Peterborough Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov is delighted to have a ‘complete player’ back on board next season.
That’s the way he described captain James Ferrara, who will return for a 10th season in the city club’s colours.
The 30 year-old’s excellent career was celebrated when he staged a testimonial at Planet Ice earlier this month.
Koulikov said: “James is the best captain I’ve ever had. He is a man who cares about the values of Phantoms and is also the glue that holds many things together.
“He is what I call a complete player. He leads by example on and off the ice and his desire to be successful is still as great as it was the first time I met him.
“He is a pleasure to work with and always there for his team-mates and coaching staff.”
Ferrara impressed on the ice with 61 points last term as Phantoms agonisingly missed out on silverware.
They were pipped to the NIHL Division One South title on goal difference by Basingstoke and also lost to the Hampshire side by an aggregate goal in the play-off final.
And it is a burning desire to win trophies that helped to persuade him to continue his playing career.
Ferrara said: “It’s an honour to sign for Slava and the Phantoms organisation again.
“I enjoyed last season but was disappointed that we didn’t achieve more after coming so close in so many competitions.
“I’m excited by the squad that Slava is putting together for next season and look forward to seeing what we can do.”
But Welsh wizard Owen Griffiths won’t be returning to Bretton after earning a move into the Elite League.
The 21 year-old forward has earned a move to Milton Keynes Lightning after two fine seasons with the city club.
Fellow forwards Leigh Jamieson and Nathan Salem, and defencemen Greg Pick and Ben Russell have also departed since the end of the season.
At least one other exit is also expected with Phantoms set to hit the ice next term with a new-look roster.