Tait's time in Blaze jersey comes to an end
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart has confirmed that British forward Ashley Tait will not be part of his 2017/18 Elite League roster.
The 41-year-old has amassed 590 appearances for the club (third all-time), 207 goals (second all-time), 320 assists (second all-time) and 527 points (third all-time).
Tait, who first joined in 2002 has lifted eight major trophies with the organisation, six as Captain, the first coming in his debut season as Blaze recorded a British National League (BNL) double winning the league and playoffs.
After that success, Tait moved to the newly formed Elite League with Coventry, going on to score the club's most famous goal in overtime of the 2004/05 playoff final to win the much coveted Grand Slam.
The 6'1" winger then played a pivotal role in a further league title and Challenge Cup success in 2006/07, before leaving for a successful spell in Sheffield and Ritten (Italy).
The all-time appearance leader for Team Great Britain returned to Coventry in 2013, again scoring in the playoff final of 2014/15 as Blaze lifted the trophy for a second time under his Captaincy.
With 45 powerplay goals to his name (second all-time) and 29 game-winning-goals (second all-time), the popular right shooter sits top of the chart for all-time Coventry Man of the Match awards with 45.
He holds the joint club-record (with Sylvain Deschatelets) for most goals scored in a single competitive game, registering five away at Newcastle Vipers in the British National League in December 2002.
In addition, Tait was Coventry's top British scorer in eight different seasons, winning the Best British Player award five times. He is also just one of two players to have won the Players’ Player of the Season twice (Brian Stewart the other).
In December of last year, he became the first player to reach 700 points in Elite League competitions (Blaze and Steelers) and is only one of two players to reach 250 goals.
Blaze Chairman Andy Buxton said, “I feel very privileged to have worked with Ash for so many years – during both of his spells at Coventry and with the Great Britain team. He’s set standards and records that he should be very proud of. We were thrilled to bring him here for his first spell with the club and I must admit, when he chose to leave and join Sheffield at the end of that spell, I didn’t think we would see him in Blaze colours again.
“It was great therefore that we were able to give him the opportunity to return for a second spell which has seen him extend his career at the top level into his forties – an extraordinary feat and testament to his fitness and conditioning. I’m also very pleased that we have been able to give him the chance to try work areas away from the ice to help him get a feel for what he would like to ultimately do in the future.
“Finally, I want to thank Ash for his great playing service to the club, as I’m sure our fans will do too. He has been an inspiration to many and he leaves a great playing legacy here.”