Belfast Giants bring in winger Jordan Smotherman to aid title push
The Belfast Giants have made a big statement in the Elite League title race by bringing in former NHL winger Jordan Smotherman until the end of the season.
The 32-year-old American joins from German side Iserlohn Roosters (DEL) and will go straight into the line-up for today's game against the Nottingham Panthers (face-off 4pm).
Smotherman wasn't even due to be in Belfast until Monday, however upon seeing Patrick Dwyer come off injured in last night's game against Coventry, he pushed up his flight to this morning to join the team early.
Dwyer is still a gameday decision for the game against Nottingham, but Smotherman is ready to step in if he is ruled out.
"Jordan is a player we had been tracking and it was a no brainer when we were able to bring him in for the remainder of the season," said head coach Adam Keefe.
"He is big forward who will add offence to our team and I know Giants fans will love his work ethic too."
As far as mid-season signings go, he's a healthy addition too.
Boasting four NHL games for the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, the Oregon native has played the majority of his career in the AHL where he made 373 appearances and won the Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves before trying his luck in Europe.
Smotherman initially came over to play in Denmark before having spells in elite leagues such as the Swedish Hockey League, the Finnish Liiga and, most recently, the German DEL with Iserlohn.
The 32-year-old is only a year removed from a point-a-game season with the Manchester Monarch's in America's ECHL, where he was named to their All-Star team at the end of the season.
At 6'3", he'll bring a physical presence to the Giants' line-up at a time where the title race has reached fever pitch, with the gap between the leading Cardiff Devils and the Giants now just three points.
Belfast Telegraph Digital