Phoenix keep the Faith
Ok so despite my best efforts not to fall into the obvious trap I cannot avoid it! There was only ever going to be one headline for the update! The Phoenix captured their final import forward, and another in the growing Slovak army on the Phoenix roster. None other than 35 year old Juraj Faith.
Over his career in Slovakia Juraj scored nearly a point a game, the majority in the top Slovakian league. Being the final import forward signed means, this guy will probably be amazing. Being on a line with Sir Tony Hand will ensure Juraj will have a career year at the Phoenix. Along with Cingel the Phoenix top line is looking impressive already. The only small fly in the ointment for me, and I admit to not knowing the reason why is, as per his elite prospect stats he has played the last two seasons across 6 clubs. This could be something, or absolutely nothing! Maybe the switch to a new country, new league will be just what Juraj needs!
Juraj also iced a season with EHC Freiburg, I know my colleague over a Banners on the Wall said not to read much into that year, but I look at it slightly differently. The DEL is one of the top leagues in Europe, even the bottom clubs in the DEL will offer far more quality as a whole when compared to the EPL. It would be Freiburg's only season in the DEL! In some ways, I would equate his experience in the DEL to that of Martin Cingel, able to regularly put up points in a terrible team!
It's always exciting when a club signs a player new to the league, slight nervousness as to his ability to adapt and fit in, and excitement to see what sort of skills he has. Juraj is 35 and has vast experience, so im looking forward to seeing his skill and hockey brain out on the ice. In fact with Cingel also at age 35, the average age of the Phoenix topline has gone up. But I do believe it will be a much improved line. No taking away from what Kristoffersson and Huppe did for the club last year. They were both guilty of going MIA. Cingel has been battle hardened in Edinburgh when he was the main source of points, and Faith has the extensive experience of Slovak hockey behind him. With Hand in the middle, its an exciting line for us Phoenix fan's!
CB Sport - Juraj Faith
Juraj Faith - Elite Hockey Prospects
El-Hage Back's up the Phoenix
Hot off the press, the Phoenix have sorted out their back up netminder position by promoting Jorge El-Hage from the Metro's through to the full EPL side. Jorge follows the path beaten my Adam Summerfield and is an example of Neil Morris desire to set up the Phoenix Academy. It's a clear example of the system working. Now we just have to see what he is like and how good he is, but he will learn so much training with the EPL side and being understudy to Stephen Fone!