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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Thursday, 31 March 2011 12:09 UK

Owen Fussey agrees new one-year deal with Blaze

Owen Fussey (Mark Tredgold)
Owen Fussey weighed in with 39 points during his injury-hit season with Blaze

Canadian forward Owen Fussey has agreed to another year with Coventry Blaze.

Fussey missed half of this season with knee ligament damage but still finished as the team's third-highest goalscorer, netting 24 times.

Coach Paul Thompson said: "I am absolutely delighted Owen is back with us next season. To say we missed him is a huge understatement.

"He was brought in to be a franchise player and was well on course to get 40-plus goals before his injury."

The 27-year-old joined Coventry from Elite League rivals Edinburgh Capitals last summer.

Having scored 35 goals for the Scottish outfit the previous year it looked like Fussey had brought his form south of the border.

But, in December, he damaged his medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament which ended his season.

Owen Fussey is excited to be back and wants to help the club get back to where it should be

Paul Thompson

Despite not being able to help the club on the ice in 2011, Thompson believes Fussey has had an influence behind the scenes and is why they are keen to take a punt on his fitness.

"Owen is also brilliant with the youngsters," said Thompson. "He is always talking to them and encouraging them. He is very popular in the dressing room.

"Even to the end he, as well as Jeff Smith, were coming to all the away games and showing their support.

"The pair of them have been absolutely first class in their recoveries and I have to thank them for that.

"Owen has impressed everyone in the organisation and we are all glad he is back. He wants to help the club get back to where we should be.

"I have been planning for a while for next season and searching for the right kind of players and personalities."

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