player-coach Richard Hartmann has assured Edinburgh Capitals fans he is scouring the world to bring in the right blend of youth and experience to complete his squad for the new ice hockey season.
With the first of three pre-season matches just four weeks away, Caps supporters are growing concerned over the lack of transfer activity at the club. Hartmann, who has two experienced defenceman the top of his shopping list, is refusing to push the panic button.
Edinburgh, who re-signed nine of last year’s squad, have to-date only one recognised blue-liner on their books and Hartmann said: “We’re not concentrating our search on any one country or area, we’re looking at players both in the European and North American market. We need a couple of really experienced ‘D’ and one experienced forward, which leaves a couple of spots that can be filled with younger players, with less professional experience.”
Hartmann warned that finalising a roster on Edinburgh’s modest budget is no mean feat and asked for fans to remain patient. “I know that a lot of fans really can’t wait to see what players we sign. We still have five import slots open – we’re trying hard to get the players we want. These experienced players are tough to find and even tougher to negotiate with. There are guys we are speaking to right now and others who have already said no.
“One of the reasons recruiting players takes such a long time for us is that we don’t just look at their CV. We need to find out what kind of people they are, what they bring to the locker room, and off the ice. You can sign a great player on paper, but if he doesn’t fit in with the players around him it does nothing to help the team.”
Capitals’ pre-season fixtures: Hull Stingrays (a) August 28 (6pm); Hull Stingrays (h) September 1 (6pm); Dundee Stars (h) September 3 (8pm)