Sami Mantere is stepping aside from his head coaching duties to return to the ice as a player for the 2018 season. He will be sponsored by Mirafloor.
Mantere says his desire to play was heightened after an emergency call-up to the team in the final games of the season.
"I want to play while I can. Every day I want to play more and more and more and I think I can help this team win and develop players around me," he says.
Mantere was the leading scorer on the team as an import during the 2009 season when the Adrenaline last won the championship. He is 32-years-young and has 47 career AIHL points in 40 career games (before last year's 2-game mini-stint). He has 119 points in 43 IHSA Premier League Games and will return to the Premier League competition with the Jokers this season.
"I'm having a lot of fun playing right now," he says.
Mantere is a product of Jokerit HC in Finland where he played for years in the junior program.
While Mantere will remain as an assistant coach and help with the transition, the new man in charge is coach Jim Fuyarchuk. He has a more extensive coaching resume than many coaches across Australia.
A couple notable former National Team players and coaches say they regard Jim as the best coach they have been with.
According to Legends of Australian Ice, Fuyarchuk is credited with starting the National Youth Team (NYT) program and its work at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Jim, who comes from and his family recently moved back to Australia. He hails from Alberta but has lived all over the world.
He has coached teams at various levels including junior and University hockey in Canada, professional hockey in England, in Hungry, Australian junior national teams and as a player-coach in Canberra.
Fuyarchuk was recently a coach on the minor-premier winning Adelaide Generals and has worked with many of the young players on the team.
Coach Jim has been running trainings for about a month and says he is happy with what he's seen.
"I expect our team to play hard, smart hockey," he said at the team presentation night Saturday. "We have work to do and we will try to implement some systems that will make us hard to play against."
He coached the National Australian Youth Team for a couple seasons with Adelaide legend John Botterill in the 1980s. He also was a head coach for school programs in Canada and professional teams in England. He has experience coaching in Canada, England and Australia.
But why let us tell you about him - he has been honoured on the "Legends of Australian Ice"! So let's let them tell you about him. We think you'll agree it's one of the most impressive resumes in all of Aussie Ice Hockey....
The Adrenaline are hard at work training and will have a roster to announce for their pre-season trip to Melbourne early this week.
QUICK SHOTS WITH SAMI:
Favourite NHL Team: Nashville Predators Favourite Hockey Player: Torie Cybulski (Sami's daughter!) Favourite Sport (not hockey): Soccer Pre Game Music: Hans Zimmer Pre Game Meal: Chicken Vindaloo Last Song Listened to on iPod: Kotiteoliisuus - Vieraan Sanomaa Ideal Friday Night: Beating Ales Kratoska at NHL 18 Random Fact About You: I am better than Ales Kratoska at NHL 18