Stewart: "We want the best players out there"
Speaking exclusively to Ed Kimberley on Radio Plus, Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart has confirmed that the club's final signings will be two defencemen and a forward.
Although Stewart has preference for the type of player each should be, the 37 year-old says that he is able to be versatile with his final signings due to the well balanced roster that he has compiled so far.
"We've carefully pieced together our line-up and right now it's just a matter of getting the best players possible out there."
Starting with the two empty spots on defence, Stewart commented:
"With (Brian) Stewart in net, I want to make sure we have guys who are reliable in front of him. We've tried to find a top-end powerplay, offensive output guy but we just want to have a couple of solid experienced guys back there with an all-round ability who will protect our net and make us tough defensively. If we can keep teams to the outside, Stewie will stop a lot of pucks as he always has so we'll be tough to score on."
Standing at 6'7" Slovakian defenceman, Boris Valabik proved an imposing figure on the Blaze blue-line last season. With his departure confirmed, the Head Coach says he'd like to add some more size to his current D core of Jim Jorgensen, Kevin Noble, Josh Godrey and David Clements.
"We've approached a few guys of similar stature. I like the idea of size on the back-end but without taking away mobility out of our line-up."
Stewart continued to discuss his forward options, suggesting a role of centre for Captain Jordan Pietrus who is equally adept at playing on the wing.
"We have some versatility and it goes back to finding the best players possible. I really really like Jordan Pietrus and Brett Robinson up the middle. They had some success playing with each other in the past but they both really enjoy playing centre and they are both great centremen in the fact that they are both great on face-off's, they both play great two-way hockey and they both produce.
"With Russ Cowley and Liam Stewart we're really solid up the middle which is a very important aspect. So, our last forward, we've mainly been looking for someone to fill a right wing role, but in saying that if we came across a centreman that was a guy we couldn't turn away, who brought us some goals and added skill level up-front then I'd consider maybe moving Jordan to the wing with Robbo and bringing in that centreman. So, we have some versatility and that's never a bad thing, it opens you up to more players at this time a year. Again, we want the best player available and if they fit the mould we are looking for then we'll move on it," Stewart concluded.
Listen to the full interview with Danny on Radio Plus during which he also speaks about his latest recruits Matt Marquardt and Björn Bombis: