Despite Scottish counterparts the Fife Flyers and Dundee Stars, starting this month, Glasgow Clan looks towards a November opener.
With Scotland's teams hitting the ice many ice hockey fans are left wondering why the Glasgow Clan have decided to take a delayed start to the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) season and forgoing the Challenge Cup. The answer is complicated and seems to stem from a variety of factors as the club almost disappeared over the pandemic.
The former owners of the Braehead Arena, folded last October and for some time, there was concern that the team would be left without an ice rink as the arena could have been scrapped or converted by the shopping centre’s new owner. This caused fans to launch a petition to save the club by asking “Intu” to give the arena to the club. While this was unsuccessful, the club took steps to seek out and negotiate with potential new owners for the arena, who would like the club to remain. Global Mutual, a London based firm, appears to have bought the arena and created a company with the club to ensure the club stays competing.
With the club’s home now secure there were still lingering issues with the losses mounting from the pandemic and a lack of a 2020/21 season. The club has secured a new major sponsor in Aspray Glasgow West, a company that acts as an assessor for insurance claims, who feature prominently in the new logo and jersey. Speaking of the new logo, the club has used the time to go with a rebrand. The rebrand not only includes a new logo and jersey, but also a new online store with more merchandise, some changes to the club structure with the addition of more staff (which they are still hiring for), and a slight increase in season ticket prices.
Additionally, with many players leaving over the pandemic the club has sought to make some new signings. The club has received a lot of young prospects from smaller Canadian leagues, the pinnacle of which is Brock Beukeboom. Yes, the son of Oilers and Rangers legend Jeff Beukeboom. While it might appear like a media grab, Brock was drafted in the third round of the National Hockey League (NHL) draft and had lengthy tenures at Ontario Hockey League (OHL) clubs, giving him valuable experience for a young roster.
While the club never stated what specifically was the reason for the club’s delay in coming back, it appears there were a lot of changes happening quickly, the details of which still needed to be sorted before resuming play. With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why they withdrew from the Challenge Cup, but hopefully, the brand new Clan are ready to rewrite history in their attempt to bring home their first British Championship victory.
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