Tag Archives: Cardiff Devils

Statiscally speaking, the Cardiff Devils are better this year

The Cardiff Devils currently sit second in the EIHL with 38 points, two points off top spot with two games in hand. That’s a very favourable position to be in.

There has been a lot of criticism of this team that I’m not going to get too into, What I am going to do is explain how the Devils have actually improved from last year, the issue is so has the league.

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How Layne Ulmer quietly became the joint top scorer for the Devils this year

If I told you that Joey Martin leads all Cardiff Devils in goals scored this year in League, Challenge Cup and Champions Hockey League action, you’d believe me right?

Well, he is top with 19 goals, but he’s not alone. One other player shares that lead and its 38-year-old Layne Ulmer who’s had a great start to the season, especially in Challenge Cup and CHL action. Also it is worth noting, there is a question about whether a goal in the Devils overtime loss to the Glasgow Clan should also be awarded to Ulmer, so if that changes then it means Ulmer has the lead on the team with 20.

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Each EIHL teams top prospect

With Great Britain returning to the top group of International Ice Hockey for the first time since 1994, and Liam Kirk being drafted into the NHL, it’s an exciting time for British Ice Hockey, so what better time to examine each EIHL teams top prospect.

Now to define “top prospect” I’ll be looking at players who are on either a one-way or two-way deal with an EIHL team currently and are 23-years-old or younger, and British. If you want to see more about the top young stars of the EIHL from all nations, click here to see our countdown from 25 – 11, and here to see our countdown from 10 – 1 of our list of the top 25 players aged 25 or younger.

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Charles Linglet could set a Devils record

It’s no secret that Charles Linglet has been a huge hit with the Cardiff Devils this year.

For the past few years it seemed as though nobody was going to come close to knocking Joey Martin off that points leader for the team spot, but this year, Linglet is not only leading the Devils, but also one of the league leaders with 34 point in 24 games, good enough for tied second among all skaters, and just one point behind league leader Blair Riley.

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EIHL 18/19 – 24 Leave in Opening 15 Weeks

With Manchester Storm announcing the departure of Brendan Brooks yesterday, the EIHL player departure headcount now sits at 24. In just 15 weeks, 7 of the 11 teams have lost at least 1 player, and in a couple of cases, also their coach. This week alone has seen 5 casualties – Is it poor recruitment, poor pay, or is the league just not a place players want to be?

There is an argument for all of the above, and hockey players getting gassed or moving mid-season certainly isn’t a new phenomenon. In season past, numerous EIHL players have changed teams, but to lose so many so soon? And alarmingly, the list of 24 does not include Danick Paquette or Tom Parisi, both who left their teams (Coventry & Cardiff respectively) before the season officially got underway.

CTP’s own Lucy Hamilton, has been tracking the movements for each club:

1200px-Cardiff_Devils_logo.svg

7/11 – Ben Blood

4/12 – Justin Faryna

Blaze

4/12 – Miika Wiikmann

4/12 – Kelin Ainsworth

LogoGuildfordFlames

3/10 – Kevin Phillips

manchester-storm-website-logo

26/10 – Marcus Basara

20/11 – Jindrich Pacl

23/11 – Dylan Anderson

6/12 – Brendan Brooks

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2/11 – Joonas Houvinen

14/11 – Head Coach Doug McKay

21/11 – Eric Neiley

1/12 – Rihards Grigors

Panthers New

18/11 – Jacob Doty

27/11 – Sam Gospel

29/11 – Tyler VanKleef

3/12 – Tyler Biggs

Steelers Logo

17/9 – Matt Rupert

17/9 – Ryan Rupert

1/10 – Head Coach Paul Thompson

24/10 – Brendan Brooks

28/10 Chris Lawrence

30/10 Jiri Gula

25/11 Bradley Day (loaned to Hull Pirates)


The League?

Despite dropping to 11 teams, the EIHL appears to be in good shape and is arguably more competitive than in recent times. The Devils have strengthened over the summer, but certainly do not look like they have the stranglehold on the league that they did last season. At the other end of the table, Dundee & MK have shown they can compete, and win, against anyone when on their game. The UK in general is still seen as a tourist destination, and is a big selling point for players who come to play in the league.

Poor Pay/Benefits?

On our list of 24, not all have been gassed by their teams. Several have moved to take up opportunities elsewhere. Is it purely money? Are there greater opportunities outside of the game which prompts the move or is it simply career progression? Regardless of motive, Cardiff were open in saying they were compensated for the loss of Ben Blood, but were Coventry compensated for Ainsworth?

Poor Recruitment /Coaching?

The Rupert brothers immediately spring to mind, but both appear to be picking up points since their return to the ECHL. Of course, clubs rely on various methods to pick up players, such as word of mouth or their contacts from years past, but does the blame lie with the contacts, or with the coach making the signings? In the case of the Rupert’s, was it purely the coach not knowing how to play them?

One thing is for sure – The issue with the vast amount of roster changes head resulted in some fans feeling somewhat disconnected from their teams. Coventry have seen 5 netminders this season, Sheffield have lost 6 players already, MK lost arguably their best player, Guildford lost a loyal Brit who was loved by many and Cardiff have lost 2 fan favourites. All mid-season.

Your Thoughts?

There is no doubt the player merry-go-round will continue, but what can teams do to stop the better players in the league from leaving? Or does the EIHL in general need to do more to promote itself and make it more appealing in general?

Information correct at time of publication [12:00 07/12/18] will be updated as things change

Justin Faryna Leaves Cardiff Devils

Cardiff Devils fan favourite, Justin Faryna, has left the club with immediate effect, citing personal reasons for the decision.

Faryna joined the Devils in 2017 following 2 seasons with the Dundee Stars and was instrumental in their league & playoff success, registering 33 points in 50 league games and 4 points in 4 playoff games.

Despite spending some time on the sidelines injured at the start of the season, Faryna was back amongst the lineup and the news has come as a shock to both fans and management alike.

Managing Director Todd Kelman: ““This came as a big shock to us. Faryna has been a big part of our team since he arrived ahead of the 2017-18 season. He played a massive role in our success last season and was hugely popular with our fanbase.

“I know they will be saddened to see him go, as we all are, but there is life outside of hockey and this is a decision bigger than this game.

“On behalf of the entire organisation, I would like to thank Justin for his contribution to the Devils and wish him well for wherever life takes him.”

 

Featured image – CardiffDevils.com

Top 10 Elite League Fighters 2018/9

The decline of fighting within hockey is no secret, but does it still have a place in today’s game? For those that love the dropping of gloves and swinging of fists, the clock might already be ticking on the Elite League remaining Europe’s most physical league. The decision this off-season by many Head Coaches, within the league, to sign quicker and more skillful players rather than the traditional heavy-hitters could spell the end. The NHL trend (to get quicker) has had a slow trickle-down affect across the league’s in North America and Europe. As a result, the Top 10 Elite League Fighters might well be the least intimidating on record…

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