BELFAST Giants head coach Adam Keefe has admitted his view on the last year has changed from a negative to a positive one after a giant addition to his family during the week.
Daughter Cora Keefe was born on Wednesday night to dad Adam and mum Colleen weighing in at 9lbs 3oz, and her father was delighted to welcome the newest member of the Teal Army to the world.
The Canadian moved to Belfast in 2011 to play for the team initially only for one year, but stayed on and became head coach in 2017 and then married local girl Colleen in 2018.
And now the Giants coach is a proud first-time father and he says he is thrilled that everything went smoothly.
"It's been a whirlwind first few days here. My wife did all the hard work and I'm so super proud of her and the work she did to bring home a happy, healthy baby for us," said Keefe, who added that both mother and baby are doing very well.
"I'm still lost for words and I'm pretty tired. For the tough year we had in 2020, this was an amazing bonus to find out Colleen was pregnant and to go through that whole process during lockdown and the pandemic.
"It was tricky because you want to be careful not to bring home the virus, so we were shielding to protect the baby. But it also allowed us to relax and enjoy the whole process as well. It was certainly something to occupy our time during all these lockdowns!
"I'll be home for these initial first few weeks when it'll be toughest on my wife, so I'll be able to help and take in all these special moments instead of having to prepare for games and travel for games, which is great."
And with an ice hockey head coach for a dad, it will be no surprise to learn that Cora was watching her first game at just one day old!
With no Giants games going on currently due to their season being cancelled, Keefe has been helping his brother Sheldon, the head coach of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, this season and he had a little assistant coach on Thursday night.
"It's been a fun few days, even the sleepless nights - I watched my first Leafs game with my daughter sleeping on my chest on Thursday night. One day from birth she's watching hockey!" smiles Keefe.
"It'll be nice when I can steal some hours to look after Cora and watch some NHL hockey and let my wife sleep. Now I have two reasons to watch!"