Giants 'rebuild' underway after Playoffs

Published Monday, 07 April 2014
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After an ultimately disappointing weekend for the Belfast Giants, Todd Kelman has told UTV Sport that a number of key players have already been secured as part of the team rebuild for next season.

Giants 'rebuild' underway after Playoffs
The focus is already moving from the Playoffs to what next season has in store. (© Michael Cooper)

The General Manager admitted that the 3-2 Playoffs defeat at the hands of the Sheffield Steelers in overtime was hard to take after the success of the Giants in the Elite League.

But according to Kelman, speaking just after the team's flight touched down in Belfast on Monday, it's already time to move on from events in Nottingham.

"People ask me who's coming back and, a couple of weeks ago, I probably would have said: 'I want everyone back.' The reality is that this weekend opened my eyes to a lot of things," he said.

"I think some of the guys didn't have their best weekend - maybe it was nerves, maybe it was the fact that it was the biggest stage of the season.

"You gotta step up. You want your big game players to step up. I thought Sheffield's big game players did and some of ours didn't."

Kevin Saurette’s back. Evan Cheverie’s back. Colin Shields, Davey Phillips, Darryl Lloyd …

Todd Kelman, Belfast Giants

According to Kelman, while the core of the current team is strong, there are probably four or five changes to be made.

He added: "I've approached a lot of the guys and they have their offers, and I expect to have a few more signed up this week.

"I don't like to sit around and let them go home and think about it - I want our key guys back already and I want them signed up as soon as possible, so that we can start to build again."

In the wake of Sunday's game, the Giants' all-time leading goal scorer and Man of the Match Colin Shields told UTV his side simply hadn't buried their chances.

Reflecting on the absence from the ice of captain Adam Keefe and Craig Peacock, both through injury, he added: "Those are two key guys for our team.

"Keefer on that third line, banging and crashing - he's the heart of our team. And Craig on the powerplay, he scores a lot of big goals for us.

"But you can't make excuses. We've got enough guys in there to get the job done and it's one of those things where it was a close game, it could have went either way, and it just didn't go our way."

The fans were great all weekend. The people who travel over always support us, win or lose.

Colin Shields

Belfast Giants Head Coach Paul Adey told UTV that he felt his team deserved better from a hard-fought game in which they were "the better side".

However, he added that the team may have been the victim of their own success.

"We did an amazing job in the league campaign and finished early," Adey said.

"It probably hurt us a little bit because, once we won it, it was tougher to be motivated every game. I don't think we played our best after that."

But all the Giants have been full of praise for their fans before heading off for the summer break - both those who pack the Odyssey for their home games and the dedicated travelling contingent.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
2 Comments
Giants fan in NI wrote (135 days ago):
great attitude, getting right back to business and building for next season. i'm glad to see those names thrown out already for returns, especially saurette and shields and I'm hoping peaks and keefe are quick to recover and sign up soon too!!!
Mario giant in Newtownabbey wrote (136 days ago):
Good start to the signings todd
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