League – 55
Challenge Cup – 7
Play Offs – 3
Total Goals: 2 / Total Assists: 8 / Total PIMs: 131
Disappointing season for Lepine. I think the majority of the fanbase had hoped that we would get a similar version of Lepine to the one we had before he left however it has not quite turned out that way. Whether that is because he has changed as a player or that the league has changed since he was last here and he has had to adapt. On a Uni deal so will likely be back next season.
For me personally Lepine has performed far below the level I expected him to when his return to Nottingham was announced. Lepine has looked nowhere near the level he was at during his last season with the club despite having played at a higher level in the years between. I personally wouldn’t re-sign him for next season but I understand he is on a Uni deal so he will likely return.
Heralded by many, including me, as one of the best signings anywhere of the season, safe to say it’s been one of huge disappointment. They do say “never go back” but whether it’s the improvement to the game in the EIHL or his advancing age, Gui looked a shadow of the player that was a huge piece in the title winning puzzle in his last spell. Maybe it was the added burden of wearing the “C”, I don’t think we’ll ever know. He’s on a Uni Deal so should be back next year, but he needs to step up.
I’m not going to lie; when news broke Lepine was to return to the club, I along with many others who happily recall his first stint, were delighted with his capture. Sadly that was the high watermark, and he never hit the heights that he previously attained to. The physicality synonymous with Gui’s game seemed to go missing after the first month or so, and he was often exposed in poor positions when opponents closed in on the Panthers net with his lack of skating speed unable to bail him out. Unfortunately the aura and X-factor Lepine brought to Panthers first-time around which allowed his colleagues the freedom to express themselves simply wasn’t there and it’s difficult to see this reappearing during 2019-20 with another year of knocks, niggles and injuries under his belt.
Wasn’t there some fuss, fanfare and a fair bit of excitement when this guy (or Gui) was announced? I think there were some misty eyes looking back on his first term with us and it added fuel to the notion that we were going to see a hard-hitting, entertaining team but he’s not the same player that left us. He’s not fighting nearly as much as he used to but that may speak to the way the game has changed as much as Lepine’s style of play, the notable checks didn’t really come from him and it may be that the ‘C’ on his jersey threw him into the spotlight but there were errors in his all round play, daft penalties taken and I can’t personally recall leaving a game thinking that he’d put in a ‘Captain’s performance’.