Stewart turns to German playmaker
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are very pleased to confirm the signing of German forward Björn Bombis.
A quick, highly skilled and creative player, Bombis is a versatile forward who Head Coach Danny Stewart has lined up to play right wing for the club.
At 33 years of age, 6’0 and 183lbs, Björn has played all of his professional career in his native country, competing at both the DEL and DEL2 level. His early days in the second-tier saw him gain promotion to the top-level as a Champion with Wölfe Freiburg in 2002/03, before his most recent Championship came in 2013/14 with the Fischtown Pinguins, an organisation where he has spent the last four seasons. Bombis has been a key player for the northern German outfit during his time there and notably returned 32 points in 34 regular season games during their Championship winning season.
Impressive Continental Cup 2014/15
The Championship win in 2013/14 resulted in the Pinguins and Bombis finishing as runners up in the prestigious Continental Cup the following season, beating Elite League club Belfast Giants 4-2 on their way to the Super final. Bombis notably finished with the third highest plus/minus in Fischtown’s second round victory (+4), the highest of any forward in that group. Björn also impressed at the subsequent Super final held in Bremerhaven, Germany finishing as the second highest scorer with 5 points from the 3 games (2+3).
Early Career and the DEL
It was back in 2003/04, following promotion with Wölfe Freiburg that Björn got his big break in Germany. Moving to the Hannover Scorpions he put up 15 points during his debut season in the well respected DEL, helping to rescue his new club from relegation.
Bombis then moved on to Nürnberg Ice Tigers, again of the DEL where he matched his previous season total of 14 points in 45 regular season games. The following year (2005/06), the right shot forward represented the Hamburg Freezers before returning to the Hannover Scorpions to complete the DEL season.
DEL2 and the Fischtown Pinguins
2006/07 saw the German winger start his love affair with Bremerhaven and the Fischtown Pinguins, scoring 41 points in 52 regular season and playoff games in Germany’s second division. A further year in the DEL was awarded in 2007/08 with Krefeld Pinguine, however the season was sadly cut short by injury with Bombis playing just 12 games.
This would be the last time Björn played in the DEL, and over the subsequent seasons he would become a key figure for the Dresdner Eislöwen, Hannover Indians, Lausitzer Füchse and of course the Fischtown Pinguins who he would go on to play over 250 games for and score well over 200 points.
To summarise, Bombis who is also a personal fitness trainer, has played over 150 DEL regular season games, 20 in the playoffs and near 490 DEL2 league games and over 65 in the playoffs, notching up very nearly a point a game. His next stop is the Coventry Blaze and the British Elite League.
On moving to Coventry
“I am thrilled to become part of the Blaze hockey club," said Björn. "I feel enthusiastic, energized and also challenged to prove that I can contribute to the team’s success and become a big part of it for the upcoming season. My wife and I are always open for new challenges. We both look forward to experience a different culture and hockey market."
As well as looking forward to the upcoming season, Bombis also found time to look back on his previous experience coming up against Elite League opposition.
"I remember the Continental Cup games as some good hockey. There is usually a bit of a ‘feeling out phase’ when you play teams from different leagues that you normally don't play against. But the games versus Belfast (Giants) were fast paced and emotional right from the puck drop. They showed up with a good team. A lot of the Continental Cup teams mustered up their rosters at the time to make a run for the finals, fortunately we ended up beating them.”
The Berlin born marksman added, “I have played professional hockey since I was 18, so I bring experience on and also off the ice. I like to look at myself as having a good work ethic and being a good example for young players. On the ice, I like to think that people can expect a skilful forward with good offensive instincts that likes to create offense and set up plays whilst also not shying away from the defensive aspects of the game. I like to learn and get better every day, even being in my thirties.”
Björn, who will make his debut in a pre-season game at the Skydome Arena on 24th August against the Nottingham Panthers wrapped things up by telling us a little about himself off the ice.
"I have my own hockey school, I like to try and teach and inspire children. I am a big family guy and also love travelling. I do some personal training and am therefore interested in nutrition. I am very open minded and interested in a ton of things, anything to do with sports I am there!"
Danny Stewart on his new signing
"Bringing Björn into the Coventry Blaze gives us another added element to our forward unit," said a delighted Stewart. "He's a very smooth and skilled player whose strengths are his composure with the puck and getting the puck to guys in good scoring areas. He's a passer type guy that will create a lot of goals for us. He will also be a huge asset on our PP with his playmaking ability. He brings a huge amount of experience in the DEL and DEL2 where he has put up some very good numbers and been very productive.”
Asked specifically what Bombis can add to the Blaze offensive unit Stewart replied, “I like his speed and I love what I have heard about his creativity. He will do well in the Elite League that’s for sure.”
The Head Coach also confirmed that Bombis is a player who has been on his list of targets for some time now.
“We've had Björn on our radar and kept coming back to him. The more we dug into him we couldn't find any reason not to sign him. As our roster took shape, and combined with the loss of Drew (Fisher), we felt we needed a passer type guy, a creative guy to get other players the puck in good areas and he fits that mould. After speaking to him and hearing the enthusiasm he had about playing in the UK we made an offer and thankfully he accepted!”
Stewart on the remaining recruitment
With the addition of Bombis and Canadian forward Matt Marquardt last week, the Blaze are in good shape for the upcoming season. There are however a small number of spots left to fill which Stewart says he is continuing to work on in earnest.
"Three guys left and we are hopeful of another in the next week," said Danny. "I can't guarantee that but we have a couple of offers out right now and we are continuing to look into all our resources. We have about a month until the guys report in and we will continue on the course we have set out recruiting wise and not rush into any signings!"