ICE HOCKEY: NEW Coventry signing Ryan Dingle has said Blaze coach Danny Stewart played a big part in him putting pen to paper for a one-year deal.
The 33-year-old American forward joins Blaze from Elite League rivals Fife Flyers following two seasons with the Kirkcaldy-based club.
In his debut Elite League year – during the 2015/16 season – Dingle registered 22 goals and 35 assists from 59 games, helping Fife reach the playoff finals weekend.
At the start of his latest campaign, the 5’ 11” skater was named captain of the Flyers and went on to score 34 goals and 29 assists in 51 EIHL competition games.
His 31 goals in league play saw him second – one behind Scott Pitt of the Braehead Clan – in the top goal scorers chart.
Before moving to Scotland, Dingle enjoyed a prosperous four years in Italy with Cortina where he averaged over 40 points a season and was a perennial playoff performer.
His final season with the Italians saw him named associate captain.
In addition to European success, Dingle’s CV boasts near 150 games in the AHL and more than 120 appearances in the ECHL.
With Blaze at times struggling to score last season, Dingle’s appointment has been warmly received by Blaze fans.
Head coach Danny Stewart said: “Ryan Dingle is a guy I played with and coached in Fife.
“I know what he’s about and coming off the back of the season he’s just had it was a no-brainer.
“He’s a work-horse and there aren’t many guys in the league who are as good as him around the net.
“I compare him slightly to Dan Carlson in the way he works on both ends of the puck, he hounds pucks and is relentless on the fore-check.
“He’s just a pain to play against.
“With the production on top of that last season, he’s a guy that I think will be good for us. I’m delighted.”
Dingle said: “My family and I are beyond excited to come to Coventry for this upcoming season.
“Danny was a big part of bringing me to Fife and I look forward to working with him again.
“I’m really excited for the season and this new opportunity.”
Blaze’s new Elite League campaign starts in August.
Elsewhere Blaze are yet to replace star netminder Brian Stewart or enforcer Garrett Klotz who left the club last week.