Braehead Clan boss Jordan Krestanovich is praying striking NHL stars don’t patch up their differences with big-money owners just yet ... because he is desperate to keep hold of rink star Drew Miller.
Stanley Cup winner Miller has moved to Scotland to play for the Clan while he and the rest of his NHL colleagues refuse to take part in North America’s top league as a result of a pay dispute.
The ongoing ‘lockout’ has been extended for another fortnight as talks between warring players and stubborn team owners continue – but Krestanovich hopes they fail to reach a settlement.
Miller bagged a hat-trick for the Clan in Thursday night’s 7-2 thrashing of Hull in England’s north east and, with the Stingrays making the return journey to the Braehead Arena tonight, player/coach Krestanovich is refusing to think about the consequences of the NHL dispute being settled.
He told Express Sports: “Drew has been awesome since he arrived in Scotland.
“On the ice, he’s put in some great performances and really showed what a star he is.
“His hat-trick against Hull was incredible.
“Off the ice, he’s been brilliant too. He’s a great influence on the other guys in the changing room.
“The NHL strike has been extended for another two weeks and, from a selfish point of view, I hope they keep extending it because I want to keep Drew here.
“It’s a tough situation for Drew as no-one knows what to expect but, while they fail to reach an agreement, we are happy to have him.”
The visitors got off to a perfect start at the Hull Arena on Thursday as they found themselves two in front with just five minutes played.
The opener came after 13 seconds as Miller netted and Ash Goldie soon made it 2-0.
However, the hosts rallied and a brace from Jereme Tendler put them back on level terms.
The Clan regained the lead with a goal from Robert Farmer after 23 minutes before Miller added a fourth on the powerplay.
The Scots increased their lead after 42 minutes and effectively put the game to bed as Miller completed his treble.
They then added a sixth goal with 10 minutes remaining as Farmer got his second of the game.
And Goldie also made it a double as he scored late on to wrap up an impressive win.
Braehead now host Hull at home tonight, with a 7pm face-off, and then travel to Coventry’s SkyDome Arena tomorrow to take on the Blaze, with that game starting at 5.15pm.
Krestanovich added: “Although we beat Hull 7-2 on Thursday, there were still some areas where we could have done better – and we will have to remember that when we face them at our place.
“After that, we have got Coventry on Sunday and they are a physical team. They’re even tougher on their own ice as it is a smaller rink but we have brought in Davide Nicoletti and Martin Tuma recently and they will be perfect for this type of game.”