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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Season Preview: – Braehead Clan

Where as you expect teams to lose players in the off season, with Braehead being a brand new start up you wouldn’t expect them to have this issue. However, four players have already left the Clan including player/coach Adam Calder. He was replaced by Bruce Richardson, previously of Nottingham Panthers.

Former Edinburgh and Coventry netminder JF Perras returns to the UK after a season in the CHL.  He should give them a solid base and as he did in Edinburgh steal them a few games. His backup will be Mike Will, who has spent the last two seasons playing NCAA.

Tim Wedderburn leads the Clans defence having spent much of his career playing in the AHL. He is joined by Cody Bostock, Jon Landry and Matheiu Wathier. All three’s careers across the pond are mainly college/junior and CHL/UHL, though all three have recently played in Europe in leagues at least comparable if not a slightly higher standard than the EIHL.  Landry should provide some offence from the blue line.  Local youngsters John Connolly and Steven Chalmers are joined by fellow Brit Kevin Phillips who spent last season with Belfast, to complete the defence. Phillips should provide the Clan with a decent 5th defenseman to complement their imports.

As with the defence, the bulk of the Clans forwards come from a CHL background. Richardson will provide some feistiness mixed with decent points production, while former teammate Brendan Cook should provide much needed offence having lead the Nottingham Panthers in scoring in 2008/9. Clan will also be looking to Bobby Chaumont and Dominic Noel to contribute on the score sheet while Cedrick Bernier and Kyle Bruce should add some toughness should add some toughness. Brits Adam Walker and Matt Haywood step up from the EPL to complete the line-up. Walker returns to the EIHL looking to continue his improvement following a career year with Manchester Phoenix, while Haywood looks to follow in the footsteps of former Sheffield Scimitars such as Robert Dowd and Matt Towe who successfully made the jump from EPL to EIHL.

As new kids on the block, the Clan don’t look like they’ll trouble the the more established teams too much.  While some teams look to stock up on players from the ECHL and AHL, Clan seemed to have settled more on players from the CHL, most of who haven’t been big scorers even at that level. There feistiness and toughness may make them difficult to play against, but a relative lack of talent will stop them competing for any honours.

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