Edinburgh Capitals won’t be bringing back fans’ favourite Michal Dobron.
Co-owner Scott Neil has quashed rumours that the struggling Elite club will offer a deal until the end of the season to the defender. Caps are searching for a defenceman to cover for the injured Jacob Johnston.
Dobron, a former Czech internationalist who played for Capitals between 2012 and 2014, turned out for Morzine-Avoriaz last season in the French top flight alongside former Edinburgh forward Peter Holecko, but he is currently without a club. It is believed the 36-year-old requested to rejoin the club in the summer but, with new player-coach Riley Emmerson wanting to bring in his own players, no deal was reached.
And, with pressure on social media building from fans wishing Dobron to be offered a deal, Neil said: “Bringing in someone like Dobron might work as a short-term fix, but the players we are looking to bring in from now until the end of the season are guys we would like to take a look at with a view to them signing on next year and, with the age Michal is now, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to continue to play at this level for another year.
“We’re continuing to look at a number of options as we look to strengthen the squad for the rest of the season.”
Edinburgh travel to Manchester Storm tomorrow for the first half of a tricky away double header that concludes on Sunday when they take on league leaders Cardiff Devils in Wales. Caps will travel without Brandon Coccimiglio. The Canadian picked up an injury in last week’s 4-1 home loss to Braehead Clan. However, Caps will offer an injury cover trial to 24-year-old British/Canadian forward Thomas Stuart-Dant, who this season has scored nine goals and registered 11 assists in 19 games for the Cardiff Devils National Ice Hockey League side, effectively the third tier of ice hockey in the UK.
Emmerson, taking a break from his final preparations for what is sure to be a tough trip for his short-handed side, said: “Coccimiglio picked up a groin strain in Sunday’s game and it looks pretty bad.
“It will be interesting to give the guy (Stuart-Dant) a trial this weekend and see how he does. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll go from there. We’ve got our eyes on three or four guys, and we also put out a couple of offers but they came back to us and said ‘no’.
“It’s two games in small buildings where turnovers are going to kill us. It’s all about playing a simple game, blocking shots and protecting the house.”
Edinburgh have 15 games still to play of a so far turbulent season which leaves them propping up the Elite League after winning just once in their last 14 games while players like Ryan Hayes and David Rutherford have walked out on the club to join rival teams who still have realistic chances of winning silverware. However, Emmerson insists it is not all doom and gloom for the Capitals, who looked a certainty for a play-off place just two months ago.
Emmerson said: “We’re short of bodies, and it’s another chance for our young guys like Callum Boyd and Sean Beattie, who have impressed, to get a ton of ice time. Things have been difficult for us but I’ve been excited to see how guys have stepped up and taken pride in their game over the last few weeks.
“We have guys who’ve really played for the Edinburgh Capitals jersey, players like Trevor Gerling and Paul Zanette are a perfect example.”