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Belfast Giants have work cut out replacing Kelman

When Todd Kelman announced Steve Thornton's return as coach of the Belfast Giants in late April, the club's general manager proclaimed that he 'expected Thornton to be the last coach he would employ.'

Lo and behold, just over six weeks later, Kelman's declaration has come true.

At the time everyone who was at the public unveiling in W5 was thinking Kelman was predicting he and Thornton would be together in Belfast for a long time – there was no reason to believe any differently.

What they didn't know was that before the start of the season one of the pair would be gone, with Kelman announcing that he is part of a consortium that is about to purchase the Cardiff Devils.

After spending 14 years in Belfast – the vast majority of his adult life has been in Northern Ireland – Kelman hasn't left on a whim.

He has a passion for this place, but sometimes in life opportunities that come up can't be missed and the Giants' loss will be very much the Devils' gain.

The impact that the Calgary native made on the ice during seven years as a player – winning two league championships and a Play-off title – has been matched by the mark he has made on the club since he started to run it in 2007.

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Anyone who has been to a Giants home game in that time will have heard his voice, either whipping up the fans or giving out prizes.

As a player his spot was filled quickly enough, but the Giants have a job on their hands finding an adequate replacement this time.

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