The new Manchester Storm worked hard all season, battling against the odds with a small squad that faced more than its fair share of injuries. Despite that, the Club improved on its season one performance, making the quarter final of the Challenge Cup, finishing 8th in the league, and securing a place in the first round of the playoffs too.
The team increased its profile locally, nationally and internationally. Hard fought exciting games brought the crowds in to see the Storm including sell out games at the shelter. Off the ice, the Club came to worldwide attention after sharing the ice with Justin Bieber (Full story and video via BBC News)
A highlight of the season for older fans was the Brad Rubachuk shirt retirement game on February 19th 2017. Brad returned to Manchester to receive the honour which also saw the modern day Storm create a new shirt in his honour … featuring of course his #41! Brad was reunited with his old team mate Mike Morin bringing back happy memories for everyone.
The 2016/17 proved to the last for player/coach Pacha Omar. In May 2017 it was announced that he was leaving the Club and that the new coach would be Ryan Finnerty, previously at Braehead Clan. Meanwhile, The Storm were once again sold on, this time to a new consortium led by Glaswegian businessman, Gordon Greig.
These moves come ahead of the 2017/18 season where EIHL will grow to twelve teams and the changes will be backed by a determination to improve on the 8th place finish … and the target will be to reach Play Off Finals weekend.
Whilst the Storm continued to thrive, the Manchester Phoenix finally folded in early 2017 after much hard work to keep the club alive.