Aug 4 2011 By Gordon Parks
FORMER NHL ace Drew Bannister has been unveiled as the new Braehead Clan player-coach.
The 37-year-old has replaced Bruce Richardson, who made a shock departure at the end of the previous campaign, and the capture of the former NHL star is a major coup for the club.
Bannister turned out for four NHL sides in his career including New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Edmonton Oilers.
And the Canadian also has experience of Britain's Elite League, having starred for Hull Stingrays last season.
The 6ft 2inch defenceman admits he's delighted to get the chance to continue the success achieved by his predecessor and will arrive in Scotland shortly to pick up the reigns.
He said: "I would like to thank Neil Black and the rest of the Braehead organisation for giving me the chance to lead this team in the 2011-2012 season.
"I would also like to thank the Hull Stingrays organisation and especially Sylvain Cloutier for giving me the chance to work and learn from him last term.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead and I understand the expectations for the team in the new season.
"Myself, along with my family, are looking forward to our time in Scotland and I'm also looking forward to a successful season with the Clan."
With just eight weeks to go until the first face-off of the new campaign, Clan owner Neil Black was over the moon to get his man - and is already looking forward to welcoming more new faces to the club.
He said: "I'm thrilled for the Clan to have attracted a player/ coach with such a tremendous career behind him and I'm sure he and his family will settle in very quickly.
"Drew is 100 per cent focussed on putting together a winning team made up of good quality players who will entertain the fans with quality hockey."