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Giants hope Rutherford can provide timely spark

By Stuart McKinley

Published 18/01/2016

On board: David Rutherford has joined up with the Giants
On board: David Rutherford has joined up with the Giants

The Belfast Giants beat two other clubs to the signature of David Rutherford because they were able to strike a financial agreement with the Edinburgh Capitals while the others couldn't.

The Giants targeted Rutherford as the man they wanted to spark the team's faltering Elite League title challenge and although there was strong interest from a team in Hungary and another in the north-American East Coast Hockey League, the 28-year-old is now in Belfast preparing to make his debut in the Challenge Cup quarter-final against Manchester Storm on Wednesday night.

After the Giants' losing streak reached four games on Saturday night when they lost 5-3 away to the Cardiff Devils, player-coach Derrick Walser will be hungry to get Rutherford - who has averaged either a goal or an assist in every game this season for Edinburgh - into his line-up.

Rutherford had asked the Capitals to release him from his contract, but they were reluctant to let him go without some form of compensation and when that was forthcoming from the Giants, the move was quickly pushed through.

Edinburgh Capitals owner Scott Neil said: "David approached me and he explained that he wanted to leave to join a Hungarian club.

"We spoke to that club, but they were unable to provide any compensation for David's registration, travel, equipment, etc.

"David was clear that he wanted to leave and he explained that he would also consider a return to North America as an alternative.

"Had he returned to North America, we would have again received no compensation.

"Realising that we had no option we approached an agent to whom we are close and he was able to come to an agreement which worked for David, for us and for Belfast.

"Naturally we're disappointed to see David leave, but we wish him well in his future career."

The Giants have dropped to sixth in the table after the defeat in Cardiff and Dundee Stars' overtime loss to Coventry.

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