Home Arena: Murrayfield Ice Rink, Edinburgh, Scotland
League: Elite Legue
Colours: Blue, White
The Edinburgh Capitals may not the most famous name in British ice hockey but the team’s origins and ice hockey in the city certainly do.
The Capitals were formed in 1998 as the new team for Edinburgh, the city having been previously represented in the sport by the Murrayfield Racers. The Racers were one of the most famous names in the sport in Great Britain winning 13 league titles since the 1960’s. However with the sport modernising in the 1990’s the Racers and their old fashioned rink were left behind and after failing to secure Superleague status in 1995 the team folded. The gap that was left was eventually to be filled by the Capitals.
In 1998 the Capitals were formed by ex Racer Scott Neil and still play at the same Murrayfield rink (although with added plexi glass). That team entered the British National League and after that league folded in 2005 like all Scottish clubs the Capitals faced a dilemma. Either go into obscurity or move in to the Elite League. Unlike the other Scottish teams however the Capitals took the plunge and moved into the Elite League.
The move has not made life easier for the Capitals who have fought constant money issues and as a result have failed to be very competitive. However the Capitals did make the playoffs in 2008, 09 and 2010. The 2010 season even saw the side finish sixth in the league and record their highest number of points.
The 2011 season was a disaster however as first head coach Brad Gratton left after 4 months in charge and was followed by 8 more players before the season ended. The lowest point was an 18 – 0 defeat to the Sheffield Steelers as the team finished bottom of the table with only 6 wins.
This season however has been more promising with the side in the playoffs and battling with the Braehead Clan for the honour of top Scottish side. Despite this life will always be hard for the Edinburgh Capitals. Their rink is not as modern and they face a massive amount of competition for fans, sponsors and backing from soccer and rugby union as well as the many other attractions a capital city has to offer. Although in the face of all this the Capitals have survived and continue the tradition of ice hockey in Edinburgh.