Capitals coach can’t wait for new blood to inject some life

Dmitri Khristich
Dmitri Khristich
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Edinburgh Capitals head coach Dmitri Khristich believes new signings – expected to arrive at the club next week – will change the atmosphere in the dressing-room as the struggling Murrayfield outfit look to rescue some pride from their disastrous season.

Caps, who are firmly rooted to the bottom of the Elite League with just three wins from 22 games, are undergoing a corporate restructure after the company behind the club, Capitals Hockey Limited, was liquidated last month.

Earlier this week, the club published a statement on their website promising new players and a stronger squad for the second half of the season. However, it went a long way short of shedding any light on the club’s off-ice problems.

The 200-word statement revealed Caps are looking to recruit a commercial manager, and the Evening News understands the club will have new directors/investors on board. However, there will be no announcement until the liquidation process concerning Capitals Hockey Limited is complete.

On the player front, the unsigned statement reads: “We are in talks with a number of players and expect to announce new recruits from next week. We want to significantly strengthen the squad for the second half of the season, that is our immediate priority. We’re focused on bringing in players who will battle week in week out from now until the 
final game of the season.”

In truth, the club have been scouring the transfer market since October and have lost out on a string of targets. Only last week, Canadian winger Marcus Basara, the former University of Alaska-Fairbanks star, opted instead to stay in North America and play in the East Coast Hockey League.

The first of the new recruits could arrive as early as Monday. Khristich, speaking ahead of Friday’s trip to Dundee Stars, said: “We’ve been looking for new players for a long time, getting some new blood into the squad will be good for us.

“With new blood comes a new attitude, and that will wake us all up a bit. It will change the way we look at our current situation, the way we prepare for games and give us more belief in ourselves.

“Attitude is the most important thing for us, rather than looking for players who play a certain position, although a goalscorer would be good. Attitude can change a lot, and this will make us a better team.”

Caps play second-bottom Stars, whom they trail by nine points in the league, after blowing an early two-goal lead at home to Coventry Blaze last Sunday in a 4-2 defeat. Khristich continued: “We got a 2-0 lead and the guys got too comfortable and lost control of the game. We gave it to them – it was totally our fault. We lost our concentration and stopped doing the right things.

“We lost a bit of momentum after there was a delay in awarding our second goal. We just seemed to stop skating after that. We spoke about it at the end of both the first and second periods, but we couldn’t get it back.”

It is understood injured duo Dillon Lawrence and captain Michael D’Orazio have returned to training but tonight’s game, as well Sunday’s clash against Guildford Flames at Murrayfield (face-off 6pm), may be too soon to see a return to competitive action for the pair.