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Looking Back to Look Ahead

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There is no better time than now to take a moment to look back before looking forward as the club starts fresh again similar to the way we entered the Elite League 4 years ago.  A massive gap in play because of a missed season has inevitably forced many players who may have returned to instead move on to other playing opportunities or into retirement from the game. 

As holdovers, the Flames are thrilled to see forwards Ian Watters, John Dunbar and Brett Ferguson stay on from 2019-2020 but also as original Flames Elite League members from our initiation into the league in 2017-2018.  We are pleased also to return Owen Griffiths to the lineup after his debut in 2019-2020. 

“The Pandemic outcomes were not just a difficult time for leagues and teams, but also for players who had limited options to remain employed in an occupation that is rare at the best of times,” explained Paul Dixon.

“There were not nearly as many ice hockey jobs available last year as there are normally so it left a lot of guys without a place to play, and left others to take a path they may not have taken under normal circumstances.  If we focus on players who were with us from our Elite League start in 2017-2018, it had a real impact on them, and on our ability to retain that core for a little longer.”

“Calle Ackered went off to Slovakia and very nearly led the league in points which helped him move on to other opportunities moving forward.  We knew the talent we had with him, and we are happy for him that others were able to see just how good he is.”

“Kruise Reddick was planning for 20-21 to be his final season, and once we were not able to play, he was able to spend a portion of the year in Slovakia to close out his career.  Jesse Craige did not play and did consider another year with us for this season, but family and personal life comes first, and he has made a very understandable decision to move on from hockey.”

“Not only are they good players who did much on the ice, but they truly are great people who played a massive part in creating an environment and culture that now helps us attract new players. We thank them for a crucial stretch of service while we established ourselves in the top flight.”

“Of course, we know they didn’t do that all alone in light of those who have returned and those who have not, but we are so very sorry that circumstances turned out as they did to shut us down prematurely in 19-20 and close us down for 20-21.  To every guy on our roster from the shortened pandemic season, we thank them for helping carry their share of the freight while they were here.  We offer our sincerest best wishes to an entire group of guys who we did not necessarily know we would not see again when the world stopped back in March 2020.     

“Now, our job is to make sure this new group of players, with a few returnees, is able to replicate some of the success we were able to achieve during our early Elite League chapters.  To that end, we are excited to get started on a brand new season with a hungry young group of guys who are ready to take the baton from here. 

We hope that as many fans as possible can come out on Saturday and share our new start as we get our first glimpse of hopes for a great 21-22 season.”

Fixtures available at guildfordflames.com/fixtures.

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GUILDFORD FLAMES ICE HOCKEY CLUB
Guildford Spectrum
Parkway, Guildford
Surrey GU1 1UP

Tel: 01483 452244

Sportfact Ltd t/a Guildford Flames Ice Hockey Club registered in England number 2936656
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