Belfast Giants shortlisted for Club of the Year at 2022 Fenix Outdoor Euro Hockey Awards

The Stena Line Belfast Giants are in the running for a prestigious European Hockey Award.

Next month, the Giants will go head-to-head with four other top European clubs for the coveted ‘Club of the Year’ title at the 2022 Fenix Outdoor & Warrior European Hockey Awards, organised by The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (E.H.C.)

The Belfast Giants have been nominated in recognition of their ‘national dominance combined with huge social impact in Belfast’. Other nominees in the Club of the Year Category include, Oceláři Třinec (CZE), Rögle BK (SWE), Tappara Tampere (FIN), and EV Zug (SUI).

The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs was formally founded in June 2016 at the E.H.C.’s first Annual General Meeting in Berlin, by some 70 clubs from 13 European countries. Ice hockey thus became the third major European team sport, after football’s European Club Association (ECA) and Forum Club Handball (FCH), to establish a club alliance with the mandate to look after and promote the interests of the professional hockey clubs and represent them internationally. The E.H.C. currently has 87 member clubs from 16 European countries.

Steve Thornton, head of hockey for the Belfast Giants said: “As an organisation, we are honoured to be nominated for Club of the Year at the 2022 Fenix Outdoor Euro Hockey Awards. To be recognised for our impact, both on and off the ice, alongside these top European clubs is an achievement in itself, and we look forward to the ceremony in Prague in June.”

Alongside Club of the Year, other award categories include Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and the Warrior Career Excellence Award. The Fenix Outdoor European Hockey Awards Ceremony will take place in Prague on 15 June, in conjunction with the E.H.C. Annual General Meeting.

Fans can now cast their votes for the Giants, in the public voting element of the competition at www.eurohockeyclubs.com. Fan voting is supplementary to the E.H.C. Expert Panel.

The full list of nominees for the 2022 Fenix Outdoor & Warrior European Hockey Awards are:

Young Player of the Year – presented by Fjällräven

  • Simon Edvinsson (Frölunda HC, SWE) – dominant top-4 D-man avg. 20 mins on top team
  • Šimon Nemec (HK Nitra, SVK) – a force at 18, Olympic medal, top-D in Slovak playoffs, 17pts/19GP
  • Aatu Räty (Jukurit, FIN) – excelled when loaned to Jukurit, 40pts/41GP, 2nd in team scoring at 19
  • Juraj Slafkovský (TPS Turku, FIN) – Olympic MVP at 17, grew into impact forward at TPS
  • Elmer Söderblom (Frölunda HC, SWE) – led team scoring, SHL in 5-on-5 scoring w/ 21G, 9 GWG

Coach of the Year – presented by Globetrotter

  • Cam Abbott (Rögle BK, SWE) – led team to its first regular season win, crowned with CHL-title
  • Serge Aubin (Eisbären Berlin, GER) – proved 2021 Covid-title was no fluke, 2nd straight title
  • Dan Tangnes (EV Zug, SUI) – has made winner from underachiever, rallied back from 0-3 in final Jussi Tapola (Tappara Tampere, FIN) – avg. almost 2pts/game, built national & Euro powerhouse
  • Václav Varadá (Oceláři Třinec, CZE) – led club to 3rd straight title, never missed final in his 5 years

Club of the Year – presented by Hanwag

  • Belfast Giants (GBR) – national dominance combined with huge social impact in Belfast
  • Oceláři Třinec (CZE) – the only Euro top-league club with a title hat-trick, four straight finals
  • Rögle BK (SWE) – club’s first title was European championship, a unique accomplishment
  • Tappara Tampere (FIN) – CHL-final was added to a perfect national season, domestic double
  • EV Zug (SUI) – first major national league club in 80 years to rally back from 0-3 in playoff final

Warrior Career Excellence Award

The Warrior Career Excellence Award is annually presented to the player who during his or her career has best exemplified the qualities of sportsmanship and dedication combined with community service and high standard of playing ability.

  • Andres Ambühl (HC Davos, SUI) – ageless wonder; 5 Olympics, 17 Worlds, 6 national titles Roman Červenka (R-Jona Lakers, SUI) – at 36, led Swiss league w/ 64pts in 52GP
  • Sebastian Fechner (Wolfsburg, GER) – ends 20-yr DEL-career at 40, with 3rd most goals w/ 302
  • Thomas Koch (KAC Klagenfurt, AUT) – club icon extends contract at 38; 877GP, 681pts, 17 seasons
  • Joakim Lindström (Skellefteå AIK, SWE) – SHL best scorer in 2010s, still a force at 38, cult figure
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