Ownership issue key for Hull – McEwan

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BOBBY McEwan says he will do whatever it takes to ensure top-flight ice hockey remains in East Yorkshire - as he waits to see if his bid to buy the Hull Stingrays is successful.

The 52-year-old Glaswegian, a former player and now bench coach with the Stingrays, has been busy helping prepare players for this weekend’s Elite League play-off finals weekend in Nottingham.

Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier’s team booked a semi-final showdown with defending play-off champions Nottingham Panthers after stunning regular season league runners-up Sheffield Steelers in the quarter-finals last week with a 7-4 aggregate win.

But the biggest weekend in the club’s history has been slightly overshadowed by doubts over its future ownership.

It’s believed the current ownership – who also run Elite League rivals Coventry Blaze – are looking to sell the club.

McEwan has tabled an offer, but is aware there are other interested parties. He said the issue needed resolving as soon as possible ahead of what will be another busy summer of recruiting as neither Cloutier or any of the current roster were yet signed up to return next season. Cloutier is known to have turned down one offer of a job abroad.

“We’ve got to get this sorted as soon as possible because our guys are going to be playing at a showcase finals weekend in Nottingham and there will be a lot of coaches and scouts there looking at players,” said McEwan.

“So we could lose some of our own players that we would want to keep before we even start.

“There’s a lot of hard work to be done in the summer and I don’t want to be sitting here waiting and then lose out on players that we could have had.

“This club means everything to me. I’ve been here for nearly 25 years and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep the club going at this level.

“There’s a great hardcore of fans here, we’ve got a good facility with the Hull Arena and we’ve just got to make sure that we take care of it.”

Hat-trick hero Derek Campbell, meanwhile, believes all the pressure is on Nottingham going into Saturday’s semi-final at the National Ice Centre.

The 31-year-old led his team to a 5-2 victory over his former club the Steelers at Ice Sheffield on Sunday and hasn’t ruled out the chances of the East Yorkshire club producing another shock in front of 7,000 fans this weekend.

“All the pressure will be on Nottingham,” said Campbell. “It is a one-game series now and anything can happen.

“Nottingham are an unbelievable team in the play-offs, they always come to play, and they have a lot of firepower. But we just need to play our game because when teams are on such a high great things can happen.”

phil.harrison@ypn.co.uk

Twitter: @philarra