What a weekend it has been for Giant’s fans across the country- three signings announced across three days… and what a trio we have been given! Let’s take a look at who we will be welcoming to Belfast for the first time, and who we will be welcoming back…
First up, taking to the ice in the 2018-19 season for the first time in Belfast, we have #39, Patrick Dwyer. This six-foot right wing has had one hell of a career, and is coming to Belfast from SønderjyskE, Denmark, having played the 2017-18 with them. Dwyer’s career on the ice began in 1999, when he played two seasons with the AWHL’s Great Falls Americans, progressing on to the NCAA’s Western Michigan Univ., playing for four seasons, including one as Captain during his senior year. From here, Dwyer went through AHL teams the Chicago Wolves and the Albany River Rats before playing for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes for a total of seven seasons. This experienced player will be one to watch for the Giants, and has also expressed his excitement to be coming to us this season over Twitter, something I think is great to see from a newbie!
Welcome to Belfast, Dwyer!
Next up, we are welcoming back #25, Blair Riley. Riley was captain for the Belfast Giants
during the previous season and played an important role in the campaign for the Challenge Cup. Before coming to the Giants in 2016, Riley played for the AHL’s Stockton Heat as an Alternate Captain, having also played as such during his time with Ferris State Univ., the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the St John’s IceCaps. During his time with the Giants, he has been awarded not only Most Valuable Player and Player’s Player of the year for 2016-17, but also the President’s Award this past season. Riley tweeted his excitement and pride for coming back and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing him back for his third season! But please, don’t shave the beard off again…
Welcome back, Riley!
And finally, the re-signing I am most excited for (no offence to anyone else), #91, David Rutherford. Having had the chance to speak to Rutherford at the final home game of last season, I was uncertain of his return, but this announcement was one I was ecstatic about. Rutherford came out of retirement to rejoin the Giants on Belfast ice for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, helping bring home Silverware in the form of the Challenge Cup. That’s one hell of an incentive for coming back, Rudy! Originally coming to Belfast from the Edinburgh Capitals back in 2016, Rutherford is a fan favourite and a skilled forward who is really happy to be coming back to Belfast, taking to twitter to show is pride!
Welcome back, Rudy!
The new season is fast approaching and it’s shaping up to be a very interesting and exciting one for the Belfast Giants! What do you think?
Photo’s courtesy of belfastgiants.com, the odyssey.co.uk and all tweets included have been taken directly from player accounts on Twitter.