"Mumbles" remembered fondly
Steve Small is one of the longest serving and most experienced Equipment Managers in British ice hockey having worked with the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze since the move to Coventry in 2000. Steve has seen and heard it all over the years and like so many others remembers Dan Carlson fondly, not just as a player but also the person.
"Dan was one of the quietest guys I think we've ever had on the team. The boys used to call him mumbles or Rain Man because he had such a fantastic memory... He was a great guy. He never had a night off, never had a shift off. He had an engine that would go on forever."
Current Blaze forward's, Ashley Tait and Russ Cowley who won an Elite League Grand Slam with Carlson in 2004/05 both have experience of the number 26 as a teammate and opponent.
Tait joked: "He wasn't a man of many words and when he did try and speak he has the nickname mumbles because sometimes it would come out a bit inaudible but he didn't really have to say a lot because of the way he played."
On going up against the tenacious American centre, Cowley said: "You realised what a rat he was at times. You didn't get much room or time when he was out there against you."
Tait shared his British teammates view: "He played the game the right way. He was tenacious and wasn't afraid to get his nose dirty. You'd think you were covering him but he'd still find a way."
Tickets are still available for the ceremony and retirement of Dan Carlson's 26 jersey and the game against the Sheffield Steelers tomorrow night, HERE.
The number 26 jersey will sit next to the 25 of Adam Calder whose number was retired in December of last year. 'Calds' led the tributes to Dan this week (here) and we have since shared memories and kind words from other former teammates, Rumun Ndur (here), Sylvain Cloutier, Trevor Koenig and Danny Stewart (here).
The leader of these former Blaze champions, Paul Thompson spoke about his "go-to guy" (here) and tributes have flooded in from both Blaze fans (here) and those of the opposition (here). Finally, Blaze's Head of Hockey Operations, James Pease says he is proud to celebrate Dan's achievements (here).