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Blaz is back – as Assistant Coach

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In a move to strengthen the team further, the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning are delighted to confirm that Blaz Emersic will return as Assistant Coach for 2017-18.

Slovenian Blaz, 36, joined the Lightning in January 2011 in a shock move from Slough Jets and since then has become an ever-present in the EPIHL’s most successful team.  For the last two seasons, he has been Head Coach Pete Russell’s eyes and ears on the ice – and from September he makes the move to full time member of the coaching staff.

Blaz’s vast experience has seen him represent his native Slovenia at international level, six seasons in North America as well as two seasons with the Elite League’s Nottingham Panthers.

“I’m delighted to be back in MK for another year,” commented Blaz.  “Although it’ll be in a different capacity, it is still the same excitement.  

“I’m very much looking forward to a new chapter in my career and I’m grateful to Pete and the new owners for giving me the opportunity. I can’t wait for the season to start!”

Blaz was named Captain of Slough Jets when playing under Pete Russell in 2009 and Coach Russell spoke of the benefits of having Emersic on his coaching team:

“He is a great person and a real hockey man. He has had vast experience all over the world and has so much to offer the game. He is a Lightning legend and knows this club inside out.

“Despite retiring from the playing side of the game Blaz has a real desire to move into this new challenge. We have worked well together for many years and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. He is a guy with strong values and a guy I have complete trust in.

“ Blaz is a close friend and I’m delighted he’s staying on as my Assistant Coach in the EIHL – it’ll be great to work as a team again!”