Former Edinburgh Capitals captain Martin Cingel, has warned that when the puck drops at Murrayfield tomorrow (face-off 6.00) there will be no room for sentiment.
Cingel says he will do everything he can to ensure his new club, Dundee Stars, take home crucial Challenge Cup points when the two sides meet. He spent 11 years with Edinburgh, seven as club captain and still lives across from Murrayfield ice rink.
“In my career I’ve never played a competitive game against the Caps, so it does feel a little strange,” he said, “but I’m a professional and once the puck drops, I’ll treat it like any other game.
“It’s a crucial match for both sides and we need the win if we want to progress in the Challenge Cup.
“I played years for Edinburgh and had a great time there, but I’ll be doing everything I can to help Dundee beat Edinburgh twice this weekend. If I scored ... yeah, It would be emotional.”
Cingel, with 177 goals and 258 assists in a Capitals jersey, a club record on both counts, will without doubt receive a rousing reception on his return to Murrayfield.
Across all team sports players who are such big fan favourites undoubtedly have a habit of coming back to haunt the side that let them go, and asked whether he sees any similarities between his situation and that of Chelsea football legend Frank Lampard, who last week returned to his old club with Manchester City only to score a late equalising goal, a laughing Cingel said: “I was actually reading an article about Lampard the other day, and although you can’t really compare me to him – he lives in a completely different world – the circumstances in which he left Chelsea and I left the Caps are very similar.”
Both clubs have something to build on going into tomorrow’s fixture, before the two sides go at it again 24 hours later in the Dundee Ice Arena, once more in Challenge Cup action. Last time out Edinburgh picked up their first home win of the season in a thrilling 3-2 penalty shot victory over Cardiff Devils, while Stars picked up their first win in all completions last Sunday at home to Fife Flyers.
Cingel who has scored two goals in six games with his new club, added: “Jeff [Stars player-coach Jeff Hutchins] has done a great job in recruiting this year, but it’s still early in the season and we’re still gelling as a team. Sometimes it takes time for guys to settle down, or get the lines just right, so it was very positive to get the win last week. It’s given our confidence a real boost and sets us up nicely for these two games with Edinburgh.”
Caps have lost all three of their Challenge cup groups games to date, with Stars not fairing much better with two points from three games, and Cingel continued: “Capitals recruited pretty well this summer, especially defensively which sets us up for two great games.
“Both teams need points in the Challenge Cup and certainly from our perspective we’re looking for four points this weekend, and everyone will work hard towards that aim.”