Stena Line Belfast Giants forward Hunter Bishop has announced his retirement from hockey.
Bishop will return to the USA immediately to focus on the Junior Head Coach/General Manager position at the Charleston Colonials that he will take up next season in his home city of Charleston, South Carolina.
The 2018/19 season was Bishop’s first in Belfast, arriving from the EBEL’s HC Innsbruck where he had played since 2015/16. The 31 year old’s totals with the Giants are five goals and 17 assists, good for 22 points in 38 games. The forward leaves Belfast having helped the organisation to it’s first ever European medal following the IIHF Continental Cup Silver the team won in January after winning the semi-final group in November.
The Giants would like to thank Hunter for his service to the Giants organisation, and wish him, Tara and Brodi well as they move back to the USA.
Bishop said: “After a few discussions with my family and Coach Keefe I’ve made a very tough decision to retire from hockey so that I can return home to focus on the Junior Head Coach/GM position I have accepted.
“It’s far harder than I ever imagined knowing that i’m done playing the game that I have loved my entire life, however I am excited about transitioning to the other side as a coach to help other young men achieve their dreams in the game that has given me so much.
“I have nothing but great things to say about the Giants Organisation and the city of Belfast. Everything is done very professionally, and I’m thankful for our time here in beautiful Northern Ireland.
“I’d like to thank my teammates for being understanding with my decision, the Giants off ice team behind the scenes who made me and my family feel welcomed the moment we arrived.
“And lastly to the fans of Belfast who make this place the best spot in the EIHL! Thank you for the great memories,”