As I sit in Reno, Nevada with my wife and twins, I've had some time to reflect on my first year as President of the Stingrays and the 2010-2011 season.
Hockey is a team sport. We win as a team and lose as a team. Many aspects must click in order to achieve success. Great defense and goaltending, timely and resilient special teams, a potent offense and luck. Call ups and injuries also factor into play. By the end of the season, you are hoping the best players are in place and that cohesiveness as a unit is there. Since the team's inception in 1993, the Stingrays have been in the Kelly Cup Playoffs 17 out of the 18 years. This speaks volumes. I am pleased to say that the 2010-2011 Stingrays represented our organization proudly on and off the ice.
We are very fortunate to have men of great character and integrity leading our team. I've been around several of the Stingrays coaches in many different capacities and have never seen any of them work as hard as Cail Maclean. I have always respected Cail as a person and a hockey player but, this year, I developed a greater appreciation. In addition, Spencer Carbery was a tremendous asset as assistant coach with his extensive hockey knowledge and positive attitude. He was always right next to Cail putting in long hours. I look forward to working with them again in 2011-2012.
At the beginning of the season, we had the pleasure and challenge of welcoming 8 new staff members. Several joined our organization with little knowledge of hockey, but each person brought along new ideas that offered a fresh perspective to the Stingray's organization. Overall, I feel we made great strides and am very proud of everyone's efforts. With the end of the season comes an opportunity for change and growth. We are pleased to once again welcome several new staff members who I believe will make our organization better. We look forward to building on our successful nights like Pink in the Rink, Military Appreciation, and Pack the House as well as introduce some new and exciting promotions.
To our sponsors, season ticket holders, and fans, thank you so much for the support. I take a great deal of passion and pride in this organization and I appreciate the kind words, suggestions, criticism, and advice. Although we didn't win the Kelly Cup this year, we will be working extremely hard this summer to improve. The new food court will provide a great atmosphere at our games and I am working closely with the City of North Charleston on getting a new scoreboard and sound system. Cail and I have also been working closely on a more favorable 2011-2012 schedule and are pleased with the first draft.
In conjunction with opening weekend, plans are in the works to have an alumni game with former Stingrays players from around the world. It will also include a meet and greet and give everyone the opportunity to catch up with them.
Lastly, a tremendous thank you to the Zucker and Greenwald families for all the love and support on and off the ice.
I am already looking forward to the 2011-2012 season. I hope everyone has a safe summer and I will see you all soon. Thank you all again and Let's Go Rays!