Nottingham start season with Challenge Cup return

Samuel Tremblay of Manchester Storm (L) and Mathieu Lemay of Nottingham Panthers look on during the Adam Johnson Memorial Game
Nottingham Panthers hosted Manchester Storm in a memorial game for the late Adam Johnson before returning to competitive action a month after the player's death [Getty Images]

Nottingham Panthers will start the 2024-25 season with a return to the Challenge Cup after withdrawing from the competition last term.

The Panthers pulled out midway through the group stage last season following the death of Adam Johnson, who suffered a fatal neck injury from a skate during a Challenge Cup match against Sheffield Steelers on 28 October.

Nottingham begin their campaign in Altrincham against Manchester Storm on Friday, 13 September, with their first home game a day later against Guildford Flames.

The Challenge Cup, which the Panthers have won a record eight times, will also be the stage for new head coach Danny Stewart's first meeting with former club Coventry Blaze.

Nottingham first host the Blaze on 21 September and a week later they visit Coventry, where Stewart spent more than a decade as a player and coach over two spells.

Panthers' first Elite Ice Hockey League game of the season will be a trip to Scotland to face Glasgow Clan on Wednesday, 2 October.