Date:  Source: Elite Ice Hockey League

Nottingham Panthers have announced that head coach Corey Neilson will leave at the end of the season.

The 41-year-old will end a 12-year association with the club with whom he has enjoyed domestic and European success as a player and latterly as a coach.

And he spoke of his pride at his achievements as he starts to look ahead to a new chapter in his career.

"It’s time for a new chapter both for myself to grow and the organisation,” he said.  “My contract concludes at the end of this season and it’s been decided that it's time for a change.

“I leave immensely proud of how far we’ve come and I sincerely thank all those fans who’ve supported me both in the good and bad times.

“My family has made life-long friendships and Nottingham may continue to be a home-base for my family, but it’s more than that as it has turned into our home.

Neilson first signed as a player in 2006 from ECHL side Florida Everblades, brought in by then coach Mike Ellis before taking over as player-coach in 2008.

He represented Great Britain as a player in 2011 and 2012 and went on to win six Challenge Cups, four play-off titles as well as the league title in 2013, part of a Grand Slam year.

Neilson won the IIHF Continental Cup in 2017 with Panthers and led them into the Champions Hockey League, reaching the last 16 in this season’s competition.

But he insists he’s not done yet as he targets a strong finish to the season including hopes of one more play-off title before he ends his association with Nottingham.

Neilson added: “At the end of the day all good things come to an end, but we’re not finished yet and I’ve been tasked to complete the season.

"Catching Cardiff in the league is improbable but making a great run and finishing second is a more realistic goal.

“We need to get on a great run of performances and earn a final playoff championship which would be the most fitting way to end my term and I’m committed to everything that needs done.

“Nottingham will always hold a special place in my heart. I will watch from afar and be cheering the Panthers on.”

PHOTO: Panthers Images