The times they are a changing……..

Its been an interesting day in Panthers towers to say the least with several signings for 2012/13 being totally overshadowed by a major departure as it was revealed by the club that the most successful captain in the clubs history, Danny Meyers, has been released from his contract. The shock waves have been felt far & wide, none more so than in the stunned fan base.
A truly class act on & off the ice, the release of Meyers, one of the best British defencemen in the country, left me utterly dumbfounded. With him being on a two-year contract I find Corey Neilson’s decision to release Meyers strange at best, especially as he could have been part of an excellent core of British D men at the Panthers.

Neilson talked of his decision in this BBC Sport article, saying “It’s hockey and people come and go. I’m not making light of Danny. He was real loyal player and a good captain and did a lot of great things. We had a very professional meeting and went over things. It was tough. We have been together for six years. He’s a team-mate, friend and neighbour and it’s very hard. I thought he dealt it with in a very professional manner, I was thankful for that and tried to be the same. Sometimes things change. It happens. There is a natural timeline. I have to make certain decisions. Was I willing to go with three very good British defenceman and two imports? I didn’t want to go that way. We decided this would be the way to go. We feel Stevie Lee and Jonathan [Weaver] are import quality defenceman and that was the thinking”.

Meyers himself has been tight lipped on his departure, only saying “Sorry for not replying to tweets this week, but as you can imagine its been an incredibly difficult week for me and my family since I was told” and “I won’t be deciding my future for a while, as I was under contract for next season, therefore I have to figure out what is best for my family” via his Twitter account.

No doubt his release will create a scramble amongst Elite League coaches, desperate to have a Brit of his stature on their roster. One thing is for certain, their are a lot of angry and upset fans of the Nottingham Panthers this evening who are just wondering why?

Thankfully there was some good news this morning as the rumours of the past few days were proven to be true as it was revealed on the Panthers website this morning that Great Britain defenceman Jonathan Weaver has become Panthers first new signing for the 2012/13 season.
The 35 year old is much experienced, having played in the ECHL & IHL in North America during his career and also playing for a succession of UK clubs in the BIHL, ISL, BNL & EIHL spanning a 20 year career. His stats are here.

Corey Neilson said of his new capture “We know what we’re getting and he knows what’s expected of him in a Nottingham uniform. Weaves is a consummate professional and we’re pleased to have him on board. When I go behind the bench his offensive contributions could prove vital in keeping the balance right. We’re all about winning hockey games, and the forwards can’t score all the points on their own, he has a proven record at both club and national team level of contributing at both ends of the ice. He is a winner.”

I personally think this is a very good capture if he is used correctly. Weaver is in the twilight of his career and I don’t think he would be able to ice 30 minutes a game plus special teams like he was with the Blaze. If he’s used as a third or fourth defenceman and on the powerplay, I think this could be a great capture.
With Neilson saying he will move to the bench during the season I see Weaver as his direct replacement and the guy who will quarterback the powerplay. Obviously the Meyers news has seen this probably not received the attention it deserves.

That wasn’t the end to the re-signings as it was also announced that Nottingham trained forward Josh Ward would be returning to the club after a season in the EPL with Manchester Phoenix.
Assistant Coach Rick Strachen will also return to the club for his third season behind the bench, and Robert Lachowicz has had his contract extended until the end of the 2013/14 season.

All in all a momentous day for all sorts of reasons, the repercussions of which may be felt for a good while yet.


4 Responses to “The times they are a changing……..”

  1. 1 Q April 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Danny isn’t the golden balls you may think, or that the public may see….

  2. 4 Leo April 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I’m fuming, we have replaced a top class defence man, in his prime years with someone who has maybe 1-2 seasons left in him! This is a short sighted move and one that we will regret! While we need to plan for next year we also need to plan for the next 2-5 years too. This will unsettle the dressing room, there has already been and outcry from a number of players, including Fox, on Twitter. I suspect we’ll see Danny at Sheffield or Coventry now!

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