HULL Stingrays’ top marksman Jereme Tendler wants to celebrate his new deal with the Elite League club by reaching 50 goals for the season.
The 27-year-old Canadian put pen-to-paper on a contract that sees him return to East Yorkshire in the autumn for a second season with Sylvain Cloutier’s team.
It remains to be seen who else is brought back by Cloutier, who feels the return of Tendler will act as an attraction to upgrade his roster further in an attempt to improve upon the seventh-place finish they achieved this year.
Tendler has blossomed in his first season of UK hockey, contributing a hugely impressive 47 goals and 28 assists in 57 games. Shortlisted for the Elite League newcomer of the year award, and selected on the Ice Hockey Journalists’ Association first all-star team, Tendler had no doubts about returning to Hull.
“There was no reason for me not to come back,” said Tendler. “It has been a really good year and I have had a lot of fun.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming into the league this year but I know I can score goals and was hoping to get about 35 but if I was to get 50 it would be a great accomplishment.
“I know Clouts well and he put together a good group of guys in a short space of time this year and I know he will put another good group together next year. Clouts is looking to bring back a core of guys from this year so things can only get better here.”
Tendler will struggle to break through the 50-goal barrier before the end of the regular season with Hull facing two home games this weekend to finish their campaign ahead of the post-season play-offs.
Rock-bottom Edinburgh Capitals are first up on Saturday night before Cloutier’s enthusiastic team tries to break their duck against the Nottingham Panthers on home ice 24 hours later.
Like every other team in the league, Hull have enjoyed comfortable success against a seriously-depleted Capitals organisation and should easily register a sixth win of the campaign against the Scottish strugglers. Nottingham will arrive in Hull fresh from their Challenge cup win over Belfast Giants in midweek, who they also face at the NIC on Saturday in a final league meeting of the season between the two.
Cloutier wants to give Hull’s growing support something to smile about ahead of the post-season.
He added: “We want to give our fans two wins because they have been great for us this year. Our numbers have been up and that is down to a lot of great work being done off the ice as well as the guys playing well on the ice.”
Hear Sylvain Cloutier talk about the re-signing of Jereme Tendler as well as give his verdict on the Elite League title race finale by listening to our latest HockeyTalk podcast in the ‘Audio and Video’ section.