Hull return in Blaze of glory

The reports of Hull Stingrays demise have been greatly exaggerated! Just one week after Mike & Sue Pack announced that they couldn’t compete in the 2010/11 season due to lack of funds, the Coventry Blaze management team of Andy Buxton, Mike Cowley and Paul Thompson have come to the rescue and taken over the team. I genuinely hope they make it a success and to be fair their history is good. Whatever you think of the Blaze it cannot be denied that they have been a huge success on and off the ice in their short existence.
From a personal point of view I’m delighted that the Rays have been saved, I love going to watch games there and I’m really pleased that I can continue to head over there this season (chip spice has nothing to do with it of course!) Seriously though, it is the sort of rink I like to watch hockey in, hostile with the crowd close to the ice, reminds me of a more modern version of our old place.
While most seem happy with the news there have been a few dissenting voices, siting things such as a conflict of interest and the possibility that Hull would ‘throw’ games against the Blaze! For a start I would expect professional players to have more pride than that and secondly I wouldn’t expect Sylvain Cloutier would allow his team to just roll-over and orchestrate a defeat. As a comparison, could you imagine Bruce Richardson allowing Neil Black owned Braehead to surrender to defeat against Neil Black owned Panthers? No, me neither!
I accept that this isn’t a perfect situation, but unfortunately the standing of ice hockey in Britain means we can’t always get what we want. Money being invested in sports teams has obviously gone down during the recession, so a minority sport such as ours has to scrap for every penny it can. If that means we have to have owners with multiple teams then that’s the way it has to be unfortunately, in our situation beggars can’t be choosers and if it means we can keep a varied and competitive league then it’s a consequence I’m willing to accept.


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