Panthers legend Clarke hoping for Danish delight
Nottingham Panthers legend David Clarke sees no reason why his former team cannot return from Denmark with another Continental Cup title under their arms.
Tim Wallace's team will face hosts Sønderjyske, Neman Grodno of Belarus and Polish team Carcovia Krakow at the Frøs Arena in Vojens for the trophy, which kicks off on Friday.
And Clarke thinks that is the reputation of the Elite League clubs now, there is a disappointment if the EIHL does not continue to claim glory.
"I don't see why the Panthers can't win and if you look at the teams that have reached this stage in recent years, since we won it in 2017, Sheffield would have been disappointed not to have achieved what he wanted in the next year, "he said.
"Belfast, for me, should have won the competition last season and deserved it with the team they had.
"As a league, I think we will certainly be disappointed if we do not win it, which reflects the progress made by the league and the talent that exists.
WATCH: Nottingham Panthers – Winners of the Continental Cup 2017
"Panthers enter it as a favorite and their form of delay leads me to think why not. The Elite League is a very good league and it will live up to all the competitions to come.
Clarke did not play in the success of 2017, when Corey Neilson led the Panthers to European success in Ritten, due to a concussion, but was part of the team Coaches as they have created the history of British clubs on the continent.
The former winger, who retired as a player a year later, talked about what it would be like the day before the tournament and thought about what he called his own. "frustrating" experience from three years ago, plus adding his perspective to a tournament where so much is happening so quickly.
He added: "I think the players will be excited about this. They went through the previous round very well and the guys are going back to a place they already know from the last round , and they know one of the teams they have already played against.
"They will be quietly confident and will be looking forward to entering the main part of this tournament.
"Three years ago, I didn't play on weekends because I had a concussion, but I was on the coaching team, which was amazing, but also very frustrating not being able to play.
"Now that I have retired, I can say that I have coached this level of tournament, supporting Corey and having a different perspective on this competition, I have therefore had the privilege of doing so.
"I was fortunate enough to win it as a player, even though I did not play but the experience of such an intense and prestigious and rather cool tournament.
"It's a tough weekend because the results may still depend on what other teams are doing in the other games. You could win the first two games and you still have to win the third game to win it.
"Alternatively, you can always win the first two in overtime and participate in the last match because a winner wins everything. Since this is a round robin tournament with four teams, you can't rest on anything and you have no idea what's going to happen.
"It is a strategic environment and it is important not to exhaust your players after the first game, as you will more than likely need to give more in the last game. A lot of it comes down to managing the benches and making sure the guys can play for 60 minutes for three consecutive nights. ”
And Clarke also made his Panthers coach Tim Wallace, who succeeded Rick Strachan at the start of the season, believes he grew up in the post after a rough start.
He said, "Tim grew up and coming to Nottingham was always going to be a different challenge than he was last year. He and Gui Doucet always had their intentions on how to build a winning team and that was progress.
"The pieces they brought with Hansen, Horvat and Talbot had a huge impact on the team and this allowed them to find what was missing at the start of the season.
"You look at the Panthers as one of the fit teams and you're right in the mix when you look at the standings.
"Sheffield had a great start, Belfast was up and down at times while Cardiff seems to be the most consistent team, but I wouldn't put the Panthers behind this group too much.
"They have beaten these teams steadily and since Tim has made these adjustments, he can certainly be happy with what he has done and can look forward to the rest of the season, starting this week weekend in Denmark. "