Blaze fans pay tribute to #26
Former Genting Casino Coventry Blaze forward Dan Carlson will have his 26 jersey retired before face-off when Blaze take on Sheffield Steelers at the Skydome Arena, this Sunday 28th February at 5.15pm. Tickets are available now from the Arena box office by calling 02476 630693 or by booking online, here.
Below a number of our fans have kindly taken the time to pay tribute and share their memories of the #26:
What can you say that hasn’t been said a thousand times? Dan is and was everything you wanted from a hockey player and his partnership with Adam Calder was the stuff dreams were made of. His work rate was unbelievable, he just never gave up on anything, shift after shift, game after game, he literally energised the whole bench around him and encouraged others to put as much into their game as he did. Off the ice, he was and still is the kindest, modest and most unassuming man you could wish to meet. It's a measure of the man that all these years on from him retiring, the Coventry Blaze fans can’t wait to see him and his family again for however briefly.
Dan played for the badge on the front, not the name on the back. The best two-way forward the EIHL has seen. A pleasure to watch and has been irreplaceable ever since. Thanks for the memories.
Why did I love Dan Carlson? He gave 100% on every shift and made those around him better players. He also made everyone else accountable and was a leader without ever needing a letter on his jersey.
Dan worked for 60 minutes every night. He never gave up, there was no such thing as a night off for him. I remember in the semi-finals of the playoffs, his helmet was knocked off and there was blood everywhere. He skated off, got stitched up and hardly missed a shift. He's a big part of why I became a fan of Coventry Blaze in the first place.
Dan just made everything look so easy. The goals he and Calder combined to score were like silk, so smooth, almost effortless. One in particular stands out, the goal of the season from 2008 vs. the Cardiff Devils. It was a beauty of a goal, pure talent and teamwork.
Dan was the most well rounded player I've ever seen and in EIHL history. Quite a few Blaze players have divided opinion but not DC, all Blaze fans that saw him play over those successful years knew what they would be getting every night, 100% effort and commitment with a few assists thrown in for equal measure. I doubt we'll ever see another like him and we should be grateful we got to see such a talent on our shores for as many years as we did.
Dan Carlson is arguably the best player at his position to play in the Elite League era. He was a key part of every significant Blaze success in the EIHL and in years of hockey-watching I've seen few, if any players who exemplified the art of "two-way centre" more in Britain. Other players were more flamboyant, but few combined skill & work-rate better than Dan. He could play any role the team asked of him & do it superbly well. Watching him in Coventry was a privilege and there are few Blaze players who will ever be more deserving of having their shirt retired.
Heartbeat of the team is a well-worn cliché but there is no more appropriate way to describe Dan. Aside from the numbers which speak for themselves, he was our engine, the driving force, trusted in every single situation. He was the centrepiece for so many championships. Personal accolades continuously came his way, but like Adam Calder, Dan always remained modest, quiet, not wanting the spotlight. He was a true team player, he knew what it took to win and did it time and time again. He was a joy to watch and always represented the club in a distinguished manner. He deserves every single one of the kind words that he is receiving this week. Thank you for everything #26.
Send us your messages for Dan
We invite all of our fans to share their memories of Dan during his time in Coventry on Twitter using the hashtag #DC26