The 2017-18 season is in the books and the 2018-19 ADHL season will start the season opener on Saturday, September 29, 2018. The ADHL champions Abu Dhabi Godfathers are aiming to retain the title but will face a strong competition. Oil tycoon Ali Kaddas Al Rumaithi sold the struggling team Yas Islanders to the Gibraltar Hockey League, which leaves the ADHL with only five teams this season.
The newly introduced salary cap assures that all teams are leveled and avoids the demands of superstars such as Johnny Sutherland, Keith Jeffrey, and Eddie Ekseanksi. Ken Wigley is going into his 58th season as a professional hockey player and sets a new world record.
English defenseman Sonny Thompson joined the league after he could not secure a new contract in Europe due to Brexit and Robert Belanger returns after his knee, hip, leg, and arm replacement.
Martin Jackuliak, Guenther Jahrmann, Donny Caldwell have returned from the famous TV show The Biggest Loser, being the only contenders in the history of the show who returned with weight gained.
Father-son duo Pierre and Remi Lavoie have secured an extended contract with the Abu Dhabi Hammours, and surely are the biggest threat to win the scoring title.
Scorpions SportsCenter takes a deeper look into this season.
Captain Guilliaume Laberge and owner Ail Kaddas have drafted one of the hottest additions, Cale Wright. Standing around 6’ tall, this kid from Canada has the potential to be the new superstar of the league. Players such as Yannick Thaler, Julien Merineau, and Fatima Al Ali, the team has a strong forward line and the Rheaume trio defiantly adds quality to the roster.
Although the Godfathers know how to win the league title, the team usually struggles during the regular season. Once this team is rolling, there is not much in their way to stop them. Our prediction: Semi-Finalists.
The Club British Bulldogs
The Club has been recently renamed to British Bulldogs as the sponsor requested a name more fitting to the large English fan base. With leader Lubomir Zeleny, who is captain of the team, it came to no surprise that the Czech-Slovak born players such as Daniel pendrak, Martin Jackuliak, and Tadeas Resler dominate the Bulldogs roster. Former NHL mascot Bob Bornybouk quite his engagement with the Lebanese National Team to concentrate on winning the title which was lost to the Godfathers.
Our prediction: Semi-Finalist
Stormin’ Oil Barons
The SOBs have drafted the Canadian tank Chris Reynolds and secured the services of John Brideau, a legendary player from the Dubai Camels. Captain Kyle Frederick was able to retain most of the players from last season and the team went through a rigorous off-season training camp. Matt Brown and Owen “Wilson” Yates signed with the SOBs late in the summer and assured the team is well under the salary cap.
The team’s experience and well-known camaraderie may be the key to go all the way this season. With speedster Rob Hill, fan-favorite Trevor Kuniski, and goal getter Blake Mihalic, fresh out of rehab, the team is expected to be among the favorites to win the title.
Abu Dhabi Hammours
The Hammours may have the strongest team in their history. Players like Remi Lavoie, Patrice Laporte, Jeremy Downs, and Hayez guarantee many goals. German forward and former competitive Strawberry Shortcake cosplayer Phillipp Mielenz is thought to be one of the finest new additions to the ADHL and certainly will help the team to its former glory.
While veterans like Eric Richards and Garnett Klassen add experience, youngsters like Ben Friesen bring the speed. Sonny Thompson, a player recently acquired from the Her Majesties Royal Ice Hockey Club of Lincolnshire-upon-Hogwarts, strengthens the lacking defense lines.
The Hammours may be, once more, the top favorite to win the league title.
Kaddas Group Wings
Former ice-dancing gold medalists Donny Caldwell and Robert Belanger form the core of this season’s Wings. Dale McClare, former captain of the Yas Islander, was hired as the teams’ goon and has declared war against anyone crossing the defensive blue line. Milan Rabas and Hugo Blomfield add a very strong offensive defense to the team and GoPro Joe Campbell is famous for his scoring abilities. David Allen, Denis Sinev, and Ian Blumenstein are solid players and add an overall depth to the roster, which may carry the Wings to the top.
The Wings have been a struggling team during the post-seasons but ended the 2017-18 season as the top-seated team, winning the Lady Mike award.
Prediction: The team has its up and downs but is a solid semi-finalist
Abu Dhabi Storms B
The Storms have revamped their strategy by investing in locally soured talents. We have no further information as General Manager Ryan Kelly was unable to answer our phone calls.
Our prediction: The Storms may be the big surprise this season but with a mostly inexperienced roster, the team may be struggling during the season, therefore 5th place.