Monday, October 27, 2014

Devils Name Former Vernon Viper Lord New Player-Coach:

The British Elite Ice Hockey League (BEIHL) Cardiff Devils have named former Vernon Vipers forward Andrew Lord the new Devils player-coach.  The Devils are a Welsh ice hockey team that play in the BEIHL.  Lord is in his second season with the Devils now joins former Vernon Lakers defenceman Todd Kelman (1992-93) who is the Devils General Manager.  

After a scholarship to RPI (Rensselaer Poly Inst) Lord spent four years with four different teams in the East Coast Hockey League & American Hockey League.  (ECHL-Wheeling Nailers, AHL-Milwaukee Admirals, AHL-Okloahoma City Barons & AHL-Rochester Americans) Lord missed the entire 2011-12 season due to injury returned the following year playing one season in Germany with SC Riessersee before signing with the Devils last season.  In 60 games last season with the Devils, Lord collected (23-goals-36-assists-59-points).  Lord come to the Vipers in a trade with the Burnaby Bulldogs playing two years in Vernon (2002-2004).  In 116 regular season games with the Vipers Lord collected (22-goals-50-assists-78-points).

Andrew Lord's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Wales Online website:

Canadian owner Steve King wows Cardiff Devils fans

Jun 26, 2014

By Terry Phillips

More than 340 ice hockey celebrate the start of a new era - and new player-coach Andrew Lord announces 10 player signings on emotional evening

NEW Cardiff Devils owner Steve King met club fans last night - and thrilled more than 340 supporters with a series of stunning announcements at the Wales National Museum.

Canadian businessman King is the majority shareholder in a consortium who have bought the Elite League ice hockey club and he quickly made it clear he is will be acting quickly.

He was given a standing ovation when WalesOnline sportwriter Terry Phillips introduced King on stage and introduced him to supporters.

King and new Devils general manager Todd Kelman announced a new player-coach plus 10 signings for the 2014-15 season, while long-serving Devils player and official Neil Francis is director of hockey operation.

Francis and Ice Arena Wales, who are building the new rink in Cardiff Bay, both have a stake in the new Cardiff Devils business along with other businessman in North America who complete the consortium.

The announcements by King and Kelman, who have been close friends for 15 years, were:

Andrew Lord is the new Devils player-coach, taking over the role from Dave Whistle, who has agreed a settlement with his former Bracknell Bees’ team-mate Kelman and will not be returning in the new season.

Canadian forwards Chris Culligan and Joey Haddad have committed to Lord’s Devils. Both are from Nova Scotia and new to British hockey.

Jake Morissette and Tyson Marsh are both returning to the club, while the British players who have signed are Mark Richardson, Matthew Myers, Luke Piggott, Chris Jones and goaltender Ben Bowns.

The announcement that Lord would be Devils’ player-coach was welcomed by supporters and, in a Skype interview from his home in Canada, said: “I am extremely thankful for this opportunity and cannot begin to explain how excited I am to be a part of this new beginning in Devils hockey.

“Todd Kelman’s track record speaks for itself. He is a winner and a true professional. You could tell the impact he had on the Belfast organisation by the outpouring of thanks he received after his announced departure (from Giants).

“Neil Francis has been the heart and soul of Devils hockey for more than 20 years now, from player to bench coach. I started speaking with Franny more than five years ago when he began recruiting me to play for Cardiff.

“He is one of the most honest, hard-working people I’ve ever met and is what hockey is all about when it comes to integrity and treating people fairly. With such high professionalism from upper-management, players can be assured they will be treated fairly, without off-ice issues.

“In my time in Cardiff I have come to meet many of our fans, whose passion and excitement for the game is unbelievable. The city and hockey community we have in Cardiff deserves a first class hockey organisation.

“There have been difficult times recently for many involved and I’m asking for all of you to let go of your reservations, come together and get back behind your club. A new era truly has begun for the Cardiff Devils filled with excitement and opportunity to establish a winning tradition.

“When it comes to the on-ice product, fans can look forward to an extremely passionate hockey team.

“Cardiff Devils will be a very hard-working, up-tempo team who will be exciting to watch and hard for other teams to play against. My goal is to foster a new culture with our players, encouraging them to challenge themselves to improve on a daily basis and play their hearts out on game day.

“My ambition is to do everything I can to bring success, excitement and enjoyment back to the city and fans of Cardiff Devils.”

Close friends Culligan, 26, and Haddad, 25, will both be joining Lord’s team. Culligan was University of New Brunswick captain, playing in the same team as former Devils goalie Dan LaCosta, when they won the college championship.

He is a highly-rated skater and two-way player who is effective on draws and the penalty kill. He was called up by American League Texas Stars and then played for East Coast club Gwinnett Gladiators last season.

Haddad, too, was in the Gladiators’ team and is a versatile power forward who can play on top lines and operate on powerplay and penalty kill teams. He is a former team-mate of coach Lord at Wheeling Nailers.

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