Media round-up as Stewart named Head Coach
Earlier today the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze announced that three-time Elite League Champion Danny Stewart would return to the club as Head Coach ahead of the 2016/17 season.
A press conference was held this morning where we were delighted to welcome reporters from local papers and radio as well as Elite League Media consultant, Seth Bennett who kindly took the opportunity to speak to representatives of the Blaze starting with the new Head Coach himself:
"It feels good to be back," said Stewart. "I have a lot of good memories here from the past but it's a new era and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I want to build an environment where people want to come to the rink every day. I'll bring accountability, a level of commitment and compete levels."
Asked what the Skydome faithful can expect from a Danny Stewart Coventry Blaze team, the Canadian responded:
"We're going to have a team that will compete night-in, night-out but we can't have a team of Danny Stewart's or we wouldn't score many goals so we want a balance, some speed up from and have a physicality without taking away that production. We have a small rink in Coventry and think we have to use that to our advantage."
Director of Hockey Operations, James Pease said of the appointment:
"We were looking for somebody who could be here for a number of years and bring back some identity to the club and build upon what Chuck (Weber) has already started and we feel Danny is a good fit for our organisation. He is a very strong character and has a lot of experience in hockey and within our league. He contributed in a big way in Fife to the development of their club and I think Danny is absolutely the right person now that he has stopped playing and is ready to take on the Head Coaches role."
Great Britain International, Ashley Tait who has recently been announced as returning to the club for a 9th season and was a teammate of Stewart during his previous stint in Coventry said:
"Fans will remember Danny as a gritty, hard working guy who will get his noise dirty and I think the fans here appreciate that and want to see a team in that mould."
Another of Stewart's former teammates, winning the Elite League Championship back-to-back together in 06/07 and 07/08, Sylvain Cloutier said to Craig Anderson for the Elite League Website:
“I’m excited for ‘Stewy’. He deserves to get a chance to coach and he’s done a great job working with Todd Dutiaume at Fife, as well as his time at Newcastle, despite what he went through there. He's an intense competitor and we had a lot of leaders in the dressing room at Coventry and he was certainly one of them. He had a lot to say and whenever he spoke, people listened. It’ll be up to the players to do their jobs and Danny will push them. For me, he’ll do a good job as the coach.”
Todd Dutiaume of the Fife Flyers, who Stewart worked in conjunction with in the role of player/assistant and then associate coach for the last five years told the clubs official website:
"Well the angry bald man is off to greener pastures. Joking aside, obviously I wish him all the best in his new role, except when we go head to head against the Blaze of course. We forged an excellent working relationship and Danny's knowledge, advice and work ethic will sure be missed. I am positive Danny's desire and knowledge of the game will find him successful in his future roles."