Nottingham Panthers have confirmed the signing of 31 year old Canadian forward Chris Stewart.
The name Stewart is known to Panthers fans as Chris’ brother Anthony had a short stint at the club on lockout in 2012/13 where he played 16 games.
Stewart has masses of experience playing in the NHL. He has iced a whopping 652 games, scoring 160 goals and gaining 161 assists. In his career he has played for Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues and his last NHL games time was with the Calgary Flames in the 2017/18 season.
He was a 2006 round 1 #18 draft pick for Colorado. He has experience in Europe in Germany and the Czech Republic. His most prolific season in professional Hockey was in 2008/09 with the Avalanche, where in 77 games he scored 28 goals, 36 assists with a total of 64 points.
Elite Prospects describe him as: A big and strong winger that plays a physical game. Stewart also owns an offensive instinct and a very good shot.
He is one of the most experienced NHL players to grace our shores and this is a huge coup for Panthers, fans will hope he can add some much needed firepower. Panthers currently sit in 3rd but Belfast and Cardiff, amongst others, have numerous games in hand.
Rumours were being passed around last night that Tim Billingsley would be released by Panthers to make way for a new signing, but there has been no confirmation from the Panthers hierarchy regarding this. I believe this rumour has come about because he was scratched from the lineup against Guildford last night.
However there is nothing to suggest that this was anything other than a healthy scratch.
“Let’s Go Panthers”
Cover photo courtesy of Pioneer Press