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[18 APR 01] COVENTRY BLAZE NEWS
Johnson Signs New Blaze Deal

Coventry Blaze have ended speculation about the future of another of their top players by agreeing a new two-year contract with forward Shaun Johnson.

The twenty-eight year old British star who is currently representing Great Britain in the World Championships in Slovenia, signed the new deal before flying out with Blaze team mates Barry Hollyhead, Michael Tasker and Coventry Head Coach, Paul Thompson.

Johnson proved to be a major asset to the Blaze in his first season at the Club and was rewarded for his outstanding efforts when he picked up the Blaze Player of the Season award at the team's recent presentation night.

A number of other clubs were reported to be courting the player but Johnson was more than happy to commit his immediate future to the Blaze. Johnson said:

"I really enjoyed everything about last season in Coventry. It was really impressive to see how the club grew during the course of the year and although we fell just short of winning any major trophies last time around, the potential for us to do that little bit better next season is there for all to see.

"While we were out and about in the city during our pre-season week last year, both Michael Tasker and myself wondered whether hockey would really take off in Coventry but I don't think there is any doubt now that it's become a major feature in the area. I was also pleasantly surprised at the standard of the hockey in the British National League so it really was an easy decision for me to agree to two more years at the Club."

Coach Thompson was equally pleased to have tied down another of his key British players:

"Last season everyone in Coventry saw just what a great player Shaun is and how important he is to what we are building here in Coventry so to get him to sign up for another two years is a terrific boost for the Club.

"He has a huge amount of experience and really leads by example on the ice and importantly, he really did enjoy himself here last season. There were no shortage of other clubs after his signature but the fact that he wanted to stay here is fantastic for our organisation."

Blaze have also confirmed that Swedish goalie Henrik Sjodin will not be returning to the Club next season after Thompson decided not to offer him an extension to his contract.
  

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CWN / Sport / Ice Hockey / Coventry Blaze / 18 Apr 01
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