Drew Bannister named Braehead Clan player-coach

Braehead Clan player-coach Drew Bannister
Bannister began his NHL career at Tampa Bay Lightning

Drew Bannister has been confirmed as the new player-coach of Braehead Clan.

He replaces Bruce Richardson, who left in the summer for a coaching role in Canada after taking Clan to fifth in their debut Elite League season.

This is the ex-NHL defenceman's first coaching role after being lured north following a year at Hull Stingrays, and is excited about his new challenge.

"I'm delighted to get this opportunity to come to Scotland," he said.

"I know all about the expectations for the Clan in the new season and I'm grateful to Neil Black for the opportunity to work for the club."

Following Richardson's surprise departure, former Newcastle Vipers coach Danny Stewart and one-time Ayr Eagle Rhett Gordon were linked with the post.

But it was Canadian Bannister who has been appointed to the role.

The 37-year-old spent the last year on Humberside, but brings an impressive CV including spells in Finland, Germany, Russia and the United States.

In fact, Ontario-born Bannister has played for four clubs in the NHL, including New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers.

Clan owner Neil Black said of his new appointment: "I am thrilled for the Clan to have attracted a player-coach with such a tremendous resume.

"I am sure that he and his family will settle in quickly and I know that Drew is 100% focused on putting together a winning team made up of good quality players."