Boost for Blaze as boss commits - The Rugby Observer

Boost for Blaze as boss commits

Rugby Editorial 24th Apr, 2020   0

GENTING Casino Coventry Blaze head coach Danny Stewart has committed his immediate future to the club by signing a contract extension of two years up until the end of the 2021/22 season.

Stewart, inset, was appointed the club’s head coach in 2016/17 and has since taken on additional responsibility in the role of director of hockey.

The Fort McMurray native recently led Blaze to an impressive third place in the Elite League before the campaign was suspended and subsequently cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

When the season was prematurely halted, Stewart’s side were on a streak of 17 consecutive EIHL competition games without losing in regulation time and had only lost twice in regulation over their last 27 games.

It was a sensational season for Stewart whose team included the league’s leading goalscorer (Luke Ferrara), top assist-maker (Janne Laakkonen) and statistically the best goalie (C.J. Motte).

Previously, the Canadian had led Blaze to two play-off finishes and holds coaching experience with Fife Flyers (2011-16).

Before joining Fife in 2011, he was named Coach of the Year following a season with the now defunct Newcastle Vipers.

As a player, Stewart appeared in more than 800 professional games and registered more than 500 points. With Coventry between 2006 and 2010 he won the Elite League Championship on three occasions, including back-to-back successes, whilst also adding a Challenge Cup and Knock-Out Cup.

Blaze chairman Andy Buxton said: “We have a huge amount of admiration for the commitment and dedication Danny brings to his very broad role with the club.

“Like everyone, Danny especially, we are all so disappointed that the abrupt end to the season means we are all talking about what might have been, rather than what was.

“He has been an outstanding leader, motivator and coach. He understands the club, our constraints and our dynamics and works tirelessly to keep moving things forward.

“We would like to take this time to thank Danny for everything he does and we are delighted he will be with us for the foreseeable future.”

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