Recruitment has been the focus for most of the Elite League clubs, with Fife Flyers and Belfast Giants both adding five players each since our last round-up.
Giants completed their roster with the captures of Jean Dupuy, Bobby Farnham, Patrick Mullen, Curtis Hamilton and Liam Reddox, who rounded the roster up for the champions.
Reddox’s signing is a real coup for Adam Keefe’s men and the league after spending the last eight years at SHL side Vaxjo Lakers, the last four as the captain.
Just two seasons ago, he was playing in the Champions Hockey League final and he told Giants’ podcast, a View from the Bridge, the Elite League was one he’d kept an eye on for some time.
“I have watched the Elite League for a while now. I got a call from Steve Thornton at the Giants and luckily, we were able to work something out,” he said. “I’m really excited to get to Belfast and meet the team, staff as well as the fans.”
Kendall McFaull, another member of Keefe’s championship winning side, decided to hang up his skates and announced his retirement.
In Scotland, Fife Flyers have got their signings into overdrive with addition of five players, but one of them move to an Elite League rival.
— Fife Flyers (@FifeFlyers) August 9, 2019
One player agreeing to stay on is James Isaacs, who is back for his fourth season in Kirkcaldy and was joined by four brand new faces.
Tim Crowder was the first of those as he reunited with brother, Paul in Fife after a season at Coventry Blaze last season.
He was soon joined by former Glasgow Clan defenceman Michal Gutwald, ex-Cardiff Devil James Livingston and Kyle Just, a new forward who arrives from Finnish side RoKi.
And Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume reckons the 28-year-old Canadian can flourish in the UK.
He told the website: “Kyle completes our forward line-up. He’s an experienced campaigner in the European game and proven he can put up numbers. We believe his first season in the Elite League will be a successful one.”
One player trading Scotland for England is forward Brett Bulmer, who has left the Flyers to join the Tim Wallace revolution at Nottingham Panthers.
Joining him on the Panthers roster is defenceman Jason De Santis, an American who spent last season with EBEL side Villacher and he’s a player that impressed Wallace and Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet.
“His pedigree speaks for itself, he’s a class act and he knows what’s required,” he said. “Along with Head Coach Tim Wallace we’ve studied him and we’ve had nothing but good reports from people that know him well.”
Going the other way is Jaynen Rissling, who has opted for a return to North America to join ECHL side South Carolina Stingrays.
Manchester Storm made a couple of big moves with the arrivals of Canadian forwards Layne Ulmer and Jared Aulin.
Ulmer, of course, was a key part of Cardiff Devils’ success and spoke to British Ice Hockey last week about his move where he revealed he’s keen to impart his own wisdom on a team chasing the play-offs.
He said: “I’m fortunate enough to have had some success in my career and I want to bring that winning attitude and the knowledge I have that can help some of the other players on the team.”
Aulin’s signing is one that pleased Storm coach Ryan Finnerty in particular and reckons it’s one that changes things in terms of his team.
He’s ALL IN for the 19/20 season! ⛈️
— Manchester Storm (@Mcr_Storm) August 9, 2019
He told the website: “We’re really excited to add a player of Aulin’s experience to our lineup. He’s capable of playing in the middle or wing and gives our young team a veteran presence that I feel like we needed.
“Adding Ulmer and Aulin changes our dynamic for the better and we are fortunate to have them here in Manchester.”
Leaving Storm is former Dundee Stars forward Lukas Lundvald, who exits without playing a game for the club.
Speaking of Stars, they added another forward to their roster as it nears completion with Elgin Pearce coming in from ECHL side Idaho Steelheads.
In Cardiff, Jake Morrissette announced his retirement after six years with the club and leaves them as the Devils’ most successful captain.
However, they added Sam Jardine, who arrives from Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL, the team who won the Kelly Cup in their first season.
Sheffield Steelers completed their roster with a trio of goalies as Czech pair Tomas Duba and Pavel Kantor both arrived to share netminding duties for the club.
While GB youth goalie Will Kerlin arrives to complete Aaron Fox’s roster, coming in from Ontario Hockey Academy Maroon.
Leaving the club is Ryan Martinelli, who has opted to take up an offer in Slovakia with the Bratislava Capitals.
Finally, Guildford Flames strengthened their D-core with the addition of Jordan Rowley, from Finnish side Lahden Pelicans.
He’s a player coach Paul Dixon has coveted for some time and was finally pleased to land his man in the end.
He told the Flames website: “We’ve been close to having Jordan with us previously, but the timing wasn’t there to make it work out and we are thrilled that things have come together now to get him here.
“He has a history of playing with several of our guys, and he will be an excellent fit in the room on that basis, but it is his ability that makes him such an exciting addition.”