Our Ding a Ling

Big news has come out of the Panthers camp this morning as it was announced that 37 year old Canadian David Ling will be the clubs final import forward signing for the 2012/13 season.(Elite Prospects Stats)
It has been reported that Ling will be signing for a team in the Elite League for a fair while, however a few rumours began to surface that he would be on his way here over the last week and they were finally confirmed just after Midnight. For those who may find Ling’s name familiar, he was widely rumoured to be signing for Sheffield Steelers a couple of years ago only the signing turned out to be Jeff Hutchins and much hilarity ensued at their expense!

While some may be concerned about Ling’s age, they shouldn’t be. Make no mistake, this is a top drawer signing by Corey Neilson. In a storied career Ling has played 93 games in the NHL, 581 games in the AHL, was playing in the KHL just two seasons ago and scored 88 points in 48 games for Val Pusteria in Italy last season. He is one year older than David Beauregard, who was the Elite Leagues top scorer last season so I really don’t think age will be an issue with him.

Coach Neilson said of his new signing “He’s another grafter and a winner”. He continued “I played against David back in our junior days and he was impressive back then, the guy lead the league in penalty minutes one year, he led the league in points one year, he was dangerous out there. He can score, he’s developed his game since then, he has great vision out on the ice, he’s a great passer, he can score and he’s a bit nasty.
He’s got all those games in the NHL and the AHL under his belt, he’s played at the highest of levels in Europe and Scandinavia and Russia, he’s a proper hockey player. He’s a good person, and he’s another hard worker from a humble background. He’s excited about playing for us and he’s excited about studying at the University of Derby where he’ll be doing an MBA, and he’s excited about the chances of winning championships with the GMB Nottingham Panthers.”

I’m really happy with this signing and I think Panthers should be congratulated in bringing such a high calibre player to the Elite League in what is perhaps the signing of the close season so far. Ling has masses of experience but as well as scoring points he can also look after himself. I expect him to be around the top of the scoring charts next season and once again completes another Panthers forward line up with awesome fire power. All that’s left for Panthers is to sign two import D-men. I hope they match the quality of this signing.


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