Ice Hockey: Wilcox out to Len hand in Capitals’ new era

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EDINBURGH CAPITALS ice hockey team are under new management with fresh investment – and the ambitious new bosses today declared: “The only way is up.”

Businessman Len Wilcox takes over as general manager after a crunch meeting of directors and investors last night. They moved swiftly after the Murrayfield men slipped to their fifth-straight defeat in all competitions this campaign, a poor start to the season which follows a dismal 30-game losing streak last term.

Former owner and general manager Scott Neil – who has guided the club since the start of the Elite League - will now take over a coaching role at the club.

However, the new broom stressed that they have every confidence in current player/coach Richard Hartmann, 35, a player with vast experience from the top Slovakian League, who has also played in North America and in the German Second Division.

News of the shock switch was given in a short statement on the club’s website late last night.

The new bosses have been busy alerting key people including Murrayfield rink management.

And Leith-based Wilcox admitted: “I don’t mind us being rock bottom as we can’t go any lower.”

Wilcox was a face in the crowd at the Riversdale rink on Sunday when Capitals lost 4-2 to Scottish rivals Braehead Clan.

And the 63-year-old believes there is great potential for the sport in the Capital.

He was brought on board by concerned city-based television and satellite boss Raymond Lumsden. He has pumped a great deal of cash into the club in recent years.

Lumsden has known Wilcox, a business advisor and mortgage consultant, for the past 15 years and the pair have done business together. “Len is an Edinburgh man and he has a sound business background.

“He is now retired from his main business but is still involved in property investment and development,” added Lumsden.

“He has time to take on this job and he was at Murrayfield on Sunday for the game.

“It was his first sight of ice hockey and he comes into the sport with no baggage which is a positive plus.”

Wilcox will work from his office in Leith and at Murrayfield and Lumsden added: “Richard (Hartmann) is doing a good job. He is trying to instil a really professional attitude here and we appreciate that. Money will be made available.

“Len will run the business. He’ll look at all aspects of it from the programme to the website to sponsorship and also to match nights.”