Lachowicz and Norton return

Panthers added to their squad and increased their British contingent after announcing that Tom Norton will return on the blue line and Robert Lachowicz will return after a season playing for Manchester Phoenix in the EPL.

Norton enjoyed regular ice time during his first full season. Scoring 0+2 over the season, he overcame personal tragedy to ice in the play-offs. Not looking out of place at all in defence, he was given a few shifts in both legs of the Challenge Cup final and was often used to give the more established blue line corps a rest. He should continue to progress under coach Corey Neilson’s tutelage, however I believe he should be looking to move to an EPL team at the end of 2010/11 if he is to progress further and gain more ice time.

Lachowicz returns from a season with the Manchester Phoenix where he gained impressive figures of 29+27 from 54 games. Looking at the various forums, the Phoenix fans are very sorry to see him leave, but as we saw in his handful of Panthers appearances his time at Phoenix has seen him grow as a player and his superb performance at Sheffield at Christmas was proof of that. It could be argued that Lachowicz would have benefited more from a second season with the Phoenix, but after performing so well with the likes of Cameron Mann and Sean McAslan he deserves his chance at the top level.

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