HIS time in Denmark may not have gone exactly as he had hoped, but forward Guillaume Doucet believes he can rescue his season by landing success back in the Elite League with Nottingham Panthers
The former Hull Stingrays forward left a lot of disappointed fans behind in East Yorkshire after his one season there. Understandably so.
The 28-year-old Canadian winger enjoyed a memorable eight months at the Hull Arena, scoring 50 goals in an 85-point tally.
It saw him finish as the league’s second-highest goalscorer behind Coventry’s Ryan Ginand and, not surprisingly, attract interest from outside the UK.
While Hull were no doubt keen for Doucet to stick around for a second season, he headed off to Hervel in the Danish top flight in the summer.
But, with the play-offs an unlikely destination following a poor campaign, Doucet – posting just five goals and three assists in 25 games – found himself heading back to the UK where he had left such an impression the previous year.
“The team where I was in Denmark was not going to make the play-offs and they wanted to go and get a defenceman,” said Doucet.
“I was happy over there, but things were not working out hockey-wise so it was just a mutual decision for me to move on. I knew I could probably come back to England and get something good and it gave me a chance to play for longer and maybe win more, so both sides were happy I think.”
A return to Hull for Doucet was, it seems, a possibility but Nottingham were the team to move quickest and first to make an offer.
Having landed in the UK less than five hours before his debut at Sheffield Steelers last Saturday, Doucet enjoyed a dream first outing for his new team, scoring the first goal with a tip-in as the Panthers strolled to a 4-1 victory.
Heading into this Saturday’s game at Cardiff Devils, Doucet is yet to experience defeat with Corey Nielson’s team, scoring an assist in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win over Cardiff Devils, before scoring a goal and two assists in Friday night’s 5-0 win over struggling Coventry Blaze.
“I was obviously happy with the way it went on my debut in Sheffield and we managed to pull off a big win,” added Doucet.
“Nottingham has always had a good team and they seem a great group of guys. So if we can play like we are capable of, then there’s no reason why we can’t beat everyone in this league.
“I’ve kept in touch with Pash (Hull coach Omar Pacha) and Carl Lauzon (assistant player-coach) they are good friends of mine and it is always good to keep in touch.
“But everything happened quickly this week and I had to make a really hard decision. Nottingham were interested and were the first team to approach me to come back. Everything happened very fast, but I’m happy to be here.”