Manchester Storm have appointed Omar Pacha as their player-coach
The 28-year-old Canadian from Boucherville led Hull Stingrays to the Elite League playoff semi-finals last season.
Pacha had spent the 2012-13 season in France and then linked up with the Stingrays the following season as a player, before taking up a player coaching role last year.
He said: “The situation in Hull very was unfortunate, though I am extremely excited to be joining the new Manchester Storm franchise this upcoming year.
“Itâ€™s a privilege to be named the first player-coach of the new club.
“I do want to thank Mark (Johnson) and Pete (Russell) for this opportunity and I am really look forward to the season.
“Although this is a completely new team, I am confident the club can make a very positive impact on and off the ice.
“Pete and I are working around the clock to look for the best players available to fit into the club philosophy. It’s been very positive working together and moving things forward.”
GB head coach Russell, who is director of hockey for Silverblades and Planet Ice brands, said: “Pacha is a good fit to be the first player coach of the new Manchester Storm.
“He is a good person, has a good work ethic and our organisation is excited about having him on-board.
“He did a really good job on a limited budget in Hull and don’t forget he was so close to taking them to the playoff final last season in Nottingham.
“Pacha and I are working hard researching and communicating with lots players, agents and coaches in Europe and North America to find the right players to represent the new Manchester Storm.
“It’s starting to come together now and we are currently waiting on paperwork being returned on numerous agreements we have reached with potential targets.
“We will be in a position over the weekend to announce further signings for the season ahead.”
Season tickets for Manchester Storm’s upcoming EIHL season are now available, starting from as little as Â£99 for 30 games.
Click here â€Žhttps://www.facebook.com/McrStormOfficialÂ for more details.