Belfast Giants retire Kelman's jersey

Published Sunday, 01 September 2013
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Belfast Giants General Manager Todd Kelman has been honoured with the retirement of his number 44 jersey.

Kelman, who has worn the jersey on 419 occasions for the Giants across eight seasons, makes the sixth jersey retirement in the organisation's history.

He left the ice as the all-time leader in games played, and as the leading scoring defenceman with 73 goals and 141 assists.

Since taking up the role of General Manager seven years ago, the Giants have won all four major titles in the Elite League.

Officially retiring the jersey, former Giant teammate and friend of Kelman's, Colin Ward, said: "I recently found out an amazing fact - 75% of players who have worked under Todd Kelman as General Manager have won a championship.

"This is remarkable and I am not one bit surprised by this. Todd was a great player for the Giants organisation and has been an even better General Manager since taking over in 2007.

"I am grateful to have the opportunity to retire his jersey and although Todd joins Shane Johnson, Paxton Schulte, Rob Stewart, Graeme Walton and myself in having our jerseys retired, it is truly our honour to have our jerseys retired alongside him."

Kelman, who was there with his son Matteo, said he was pleased to receive the honour.

He said: "It is my pleasure to be your General Manager of your wonderful city and I'm happy to now call it mine & my family's city.

"Belfast has been very good to me and I love the people here. It is only right to thank one very important person - Jim Gillespie.

"Without Jim's influence on me and giving me this job, I certainly would not be where I am today. More importantly without Jim Gillespie there would be no Belfast Giants."

The Giants went on to win their preseason friendly against Bolzano Foxes 6-3. They face each other again on Sunday at 2.30pm.

© UTV News
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