New Edinburgh Capitals net-minder Tyler Beskorowany has warned fans not to view him as any kind of “saviour” as Capitals try to improve from just three wins in 30 games.
Beskorowany will make his debut tonight as Caps travel to Tayside to take on Dundee Stars. He arrives with a good pedigree having been a second round draft pick of NHL cracks Dallas Stars.
He arrived in Edinburgh earlier this week, but did not play at all last season to allow his body time to heal from what he describes as “a few niggling injuries”. However, the 27-year old Canadian feels ready to make his comeback and Capitals, without a win in 12 games, and this week released former starting goalie Pavel Shegalo, will hope to reap the benefits of a goalie who, prior to his injury, spent two seasons in Germany with Dusseldorf and Nuremberg leading both teams to play-off runs in the DEL.
Beskorowany, who prior to tonight’s game has had two training sessions with his new team-mates, said: “I was sitting at home and I got a message saying a team in the UK was looking for a goalie, I looked up the situation and I spoke to a few people and it turned out this was a good fit for both sides.
“I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I played a few games this year in the Federal League (in Canada with the Cornwall Nationals where, in two starts, he faced 107 shots, conceding just seven goals for a save percentage of 93.5 per cent), it’s not a very high level league but I was still playing hockey and getting my feet under me again.
“I’m not coming in here to be the saviour, we’re not going to start winning lots of games just because I’m here, but I’ll do what I can to help the team out in any way possible.
“Practice has been going well, the calibre is even better than I expected; that was a nice surprise to come into. I think there is a lot of potential in this team.
“I’ve played with (Capitals player-coach) Michael D’Orazio in the past and he explained a little about the hockey aspect. The team’s not doing too great this season but they’re trying to build for seasons to come and finish this year on a strong note and recruit better players in the future.”
Beskorowany, standing at 6ft 4in in flip-flops, has a happy-go-lucky air about him that he says is reflected in his play and nature on the ice.
“I’m relaxed, this is a game, it’s not a job to me. I like to have fun and I like to enjoy myself off the ice and never put too much pressure on myself. I’ve never really had butterflies before a big game, except once, an outdoor game in Dusseldorf when we played in front of 70,000 people – I’ll admit to it on that occasion.”
“(to get back to his best) will take some time, I’m not going to step in here and feel like I did two years ago. It’s a good fit not having too much pressure with the team in last place, it will give me an opportunity to get my legs under me again but I’m sure it won’t take too long.”
Edinburgh, who have endured just as tough a time off the ice as they have on it as they undergo a corporate restructure after Capitals Hockey Limited was liquidated in November, are hopeful of revealing a new future structure of the club before the end of the month. Player-coach D’Orazio, who along with bench coach Jock Hay have taken up the reigns after head-coach Dmitri Khristich was sacked just before Christmas, believes Beskorowany’s arrival will immediately benefit his troops.
D’Orazio said: “Tyler’s an elite goalie. I played with him for a season (in Canada as a junior), he’s 6ft 4in, can really move and can play the puck. He’s a great guy to have in the dressing-room and he talks a lot out on the ice which is great for defenceman. He’s like another pair of eyes out there.
“He knows the game, he’s played at the highest level and I hope he’s going to be a rock for us.”