Edinburgh Capitals have been dealt a triple blow ahead of tonight’s Elite League match at Coventry Blaze after three players walked out on the club.
Finnish defenceman Julius Nyqvist, plus forwards Taylor Stefishen and Duncan Speirs have all quit Murrayfield with immediate effect following talks with team co-owner Scott Neil. Nyqvist had only signed with the club last month, while Canadian import Stefishen had just enrolled in a two-year course with Heriot-Watt University. Speirs, a GB under-20 internationalist who joined from Solway Sharks in the summer, had quickly establishing himself as a firm fan favourite.
A bitterly disappointed Neil revealed: “The three of them just hadn’t settled and told me they weren’t enjoying it here for various reasons. “We kind of knew Julius hadn’t settled, Stef came right out of the blue – I think it’s because he’s got a club in the (North American) East Coast League. Duncan just wasn’t getting the ice time he had hoped for. In a team with nine import forwards it was difficult for him to find a role.”
The departures leave Edinburgh – currently propping up the 12-strong Elite League with only one win from their opening seven games and all ready depleted through injury and illness – with only eight forwards and five defenceman for their three game road-trip, which also takes in Milton Keynes Lightning tomorrow and Manchester Storm on Saturday.
Neil, who has travelled down with the team yesterday, continued: “We are actively looking for replacements. It might take some time, or we might manage to bring people in very quickly. We need to regroup. The disappointing thing is we didn’t lose a single player last season, and this year we lose three all at once.”