Canadian defenceman Mike Egener spent three years with the club between 2012 and 2015, ending his playing career, as Associate Captain, by lifting the Elite League playoff trophy. He is now Head Coach of Bantam Prep – Okanagan Hockey Academy.
Playing for the Coventry Blaze was a privilege. I can honestly say, one of the best places I have played in. The organisation felt like a family.
For all 3 seasons I was fortunate to have unreal teammates, the fans were very passionate towards their club, overall, great people in the City of Coventry and England for that matter.
My daughter Mika was born there so we will always have a special tie to the Midlands.
Of course winning the Playoff Championship the final year was the ultimate – it was fun bringing back some glory to a fan base that wanted it so badly. What a run we had!
The British league continues to improve each and every year. It is great seeing the professionalism evolve and high end talent continue to go overseas. While playing, I was impressed with the skill level, tempo, imports / Brits, etc. and personally really liked the fact it was so similar to hockey back in North America.
British hockey in general has a lot to be proud of. I know the sacrifice a lot of the Brits had to make in order to be successful in the game (playing or coaching). I was always impressed with the passion and skill they played with, either with or against. Great guys as well as teammates. How awesome is it to see Britian make it to Tier 1 of the World Championships next season?! A well-earned promotion for sure – congratulations to all involved!
Lastly, Callie and I felt the overall balance of life in England was perfect for a family. We really enjoyed visiting places like the Cotswold’s, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Oxford, London, the Lakes District and so on. The history and sites were amazing! We tried our best to get out and experience all of what England had to offer. This, along with the hockey, Blaze organisation, people, made it a great time in our lives. We still reminisce at home and at work I have a couple colleagues that played over there as well (Dave Whistle and Kip Noble), so we keep each other in the Premier League loop.