How It Should Be Done

There’s a lot of back-biting, one-upmanship and general unpleasantness within British Ice Hockey at times, so it is sometimes nice to highlight how it should be done. I’m referring to Tom Norton’s decision to terminate his contract with Nottingham Panthers for the 2014/15 season in order to play increased minutes at an as yet unnamed EPL club.

The way both the club and Norton himself have handled themselves over this development has been with the utmost dignity and should be a shining example of how these situations should be handled.

Norton admits what a difficult decision it was asking for a release from his hometown club in this interview with the Nottingham Post , but with his career in ice hockey to think about he has to develop more and sees going to the EPL as the best move for him.

It was great to see no blame or bitterness from Norton, just the desire to do the best for himself and get on with it. Many could learn from that attitude.

The Panthers themselves also deserve an immense about of credit for the way they have handled and reported the situation. In this press release they say he will be moving to the EPL but don’t reveal which one (imagine that!) while also revealing that Norton will still be a part of the Panthers organisation on a two-way deal with his new club.

While it is disappointing to see a young talent like Norton leave, it does give us some idea of how the defence will look for next season. Pure speculation on my part but I would expect to see two British defencemen and four imports making up the blue line. As to the identities of those players, well I haven’t got a clue, however I would be surprised if the two Brits don’t include Steve Lee or Jonathan Weaver.

To finish, as I said at the start this is how it should be done. Tom Norton could very easily have blamed rising import levels and the Champions Hockey League for his departure, but instead he acted with class & dignity and leaves with his head held high. The Panthers also deserve immense credit for reporting that Norton was leaving without revealing which EPL club he is heading to. It’s great to see and I hope all clubs act in a similar way for the rest of the Summer.

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