Sheffield Steelers swoop for two more Belfast Giants players
The Sheffield Steelers are set to announce the signings of Belfast Giants defensemen Ryan Martinelli and Kevin Raine for the new Elite League campaign.
The pair were out of contract at the end of the season and are believed to have been snapped up by the Giants' bitter rivals.
It's another blow for the Giants, who have already seen Team GB netminder Jackson Whistle replace teal for orange this summer, and have now lost two of their blue-liners.
Martinelli (31) had spent two years in Belfast after joining from EBEL side Fehervar AV19 and was one of the Giants' premier d-men, boasting a physical presence at the back.
The 6'5" Ontario native scored just four goals and 34 points in 108 contests for Adam Keefe's side but was known more for his shutdown style than his two-way capabilities.
Meanwhile, Raine spent just one season with the team where he managed just one goal and 11 points in 48 games.
It was a solid year for the 25-year old AHL veteran, who brought a resolute defensive game to the Challenge Cup champions as another defensive-minded player.
Experienced defenseman Cole Jarrett is also expected to depart the SSE Arena after one season with Belfast, with Scottish side Braehead Clan interested.
The one-time NHL player with the New York Islanders wore the "A" with the Giants last season, scoring three goals and 14 points in 47 appearances.
However, Jarrett (35) has found himself without a job on the left side of the Belfast defense this season after the signing of British international Paul Swindlehurst and the re-signing of Jim Vandermeer and Mark Garside.
With the arrival of Kendall McFaull to the Giants' blue-line yesterday, Adam Keefe has begun to strengthen the right side of his defensive corps as well after shoring up the left side early.
New signing Josh Roach can also cover on defense as well, although the likelihood is Belfast are still in the market for two or three more bodies in the back division ahead of the new campaign.
Belfast Telegraph Digital