It’s less than a month until Ice Hockey returns to South Wales with the Cardiff Devils beginning their pre-season against the Nottingham Panthers on the road on August 11th before returning to Ice Arena Wales on August 12th.
There’s still a few players left to announce for Andrew Lord’s Devils team, but during an emotional night in IAW as hundreds of fans attended the UK Premiere of the My Turn documentary, they were treated to the two latest nameplates to be placed above lockers in the Devils dressing room.
With last nights two signings the Cardiff Devils have more or less locked up their defensive core for the 2018/19 season, bringing back Bryce Reddick for a second year, and introducing their fans to just the second new signing this summer in Ben Blood.
The Mercedes Benz Fife Flyers have made their second signing announcement of the weekend and joining the flyers from the league champion Cardiff Devils is Paul Crowder.
Paul is a 33 year old Victoria B.C native he is a 6 foot 3, 200 pound forward.
He has had an extensive career playing five season in the BCHL with the Powell River Kings, Surrey Eagles and the Coquitlam Express following that he played three years NCAA for the university of Alaska-anchorage,
During his final season with Alaska he joined the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL. In the 2010 season he moved to Utah to play for the Grizzlies he played 20 games that season for them then moved on to Wheeling to play for the Nailers for the rest of that season and the following one. During that season he was loaned to the AHL team the Manchester Monarchs.
At the start of the 2012-13 season Paul had moved to Europe for the first time but only played six matches in the EBEL league before moving back to the ECHL and the Wheeling Nailers where he contributed 62 points in the 68 games. The 2012-13 season saw him once again play AHL hockey for two teams the Wilkes-barre/Scranton Penguins and the Milwaukee Admirals. 2013-14 season saw Paul play four matches for the Admirals in the AHL before moving back the ECHL this time with the Cincinnati Cyclones where he had 48 points in 64 games. The following year Crowder only managed 25 games in the ECHL with the Fort Wayne Komets, the 2015-2016 season again saw Crowder move the Europe but he only managed 24 games for Amiens of the French league before again moving back to the ECHL and Fort Wayne Komets.
Two seasons ago Paul didn’t play at all and last year of course we all saw him play for the Elite league Champions the Cardiff Devils.
On Joining Fife Paul said “I’m really excited to be joining the Flyers for the upcoming season, I hope to help build on the success they had last season, They have an exciting style of play and I can’t wait to get the season underway and play in front of the Flyers fans.”
Head Coach Todd Dutiaume said “Paul is an experienced player that will help strengthen our squad, we were impressed with him last season whenever we played against the Devils. He will be an experienced, reliable player for us, Paul is keen to help us win some more silverware this season and is a solid signing for us.”
Yesterday the EIHL announced the format of the new season ahead of the big fixture reveal on Monday. Here we dissect a few things from this and share a few thoughts on what we think could/should have been done.
Whenever you think of hockey in the 1990’s, there are a few things that come to mind. The style of play was different, being generally slower and more physical, known as the “Clutch and Grab” era due to the lax rules the era was known for. Goaltending was not as effective as it is now as well. It was not unusual for goalies to post sub .900 save percentages, and the technique used by goalies was not as uniform as it is today.
One more piece of the jigsaw in place, and a new defenceman for the Sheffield Steelers as Czech stay-at-home D-man Jiri Gula arrives at the House of Steel. That leaves just one more spot on the blue line and three forwards left to complete the roster for the upcoming season.