WHEN the call came to ask Jordan Krestanovich to return to Glasgow to take part in Matt Haywood’s Testimonial for Glasgow Clan last November, it was unexpected but an invitation he could not turn down.

Krestanovich was one of the first players with NHL experience to come to the Clan to play and his signing 10 years ago this month was one that got the Purple Army very excited.

In his two-and-a-half years with the club as a player, captain and coach, he developed a love for the west of Scotland that has never left him.

“It felt good to be back and I didn’t think I would ever get the opportunity to return,” he said. “When Matt Haywood called to invite me, it was an honour. My son was born in Paisley so Braehead will always have a special place in my heart. That’ll never change.

“My time in Glasgow was special. I’d been around Europe and at the time I was starting to come to the end of my career. After [player-coach] Bruce Richardson called me, I arrived and got settled in and I knew it was going to be a good spot for me. I had three great years there and made some great memories.”

Krestanovich, now working in a family construction business in Vancouver, was a quiet man off the ice, but he always had time for the Purple Army who appreciated and loved everything he did for the team.

When he left in 2013, it closed the door on a career that saw him grace the arenas of the NHL with Colorado Avalanche, and while his time in Scotland ended in the disappointment of being demoted from the coach’s role, he has happy memories of his partnership with Jade Galbraith in his second season.

“That year, under Drew Bannister, was a really good one for both of us and that connection we had really worked, not only for ourselves, but the team as well,” he said. “I knew where he would be on the ice and although we were two completely different players, it worked really well.

“The campaign after was really difficult for me. I was the coach and it was tough. Being player-coach and having played with a lot of them the year before to being the coach, it wasn’t an easy situation.

“After I left the Clan, I was done, but in a good way. I had a great career and could have still played on, but my wife and I had bought a house and we had our son, so it kept us busy. I’d always worked with my brothers in construction so it was a natural transitional period.

“The fans meant a lot to me in my time there and I’m honest enough to admit it was the best three years of my career. They were always unbelievable and the reaction I got when I came back for Matt’s testimonial was incredible. It made it a very special night for me and for Matt as well of course.”