Giants fans will see that Reddox was worth the wait, says Keefe
Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe has insisted that patience pays off after a waiting game saw them land marquee signing Liam Reddox.
The 33-year-old winger agreeing to join the defending Elite League and Challenge Cup champions from the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) was a major coup, and one of the top signings of the summer.
Reddox will make his Giants debut tonight when the team officially kick off their 20th anniversary campaign when they welcome Swedish side Mora IK to the SSE Arena for a pre-season exhibition match (7pm face-off).
And head coach Keefe has admitted that the organisation did their groundwork to sign the dual Canadian-Scottish national well in advance - two years to be precise.
"He's had a great career so far and he has a British passport, so he's always followed the league and expressed an interest in it," admitted Keefe.
"We've spoken to him the last two summers just to make sure when he's ready we had our name in the hat and we're very thankful that he's chosen Belfast as the team he wants to continue his career with.
"His playing abilities speak for themselves, so for him to choose to come in here was an important get for us."
The Giants are hoping to have their full roster available for the game tonight, however Jean Dupuy may not play after arriving in Belfast late in the week, while netminders Shane Owen and Stephen Murphy will likely split starts between tonight's game and tomorrow's second exhibition clash (4pm face-off).
While the majority of the Mora roster will be unknown to Giants fans, there is one familiar face - defenceman Philip Nyberg played for the University of Connecticut in last year's Friendship Four at the SSE Arena.
The Swedes, who were relegated from the SHL last season, also have a pair of NHL draft picks in netminder Olof Lindblom (NY Rangers) and defenceman Kristoffer Gunnarsson (Vancouver Canucks).