Towering defenceman Dane Gibson has become the latest import to sign for the Coventry Blaze ahead of the new Elite Ice Hockey League season, penning a one-year deal with the Skydome Arena club.
The 6’2” Canadian blueliner arrives in the West Midlands from the University of Calgary, where he contributed 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 79 USports appearances.
Before spending three years at university in Canada, Gibson added two seasons of NCAA experience to his resume with the University of Maine. The British Columbia-native made a positive impression south of the border, notching 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 54 games on route to winning the Maine Scholar Rising Star Athlete Award during his freshman year.
A forward while in junior hockey, Coventry’s latest left-shot recruit lead the BCHL in assists in 2014/15 and was named to the First All-Star Team, adding to his VIJHL championship with the Peninsula Panthers from the 2010/11 campaign.
“Dane brings a lot of good things to our back end,” Coventry Blaze head coach Danny Stewart explained on Sunday. “He’s got great size, great skating ability and another guy that can make plays under pressure.”
“We wanted mobility at the back without sacrificing too much size, and he ticks both boxes. It will be his first-year pro, but is older now after playing at the University level. We feel he has a lot of upside, along with the right attitude to do well for us next season,” the 41-year-old Canadian tactician said.
Gibson is the fifth defenceman to sign on the dotted line with the Blaze, joining David Clements, Dillon Eichstadt, Nathanael Halbert, and Justin Hamonic on Coventry’s roster. As the 2021/22 EIHL season nears, Stewart will likely add a third right-handed defenceman to his group, with Clements and Hamonic outnumbered by left-shooters at the time of writing.
Competitive hockey returns to the City of Culture next month, with Coventry hosting the Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup on Sunday 19 September.
Blaze Signings So Far:
C.J. Motte – 29-year-old goalie, USA
Jordan Hedley – 24-year-old goalie, GBR
David Clements – 26-year-old defenceman, GBR
Justin Hamonic – 27-year-old defenceman, CAN
Dillon Eichstadt – 27-year-old defenceman, USA
Nathanael Halbert – 25-year-old defenceman, CAN-GBR
Dane Gibson – 27-year-old defenceman, CAN
Ross Venus – 27-year-old forward, GBR
Alex Forbes – 25-year-old forward/defenceman, GBR
Luke Ferrara – 28-year-old forward, GBR
Johnny Curran – 26-year-old forward, CAN
Janne Laakkonen – 39-year-old forward, FIN
Alec Marsh – 25-year-old forward, USA
David Broll – 28-year-old forward, CAN
Matthew Thompson – 27-year-old forward, CAN