Edinburgh Capitals forward Pavel Vorobyev today revealed he “didn’t even have to think” about extending his stay at Murrayfield as the club announced a new one-year deal for the former Chicago Blackhawks player.
With 21 goals and 37 assists in 58 games, Vorobyev led the Caps in scoring during his debut season in the Elite League. He becomes the first player to commit to the club following last week’s appointment of Ukrainian NHL legend Dmitri Khristich as head coach.
Vorobyev, 35, who played 57 NHL games for the Blackhawks before making over 400 top-flight appearances across the Russian Super-League and Continental Hockey League (KHL), said of his return to Murrayfield: “I was very happy last season, and made to feel comfortable. The fans are great, so is the management and, of course, the city. When Scott (Capitals co-owner Scott Neil) proposed a new deal for this year, I didn’t even have to think about it and agreed at once. I’m excited to come back, and give 100 per cent in every game. I don’t have any personal goals, just to do well for the team.”
Vorobyev is only the fifth player to be under contract ahead of the new ice hockey season which gets underway in September. Both Neil and Khristich have some hard work ahead of them as they bid to recruit a team good enough to push for the club’s first play-off appearance in five years.
Vorobyev continued: “It’s difficult to say at this stage what sort of team we’ll have, or what style we will play, but signing a non-playing head coach is the right way to go, the management have made the right choice.
“Dmitri was such a great player and brings a huge amount of experience, which is so important. He really is the key for us next season, and I’m sure he will bring us success.”
Neil was delighted to tie down the skilful Kazakh for another season, saying: “It’s not just what Pavel brought to the ice last season that impressed me. His work off it to prepare himself for games, and the way he looked after himself is second to none. He reminds me of (former NHL forward) Ken Priestlay, who I played alongside at Sheffield. Pavel is the consummate professional.”