Images by Andy Burnham, used with kind permission, follow Andy on Twitter – @ACB_47
League – 51
Challenge Cup – 12
Continental Cup – 7
Play Offs – 2
Goals: 23 / Assists: 33 / PIMs: 67
Brilliant between the last defenceman and the netminder but getting there was a problem. You could never fault his work ethic though. There’s been much talk of his devotion to the cause over the Continental Cup final weekend but that’s not enough to warrant a contract offer for next season. Max Parent was the lucky recipient when Grimaldi decided he didn’t want his helmet anymore but no one wanted to re-sign him simply because of that incident. Mention has to be made though that he provided one of the few highlights of the season when he decided he’d had enough of Kevin Noble.
Heart and soul player who always gave 100% whenever he was on the ice but I never really got the hero worship from some quarters. I’d expect a top 6 forward for a team like Panthers to be in the Top 30 points scorers for the league, not 65th as Nikiforuk was.
Certainly not a bad player, but I never bought into this hero/legend status symbol that he has become. Small and lightweight in the offensive zone, but threw a fair few hits around himself, not wanting to shy away from the physical side of the game. Decent points around Europe before coming here probably gave me false hopes of him being a stand out player, but 32 points in 51 games, finishing 6th in the team, isn’t good enough for the type of player he should be in this league.
A fan favourite and at times you can see why, but doesn’t do it consistently enough for me. Gained deserved plaudits for flying home to witness birth of child during the Continental Cup Super Finals then flying back for the final 3 days later. I was expecting more from him overall though.
Largely fell short of expectations, with poor point production for a top 6 forward. A gritty player who showed up night-after-night, the fact that he was a top 6 forward speaks volumes for the paucity of offence the rest of the side had to offer. His combative style was good to watch, although he was often wasteful in front of net when he would be expected to do better. Stuck up for teammates by dropping his gloves a couple of times, but didn’t do anything this season which would warrant a return to Nottingham for a second year.
Instant hero status achieved after returning to the Continental Cup camp following the birth of his baby, instant entertainer status achieved when stepping in for a team mate and filling in that notorious wind-up merchant Kevin Noble (Blaze fans, you love him, we don’t, you’re just going to have to accept that!) he’s got modest numbers and the effort level has still been there even if the expected production hasn’t. I wouldn’t have been upset to see him back but his note to the fans has a ‘Cheerio folks’ sort of feel to it so hopefully we’ll be using that roster spot to upgrade on the points production.