Big setback for Giants as Dwyer chooses to retire
Belfast Giants centre Patrick Dwyer has dealt the defending Elite League champions a major blow by confirming his retirement and joining AHL side the Charlotte Checkers as an assistant coach for next season.
The 36-year-old played only one season at the SSE Arena but was exceptional in that time, scoring 32 goals and 84 points in just 58 appearances to finish as the Giants' fourth top scorer.
The Spokane native battled through injuries during his stay in Belfast, spending two prolonged stints off the ice, but when he was on it he was an essential part of the line-up.
With an incredible 1.45 points per game, Dwyer was one of the key players in the Giants' run to three trophies last season as they won the Elite League, Challenge Cup and Ehrhardt Conference.
The forward was named in the EIHL Second All-Star team at the end of the season, one which would prove to be his last despite hopes that he would return for one more year in Belfast.
Dwyer made no secret of his desire to go into coaching at the conclusion of his career, with the offer from the Checkers proving too good for the former NHLer - who made 416 appearances for the Carolina Hurricanes - to turn down.