On Reflection

Twenty-four hours on and I wanted to write a reflective article on yesterday’s events. There was a lot of raw emotion yesterday, unsurprising when you consider how popular Danny Meyers was.
Most people have now had a day to calm down and think about what has happened (me included). As I said in my previous article, I knew Danny, I knew what the club meant to him and I knew how driven he was to provide the club with success. I was angry when I first heard the news yesterday, I couldn’t believe what the club had done. I know my anger stemmed from knowing how Danny would have taken the news, I was totally gutted for him and that stopped actually thinking about what had happened rationally.

What puzzles me is why Meyers hasn’t been kept on. A defence of Meyers, Weaver & Lee with 3 import defencemen and back up from Tom Norton would surely be one of the best defences in the league. I think the ‘moneybags Panthers’ tag that is often thrown at us is a bit of a myth because surely we can more than afford the defence above? However, Corey Neilson is coming into his fifth season as coach, he has far more knowledge and experience than I ever will so I have to trust his judgement on this. As with any team sport the name on the front of the shirt will always be more important than the one on the back and no one player is bigger than the club. That said, the lack of respect shown by some Panthers fans has disappointed me. Some are now jumping out the woodwork saying he was ‘average’ and one even suggested he was a ‘poor captain’. I cannot agree with any of that, for me he was a calm and assured defenceman who always gave 100% and as a captain I think he’s quite easily the best we’ve had since Terry Kurtenbach. For some to turn on him now is a poor show, especially as they were incredibly quiet during the past two seasons, I don’t recall anyone questioning his abilities then.

I also feel for Jonathan Weaver. His signing was totally overshadowed by Meyers leaving and he deserved better than that from the club, especially as some have come to the wrong assumption that Weaver is replacing Meyers, he’s not, they play completely different roles. Weaver is an excellent addition to the defence and I fully expect him to be an integral part of the team next season. He has ability to match his vast experience and would be the ideal candidate to replace Meyers as Captain.

What’s done is done and while I don’t necessarily understand it or agree with it, I won’t stop supporting the club because of it. I’ll still buy my season ticket and I’ll still cheer on whoever wears the uniform.

Finally, Danny was interviewed by Owen Bradley earlier. The audio is linked here and Danny’s prepared statement is re-produced below.

My six years in Nottingham has without question been the greatest time of my life.
Joanna and I spent our first year of marriage here, we then bought a house here the next year, the year after that our first son Joel was born here, I started my own business with Matthew next while moving my parents up, my fifth year my second son Jalen was born and finally in my sixth year my son got his placement for school and Joanna returned to work.
This city has left a profound stamp on my family’s life. It’s a place that I now call home and I am very proud to live in.
Coming to the Panthers was a huge opportunity for me, it turned out better than I ever expected. Playing for Nottingham is a huge enough honour but to captain the team is the greatest thing to ever professionally happen to media have loved every minute as my role of captain. I have been incredibly fortunate that my team mates have allowed and supported me to be their captain, many of whom were older and more experienced than me but still listened and respected and responded to what I had to say. I always thought lifting a trophy as captain would be the greatest feeling ever.
Truth is, handing it over to my teammates was. Seeing their faces and scenes with their families were my most satisfying moments.
This past week has been the worst week of my life; Tuesday being the worst day, but then yesterday came about. The response and support I got since the announcement has sent my emotions into over drive.
As I type this I struggle to understand why people have been so kind to me. Fans from rival teams, fans across the UK, Elite and EPL have shown me so much support. Players who I don’t know personally wishing me well, coaches telling me to keep my chin up and to be proud of myself. My ex and current teammates saying incredible things to me. Then of course the panther fans, or as I started calling you – ‘Panthersnation’, a word that couldn’t be more appropriate if I do say so myself! As you can imagine this week has been very tough for my family too, but the messages from you guys has picked us all up. My wife has read the tweets etc and has been so grateful for all of them; we are both filled with enormous pride.
My goal was to bring the league title to Nottingham. Unfortunately I didn’t. The team is however on the brink and the foundations are there for it to happen. I hope it does. A lot of people deserve it.
I’d like to publicly thank Neil Black for allowing me to play for this club; everyone in the office – Nicola, Sarah and Gary. Commercial and media guys – Simon Moor, Chris Ellis, Owen Bradley and Mick Holland. Off ice staff – Razor Gemma, little Simon, Pete.
To Poundy and Mark Coles I owe you so much for the work you did with my shoulder, I will never forget that.
To our trainer Goody, who cares about this club more than anyone I have ever known, thanks for your work but also your friendship.
To the coaches; Strax for his everything he has ever contributed to my career and of course Corey who handed me the “C” and for the way he has improved my game. I wish you nothing but the best Corey, thank you.
To the Panthers supporters who live for their team, you are a credit to this club and the heartbeat. Always believe in this team.
And finally to my teammates, past and present. Hockey is the greatest sport in the world because it has the greatest people. I have loved wearing the same shirt as you and standing side by side with you, I love you my brothers.
I would like to end by saying this…
It is imperative that the fans get behind Corey and the boys. This was hard for Corey too. Until any of us are in that hot seat who knows what decision we would make. One thing for sure is Corey is doing what he feels is best to bring success to Nottingham, don’t ever lose sight of that. Not any player or person is bigger than this club and that should always be understood. Players will come and go but the club will always remain. The club itself is the most important thing.
All best,


3 Responses to “On Reflection”

  1. 1 Brasso April 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Top bloke, Top captin, im confident he will return.

  2. 3 Rod June 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    shame to see him leave

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