Stewart leaves Blaze to become Panthers head coach

Danny Stewart watches on as his Coventry Blaze side are in action
Danny Stewart moves to Nottingham Panthers with 18 years of Elite Ice Hockey League experience as a coach and player [PANTHERS IMAGES]

Nottingham Panthers have appointed Danny Stewart as their new head coach

The 45-year-old Canadian has spent more than a decade with Coventry Blaze as both a player and coach over two spells.

He replaces Jonathan Paredes after the Frenchman stepped down after just one season in charge.

Stewart now becomes the sixth head coach to lead the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) side since January 2022.

"I'm really excited and it's something I had to strongly consider for couple of weeks," Stewart told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"It was a tough decision leaving a team that I had been with for the best part of 12 years and kind of led the ship for eight of those years.

"But I've found a new energy here and I'm very excited to be on board with the Nottingham Panthers."

Stewart wants Panthers 'back on map'

Stewart first joined Coventry in 2006 and went on to win three Elite League titles, the Challenge Cup and the Knockout Cup as a player.

He moved into a player-coach role with the Newcastle Vipers in the 2010-11 season and claimed the EIHL coach of the season award in his first campaign.

Steward retired as a player after spending the 2015-16 season with Fife Flyers, and moved back to Coventry to take over as head coach.

The Blaze finished three places above Panthers in the EIHL table this season, with Nottingham finishing ninth and just outside the play-off places.

Panthers last won a major trophy in 2017, when they lifted the Continental Cup under Corey Neilson, who returned for a stint in charge last season.

"Nottingham Panthers is a big club with unbelievable history and tradition," Stewart said.

"They play at an unbelievable venue and it's a great city. There are just so many reasons for why I had to consider this.

"On the ice I want to put them back on the map and get them back up to the top of the table, and find ways to do that."