Edinburgh Capitals co-owner Scott Neil, admitted it was time to “shake things up” after the club announced they would not be renewing the contract of player-coach Richard Hartmann.
With the Elite League ice-hockey season coming to a close last weekend, after Coventry Blaze were crowned play-off champions, Edinburgh who finished in ninth place, announced the news on their website yesterday and expect to name their new coach in the near future.
In Hartamnn’s four years at the helm Edinburgh, who have the smallest budget of the league’s ten teams, only made the play-offs on one occasion, posting a sixth placed finish in 2012-13. Neil, who admitted the club’s financial constraints often hampered Hartmann’s efforts, continued: “We had a similar chat with Richard last year, and now there’s certain things we might attack differently. It’s not that things weren’t working, but sometimes it’s just time to have a new approach.
“I have a lot of time for Richard, it’s not a case that we’re looking for something that he hasn’t done or didn’t bring to the club. I think he’s done a good job with the resources that have been available to him, but there comes a time, and it’s the same for players too, that you just need to shake things up a bit. It’s the same for Richard, he wants to recharge his batteries and is looking for a new challenge. We are parting on good terms.”
Neil was adamant no decision has been made on Hartmann’s successor, but did not rule out a member of last season’s squad stepping up to the role, or a possible return for a former player.
“We’ll see who’s available and have a good think about this important step as we try to bring in who we think is the right fit,” continued Neil. “There are some candidates (from within the club), but nothing’s been decided. There is also potential from a number of people who have been around the club before.
“It’s very likely we go with another player-coach. We will take some time to make this decision, but not too long, I hope to have it sorted out in the near future.”
Despite a change at the top, Neil is hopeful to recruit a number of last year’s squad to new contracts, with the club expecting to announce their first returnee for the new season, which gets under way in September, within the next few days.
Neil concluded: “We have to retain some consistency as a team and there will be some announcements made before we name our new coach, a lot of the guys have shown an interest in coming back which is great but ultimately we’ve got to try and improve.”