NOTE: I should point out here that I know nothing from an “inside” perspective, and am purely reacting to the news that a Blaze player on a two-way contract has left his EPL club.
I was going to save the discussion over Blaze’s injury crisis for tomorrow, but it appears that they may be already taking steps to solve it.
We’ll be looking deeper into the possible solutions tomorrow, but a brief thought for now:
The EPL’s Telford Tigers have posted a press release confirming that their defenceman Steven Chalmers has left the club.
So why is this of any relevance to Blaze blogs, you ask?
Aside from the fact that Chalmers is (was) on a two-way contract with the Blaze, not much.
The 20 year-old Scot has looked impressive for the Blaze in preseason, showing a calm beyond his years when given a regular shift. The press release also mentions that the 5’11, 185lb native of Kirkcaldy has had offers from several EPL clubs.
Given that Fife are still a little short on their roster import-wise, and Chalmers is a local boy, they may be looking to tempt him back up to his home town team (for whom he’s interestingly never played a senior game, as it happens)
He’s also a former member of the Braehead Clan and a Dundee Star from last season, so you have to figure they’re two of the clubs who may be in the running.
But with the Blaze short on bodies thanks to injuries to Jerramie Domish and Russ Cowley, both of whom do (or in the case of Cowley can) play defence, Paul Thompson may have moved quickly to get Chalmers locked up on a full-time contract.
Chalmers’ thought process will be key in this decision-does he want to go to Blaze and risk ice-time diminishing greatly when Domish returns, or will he return home to Scotland with the potential to become a much more important contributor? The fact that Fife are running five very useful dmen right now may preclude his joining of the Flyers, but Braehead are a body short on defence too and Chalmers is a former Clan member-they’re also local to the player’s home, and would probably be the most logical choice for him if returning North.
This could be another example of the Clan sneaking in under the Blaze’s nose to sign one of their players, as was done with Rob Farmer earlier this offseason. The fact that Chalmers is a Brit will also impact Braehead, as it means they will fill their defensive spot and have an import slot open to either strengthen their defence further or add even more firepower to the forward lines, which could make it a VERY astute move by Clan’s coach Jordan Krestanovich.
. But with the Blaze short on bodies and the Clan, too, needing cover on defence, this has come at a very interesting juncture early on in the season.