Jeff Mason exits Giants to join the Dundee Stars

The Stena Line Belfast Giants have confirmed that assistant coach Jeff Mason is leaving the club to take up a new role this summer.

By Darryl Armitage
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 9:59 am

Massachusetts born Mason has called Belfast home for over a decade.

The former Belfast Giants defenceman first joined the team in 2010 under then-coach Doug Christiansen and, save for a brief stint in Norway back in 2012, spent eight seasons patrolling the blue line in teal.

Known for his smooth skating, two-way play and leadership skills, ‘Mase,’ as he is known to fans and friends, clinched two EIHL League Championships and a Challenge Cup for the Teal Army before the curtain came down on his playing career in 2018.

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Belfast Giants assistant coach Jeff Mason (right) alongside head coach Adam Keefe during a game in last season’s Elite Ice Hockey League. Mason’s departure from the Giants to take up a new role with the Dundee Stars was announced last weekend

Having completed his second full season as Adam Keefe’s assistant in 2021-22, Mason has played a pivotal role for the Giants on and off the ice, leading on community outreach initiatives in recent years.

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Thornton, head of hockey for the Belfast Giants said: “For over a decade, Jeff has been an integral part of this team and has played a critical role on the ice but also on the far-reaching impact this club has out in the community.

“Whilst we are incredibly sorry to see him go, this is a great opportunity for Jeff personally and professionally and we wish him well.

“We take pride when we progress players onto Europe, or into roles in the ‘real world’ and this is no different, it is a great opportunity for Jeff.

Belfast Giants’ Steve Saviano and Jeff Mason during Mark Garside’s Testimonial at the SSE Arena

“On behalf of the organisation, coaching staff, and all the players, fans and community groups that have worked with Jeff over the last 11 years, I would like to thank him for the incredible contribution he has made.

“We wish him every continued success in his new role.”

Jeff Mason said: “It’s hard to adequately express my gratitude to the Giants organisation, the fans, and the city of Belfast for the last 11 years.

“I could never have imagined the impact the people, city, and team would have on my life.

Former Giants assistant coach Jeff Mason

“I have watched the organisation grow to be a standard bearer in professional sports and have been privileged to have worked for and with some incredible people along the way.

“My thanks go out to the players that allowed me to coach them and Robert and Steve for allowing me the opportunity to help lead this team both on the ice and also out in the community, where the organisation is doing incredible work.

“To Taff, thanks for always looking after me. To two long-time friends, Keefer and Stewy, I could not have asked for two better people to begin my coaching journey with, thanks for all the memories and for making me a better coach.”

Mason concluded: “From my family and I, thank you fans, volunteers, and everyone throughout the organisation. You are all truly special!”

Mewanwhile. Dundee Stars director, Steve Ward said: “We are delighted to have Jeff join our club as both our head coach and general manager.

“A lot of work has been done both on and off the ice over the past five years to develop the organisation and we believe Jeff is the ideal candidate to continue this.

“It is a very exciting time to be a Dundee Stars fan and we are excited to have our fans be part of that journey with us”.

Last week it was also confirmed that ex Dundee coach Pacha Omar had been appointed CEO with the Nottingham Panthers.

GB arrive in Tampere, Finland, for World Championship

Great Britain have arrived at their base in Tampere ahead of the World Championship in Finland which gets under way this weekend.

GB flew in to Finland from Birmingham this morning and after checking-in to the hotel and some lunch, they were straight on the ice in the stunning surroundings of the Nokia Arena.

Preparations continued around them as the arena gets ready to host thousands of supporters and hundreds of media from around the world.

GB begin their World Championship campaign on Saturday against Czech Republic.

The game will be live on FreeSports with six-time Olympic broadcaster Aaron Murphy and former GB forward Paul Adey who won 55 caps between 1995 and 2001, scoring 28 goals and contributing 24 assists for 52 points.

Great Britain World Championship schedule:
Saturday 14th May 2022 – Czech Republic v Great Britain 16.20 (14.20 UK time)
Sunday 15th May 2022 – Norway v Great Britain 12.20 (10.20 UK time)
Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Sweden v Great Britain 20.20 (18.20 UK time)
Thursday 19th May 2022 – Great Britain v USA 16.20 (14.20 UK time)
Friday 20th May 2022 – Great Britain v Finland 16.20 (14.20 UK time)
Sunday 22nd May 2022 – Great Britain v Latvia 16.20 (14.20 UK time)
Monday 23rd May 2022 – Austria v Great Britain 20.20 (18.20 UK time)