Giants taking steps to boost their attacking options for Elite challenge
Belfast Giants player-coach Derrick Walser wants his team to fight for the Elite League title this season - but not literally.
While other Elite League teams have added to their toughness over the summer, Walser has focused on his offence, with signings based on speed and scoring in forwards Steve Saviano, Alex Foster and Blair Riley.
Riley - who hasn't yet arrived in Belfast while his new team-mates prepare for this weekend's opening friendly fixtures against the Fischtown Pinguins of Germany at the SSE Arena (tonight 7pm, tomorrow 4pm) - can fight, as can Matt Nickerson and captain Adam Keefe, but Walser wants points first after finishing fourth last season.
"There is always a time and place for it, but one thing I do like about the guys that we have is that they contribute more than just fisticuffs," said Walser.
"It's going to happen, but for us it is winning the game first. That is the most important thing. You want to win first, as long as you get the two points and get out, who cares? Those guys put their lives at risk
"I will never call a guy in my team and send him out to take care of another guy.
"It is up to our team to do it when it's time, if they don't want to then too bad, suck it up and get through it."
Defenceman Ryan Martinelli will make his Giants debut against one of his former clubs and goaltender Jackson Whistle, son of the Giants first ever coach Dave, will also see some ice time.