If there’s such a thing as redemption through ice hockey then Chris Lawrence’s season is it. This time last year I never wanted to see him in a Panthers shirt again after a particularly frustrating season but now he’d be one of the first names I’d be writing on the team sheet. What’s the difference? For me, it’s the way he’s been used. This year he’s been played in a very different role mainly on the energy line alongside Janssen and Farmer and we’ve seen a very different side to him. Another player who turned up massively for the play-offs and had a hand in both goals in the final. He may not have got an assist on the second but if he hadn’t planted himself in front of Stewart would it have gone in? He’s also probably the only player to win a grand slam (the conferences don’t count) with three teams in a single season.
Chris Lawrence mark 2 I liked very much. While he had his moments the previous season I wasn’t too bothered about him returning, however after his latest stint in Panthers colours I’d hope the management have offered him a contract to return.
He clearly is a role player and this season he played that role very well. Use him like this rather than being the go to guy and I think we have a great player on our hands.
What a difference a year makes. Last year he was signed as a decent winger for a second or third line, but ended up being our top point scorer in a poor team, and that was the problem. Spent the start of the season bouncing around the league before returning to Nottingham and becoming a revelation at times. When used in the right capacity he is a force to be reckoned with. Big and strong and a decent eye for goal, really found his feet this season.
Does Chris Lawrence have an identical twin because we’ve seen two different Chris Lawrence’s in the past 2 seasons. There is no doubt that Chris Lawrence can put a puck in the back of a net but what impressed me so much this year was his effort. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure Chris Lawrence was that type of player. Was there too much pressure on him last year? Did his time at Coventry and Sheffield give him motivation? Who knows but the Chris Lawrence we saw this season, I would re-sign because playing like that I’m not sure many players can stop him. It is widely known that he says Corey Neilson gets the best out of him, so let’s see what happens.
Oh how we laughed when Lawrence was announced as signing for the Blaze, he didn’t do well and it was no surprise when the Blaze released him, it was a surprise when he signed for the Steelers, a bigger one when they also let him go and then the merry-go-round stopped in Nottingham.
Last season Chris Lawrence divided the fanbase but this season Chris Lawrence has been a totally different prospect, his goal production might not be anything like what it was last season but the effort level is streets ahead and he’s been a great player to watch, especially on a line with Farmer and Janssen.
In short, I would be happy to have this seasons Chris Lawrence back again.