Edinburgh Capitals will kick-start the new ice hockey season by hosting the inaugural Elite League Scottish Cup, with Caps co-owner Scott Neil hopeful the new competition will be the perfect platform to promote the sport in Scotland.
The weekend-long tournament, to be held at Murrayfield on the September 9-10, will feature Edinburgh alongside Elite League rivals Braehead Clan, Dundee Stars and Fife Flyers, with two semi-finals on the Saturday, followed by a third/fourth play-off game and final on the Sunday.
The competition will be held at a different venue every year as the curtain-raiser to the competitive season, with Neil hoping to create a carnival atmosphere.
Neil said: “This all came about following discussions between the clubs on how we can co-operate better to help promote the sport in Scotland.
“It’s a great opportunity to unite the fan-base, in a similar fashion to what goes on at Nottingham.
“We’ll be looking to create a festival atmosphere, with a fan-zone where supporters can mingle with one another between games. We’re very lucky to have fans in our sport who are generally excellent with one another and we want to promote the camaraderie of hockey.
“That said, this is not a friendly competition. We will be looking to arrange a couple of pre-season games before the tournament, because the Scottish Cup will be competitive hockey, a trophy is up for grabs right off the bat and we want to win it.”
Meanwhile, last season’s club captain, Jacob Johnston, will not be returning to Edinburgh after signing with Danish cracks Odense Bulldogs.
The out-of-contract defenceman was a standout performer for the Caps in his two-year stint at Murrayfield, playing in exactly 100 games.
The Canadian patrolled the blue-line with panache, scoring 25 goals, with 58 assists, and Neil said: “Jake did a really good job for us in the time he was here, and we will be working hard to replace him with another high-calibre player.”