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Belfast Giants forward Rickard Palmberg leaves club to pursue SHL shot with Oskarshamn

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Belfast Giants centre Rickard Palmberg in action against the Glasgow Clan at the SSE Arena (William Cherry/Presseye)

Belfast Giants centre Rickard Palmberg in action against the Glasgow Clan at the SSE Arena (William Cherry/Presseye)

William Cherry/Presseye

Belfast Giants centre Rickard Palmberg in action against the Glasgow Clan at the SSE Arena (William Cherry/Presseye)

The Belfast Giants have been dealt a blow in their Elite League title race with the loss of Swedish centre Rickard Palmberg.

The 30-year-old forward has agreed a one-and-a-half year deal to join SHL outfit IK Oskarshamn for the rest of the season and next.

Palmberg will officially join Oskarshamn on February 1, making this his final weekend for the Giants, however the centre is currently believed to be unavailable due to injury.

That means in all likelihood he has played his final game in teal before returning back to his homeland to help with Oskarshamn's relegation battle.

The Swedes are currently bottom of the SHL and are five points adrift in the relegation places in a three-way battle for the drop with Linkopings and Leksands.

The deal had long been rumoured, with Swedish outlets mooting the potential move as far back as Christmas Eve.

Palmberg was very effective for the Giants in his brief time with the club, joining from Czech side Berani Zlin midway through December.

The Swedish centre scored six goals and 11 points in just 10 Elite League matches, with the highlight a hat-trick against the Glasgow Clan at the SSE Arena.

Belfast Telegraph