Cast your mind back to the 2004/05 season, Panthers had four NHL players from 2003/04 ice for them during the season. In his first article for The Cat’s Whiskers, Jay Courtney takes a look at what each player has been up to since….

During the 2004/05 the Nottingham Panthers were fortunate enough to sign four players that had played in the NHL the previous season. First was Roman Tvrdon, who was released by the Panthers after injuring his shoulder in Amiens, France whilst the Panthers were participating in the Continental Cup. Since playing for the Panthers, Roman has gone back to his native land of Slovakia to ply his trade.

Smiling tough guy Steve McKenna (Tvrdon’s replacement) had previously iced for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins & Minnesota Wild. Steve’s home debut was against the Steelers (Panthers won 3-1). In my opinion Steve did not come across as a ‘tough guy’. As he was often smiling and chatting to the opposition during games, I personally found this extremely frustrating! McKenna tried his luck in Italy, signing for Alleghe HC where he played on the blue line. He has also played in Asia and had coached the Australian National Ice Hockey Team. One fact about Steve is that he had played hockey in North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. Not many hockey players can say that can they? 

NHL all star Nick Boynton joined the party replacing the ‘tank’ Jan Krulis. Nick was slow to settle however as the season went on Nick regained his fitness, and was a joy to watch his positional play was sublime wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and battle for his team mates. The one memory I have of Nick is his goal which is one of the finest goals I have ever witnessed in the Play-off Final against the Coventry Blaze (see video below). 

After having the privilege of playing for the Nottingham faithful, Nick went back to Boston. Sadly for Nick things haven’t worked in the zero tolerance age of ice hockey, Boynton was traded from Boston to the Phoenix where he stayed for two seasons. He had a disastrous first season, playing 59 games and ending with a plus/minus rating of -13 and after a second season of disappointment, Nick packed his bags and ended up in Florida playing for the Panthers. This seems to have done Nick good, in 2008/20009 he had a plus/minus rating of +7 and posted 5+16 for 21 points. 

Last but not least my personal favourite, number 18 Ian Moran who replaced the injured Jan Magdosko. Ian brought back the lost art of the hip check to the UK, I can’t say enough good things about him. I thought the guy was a classy ice hockey player and a genuine family man. After donning the black and gold, Ian went to back to Boston only playing 9 games due to an ankle injury, after that Ian iced for the Ducks once and played for the Portland Pirates however Moran wasn’t that happy about playing in the AHL and after 18 games in the minors he packed his bags and went to the highly rated DEL in Germany, icing for the Eisbaren Berlin, averaging .5 points a game. Ian was offered a one year deal by the New Jersey Devils which he signed. He never played for the Devils and only iced 12 times for their AHL team. He retired in season 2007/2008. 


2 Responses to “NHL to Nottingham”

  1. 1 grumpyminer May 22, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Great article Jay!
    And, oh, that goal!!!

  2. 2 Laurence January 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    What a goal from Boynton – those NHL players looked so good in the Elite League, I was a Racers fan and I remember both Scotty Nichol and Eric Cairns looked amazingly good – and in the NHL they were both third-liners really, so I can’t imagine what a top 6 forward or top 3/4 d-man in his prime could do over here.

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