New-look Caps without big stars for Dundee friendlies

Scott Neil
Scott Neil
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Edinburgh Capitals play two pre-season friendlies against Dundee Stars this weekend, minus recent signing Garrett Milan, who arrives in the country next week, and starting goalie Travis Fullerton.

The Canadian netminder is currently stranded in Halifax, Nova Scotia waiting to complete his visa application, with the club admitting the former Braehead Clan star is a major doubt to be cleared ahead of their first competitive game of the season on September 11th.

Edinburgh travel to Tayside tomorrow, before entertaining Dundee at Murrayfield on Sunday (face-off 6pm) to end what has been a frantic week at the Riverside rink. Experienced Russian duo Yevgeni Fyodorov and Pavel Vorobyov touch-down later today to complete a host of arrivals from around the globe, and it is understood Caps will give a trial to 24-year-old Latvian defenceman Rihards Grigors, who played in the Latvian top-flight last season, but now lives and works in Edinburgh.

However, Capitals’ co-owner Scott Neil admits to being frustrated by the Fullerton situation. He said: “When applying Travis picked Halifax for his final appointment, but with it being a part-time office he’s waited a month to be given a date. He tried to move the appointment to Toronto but was told if he did that he would have to start the whole visa process again.

“He will have his appointment on Wednesday, and it will be touch-and-go whether we have him in time for our first match of the season next Sunday (a Challenge Cup group match at home to Dundee). We are trying our best to speed up the process as much as possible.”

Fullerton’s absence gives Edinburgh’s home-grown goalies Kevin Forshall, and Capitals’ Scottish National League starter Craig Mallinson, the chance to impress. With Forshall revealing they will most likely share the duties between the pipes this weekend.

He said: “I’m not sure what’s happening tomorrow but I think Craig might get the start. I’ll be playing on Sunday because our SNL team have their first match of the season right after our game finishes. It’s against Fife who, along with us, will be going for the league title so Craig is needed for that one.”

With 14 changes from last season’s roster, including a return to the club for new player-coach Michal Dobron, Forshall may have had only a few training sessions to run the rule over the many new faces, but the 32-year-old who is entering his 16th year with the club has been impressed.

He continued: “The guys are looking really good, we should have a very competitive team this season. It will take a few weeks to get to know everybody properly, but we have a couple of really skilled guys and (Jared) Staal looks really good, a very strong skater you can see he has a real hockey pedigree about him.

“It’s great to have Michal Dobron back at the club, he looks in excellent shape and will be a really strong player for us as well as a coach. I’m almost positive (Capitals SNL coach) Martin Cingel will help out so with (bench coach) Jock Hay involved as well we have an excellent coaching team behind us.

“We need these games though, this weekend gives Dobron a chance to mix the lines, but it’s all about getting back into the routine ahead of our first completive game again against Dundee next week. We’ll be taking a close look at how they play, and they’ll be doing the same with us but I think we have the potential to give them a bit of a shock.”