BELFAST GIANTS: Captain Blair Riley back on board
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the return of captain Blair Riley for the 2018/19 Elite League season - a third successive campaign.
“I know from my previous two years in Belfast that the Giants are very well supported and you could really see how much the Challenge Cup success meant to the fans, especially from the crowd that turned out at the airport on our return to the city,” said Riley in an interview with Joel Neill of A View From The Bridge. “I am excited to be able to spend at least one more year in Belfast and with a good crew of players that I am looking forward to playing with again.
“It is all about winning for me, especially when you get a taste of what we accomplished last season. I look forward to getting back and helping out in the community in Belfast. The Giants have connected so well with their fans and the community and that is very important to me.”
Six-foot Riley, from Kamloops in Canada, brings both size and firepower to the Giants offensive line-up. The 32 year old power forward arrived in Northern Ireland back in 2016 from the AHL after spending the 2015/16 season with the Stockton Heat.
In 2016/17 Riley posted 30 goals and 31 assists, good for 61 points in 56 games. At the 2016/17 Awards Night, Riley picked up both the Most Valuable Player Award as well as the Players’ Player of the Year Award.
In 2017/18 the Captain improved on his previous season with 18 goals and 57 assists, good for 75 points in 64 games. At the annual Awards Night, Riley was awarded the President’s Award named after Jim Gillespie, the Honorary Life President, and his legacy of community service which is instilled throughout the Giants organisation.
Riley’s performances throughout the Challenge Cup journey to success in 2017/18 were impressive as he helped the organisation to their first cup triumph since 2009 and a first championship in four seasons.