Ndur praises DC's "desire to win"
Before Genting Casino Coventry Blaze face-off against the Sheffield Steelers this Sunday 28th February, the club will honour one of its greatest ever players with the retirement of Dan Carlson’s number 26 jersey. Tickets available, here.
Carlson's partner in crime, Adam Calder led the tributes and now it's the turn of another one of Dan's former teammates.
Rumun Ndur joined the Coventry Blaze in the summer of 2006, the same time Dan Carlson returned to the club following a year away in Germany after winning the EIHL Grand Slam in 2005.
The pair spent two winning years together in Coventry before Ndur moved on to EIHL rivals, the Nottingham Panthers. In year one (2006/07), Carlson posted 98 points whilst the 6'3 Nigerian's physical presence and solid defensive play helped Blaze to an Elite League and Challenge Cup double. Ndur fought nine times in his debut season for Coventry, four of those against another former Blaze player, Andre Payette.
2007/08 was a more successful season personally for Carlson than his tough teammate, as he posted 116 points including a Coventry club record for most assists in a season with 84. Ndur though spent almost the entirety of the season sidelined through injury. This wasn't to stop the Sabres draft pick and Calder Cup winner from contributing though, proving a sound presence in the locker room helping Blaze to win the Elite League Championship again, the only team thus far to do so back-to-back.
With a CV boasting 69 NHL games and almost 30 AHL games, the Nigerian defenceman has seen some good players along the way, not least the great Wayne Gretzky whose final game Rumun was part of. Despite, playing with and against some of the greats, Ndur says Dan Carlson left a lasting impression on him.
"So I knew Barrie Moore and Neal Martin before joining the Blaze and I remember speaking with them at a team barbecue before training camp started. I asked them who were the top players and guys to watch out for and without hesitation they spoke about Calder and Carlson.
"A couple of days later we kicked off the season with our first on ice session and I think Carlson had one of the worst practises of his life, he was god awful! I was thinking to myself, what on earth were those guys talking about?! What I quickly found out was when the lights are the brightest, DC comes to play! What he lacked in size, he more than made up for in his determination and desire to win. There's nothing better than playing with guys that would do anything for the 2 points or to lift the cup! If I had just one player on my current team with that level of grit and skill I'd be a lot better off. Congrats DC on a well deserved honour."
Rumun currently holds a coaching position with St. Marys Lincolns, a Greater Ontario junior hockey league team and says he has "a determination to get back to the NHL as a coach."
We wish him all the best of luck and thank him both for his time in Coventry and for taking the time to pass on his kind words for Dan.