Ice hockey speculation: Great Britain coach to leave Glasgow Clan? New club for Elite League?

Pete Russell could be moving from Glasgow Clan immediately after coaching Great Britain in the World Championships.

By Bob Westerdale
Monday, 06 May, 2019, 13:14
Pete Russell

The 44-year-old Scotsman and the Clan have not made any statement, but there is gathering speculation that Russell is to uproot from Glasgow, where fans had thought he would be back behind the bench for several seasons to come.

Last month, the team said Russell will return as Head Coach and Director of Hockey for the 2019/20 season.

The coach commented at that time: “I’m very privileged and honoured to be here again next season as head coach and I’ll give my all to continue to make the Purple Army proud of their club.”

He has done well north of the border, but it is his record as GB coach that will have triggered interest overseas.

Russell has coached the national team to back to back gold medals and promotion to the top level of the IIHF World Championships for the first time since 1994.

Now it seems he will have to mentally put to one side a huge shift in his life, as he leads GB into battle in Slovakia, facing the likes of Germany, Canada, Denmark and the USA.

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Milton Keynes v Sheffield Steelers, last season

The speculation is that he will be signing for a German DEL2 side.

That, perhaps, suggests the EIHL has some way to go if it is to compete for talent in other European countries’ second-flight divisions.

Some Sheffield Steelers’ fans had suggested Russell as a replacement for the departed American Tom Barrasso, but that job went to Aaron Fox, who will begin work in South Yorkshire in earnest this week.

Meanwhile, a locally-based Milton Keynes consortium should find out this week if it is to get the all-clear to take over Elite League ice hockey operations there.

That, hopefully, would bring more stability to the top flight after the decision of Milton Keynes Lightning to drop out.