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Former NHL star Dwyer has Giant ambition

 

By Stuart McKinley

Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe has added major experience to his offensive line-up by signing a forward with over 400 NHL games under his belt.

Twelve months after failing to get a contract over the line for Patrick Dwyer, the Giants have managed to bring him to Belfast just three years after his last appearance in 'The Show'.

The 35-year-old has an impressive CV, having been selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fourth round of the NHL draft back in 2002 after winning the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year award the previous season. Washington state native Dwyer eventually made it to the top and spent seven seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, playing 418 games.

He comes to Belfast after spending the 2015-16 season with MODO Sweden before helping the Charlotte Checkers to the American Hockey League play-offs, from where he moved on to Soenderjyske in Denmark last season.

"From early on in my career, Belfast was always a place that I was intrigued to come and play in. We almost came to an agreement last summer, however I am excited this year to get to go and play for the Giants," said Dwyer.

"I am a hard working guy whether it is on the forecheck or on defence. I can put up points too and enjoy helping on the powerplay. I am willing to do whatever we need to do to hoist some championships in Belfast."

Dwyer represented the USA at the 2012 World Championships, scoring in a memorable 5-4 victory over Canada as the Americans came seventh.

Meanwhile Kevin Raine has confirmed his exit from the Belfast Giants - and the Elite League. The defenceman has signed a try-out contract with Austrian club Villacher.

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