would be a shame if we treated them otherwise.
“It’s a big opportunity for Broller to purse something in the next chapter of his life. From a personal standpoint, I’m thrilled for him. From a coaching standpoint, it’s a bit frustrating but you’ve got to be understanding at the same time. We wish him the best of luck and I know he’ll remain a fan favourite for this organisation for a very long time.”
Broll added: “I want to thank everyone in Coventry from the bottom of my heart. It’s going to be tough not being able to say goodbye in person, but these are the cards I’ve been dealt with. It was a tricky decision, but I hope everyone can understand.”
Broll explained the reasons behind his decision in the video below.
And Head Coach Stewart also gave his reaction to losing one of his most important players.