Here's how you can help Belfast get the NHL's attention, says excited Giants coach Keefe
Belfast Giants Head Coach Adam Keefe couldn't really be any more excited about the prospect of NHL hockey coming to Belfast - and he wants you to feel the same way.
After the league's Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played pre-season fixtures in Beijing and Shanghai last week, the NHL is intent on increasing its international appeal. With that has come talk of more fixures taking place abroad and thescore.com had a look at three cities that could be next on the NHL's list.
Along with Gangneung in South Korea and Norway's Hamar, the website pin-pointed Belfast as a desirable destination. The suggestion really seems to have gone down well with the Giants and their Head Coach, who is appealing to fans to play their part in making the dream a reality.
“When I read (the article), of course I'm going to share it on social media, I want people to read it, I want people to get excited and get on board," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "Send your tweets to the NHL, send all that to them in any way you can. That's the way forward.
"We should start to build some buzz around something like that and get the NHL’s attention. We already have it with the Boston Bruins coming over, and now with the Friendship Four and the World Championships our game night staff and our office staff and ownership have proven they can host tournaments of that magnitude.
“I don't think it's a far stretch that you will see another NHL team back in Belfast. Whether they'll be playing against the Belfast Giants or another NHL team is to be seen, but it's something I think will happen again in the future.”
Any sort of match involving an NHL team, Keefe says, could prove a significant boost to Belfast and the Elite League as a whole.
“It's a great buzz to have around this city, around this league and around ice hockey in the UK,” he said.
“If we could host something like that it's not only great for Belfast but it's great for the entire league and the entire United Kingdom to have a team over here and playing here.
“It'd be great for our fanbase down south to come up and see a game of that top notch, the Premiership of ice hockey. It'd be amazing. There are endless possibilities in what it could provide this city in terms of tourism and just excitement around it."
Belfast Telegraph Digital