By Ed Kimberley
It’s been an active fortnight in the EIHL in regards to transfers with Braehead being at the centre of action.
Last week they brought in Neil Trimm, a versatile Canadian forward who had a career year last season in terms of goals with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League. This week they have added a pair of players in Dan Nycholat who will help shore up the understrength Clan blueline, who are without Kenton Smith and Ray Macais for the time being.
The other addition is a very exciting one bringing in Joe Cullen who can play on the wing but also has been used as a centre, giving Ryan Finnerty many options going forward. Cullen is quite the capture, having spent come to the Clan following some successful years in the Italian Serie A winning the Italian Cup and the SuperCup. He has comparable numbers to Sirianni and DiCasmirro in Italy. The pair who recently signed for Sheffield have had a massive positive impact in the ‘House of Steel.’ Cullen has strong hockey lineage, his brother Matt is a career NHLer, currently with Nashville and won a Stanley Cup back in 05-06 with Carolina. His lineage goes back further, his Grandpa played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and his Uncle John was a two time NHL Allstar and Masterson Trophy winner.
The Clan and Ryan Finnerty are under pressure. They are behind their conference rivals the Dundee Stars who were quick out of the blocks however have 4 games-in-hand while being 6 points behind, adding Nycholat and Cullen will go a long way towards closing the gap. Winning all the games in hand will help Braehead leapfrog the Stars to the top of the conference and lofty heights in the EIHL league table.
This weekend the two teams will duke it out on Sunday, a game that will set the tone between the two rivals going forward, with Cullen and Nycholat in the side, it looks like Braehead will be ready for the toe to toe battle that will ensue.