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The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Kevin Westgarth, a Stanley Cup Champion with the LA Kings – having his name engraved on the cup following the 2011/12 NHL season. Westgarth arrives in Belfast having played in the NHL in each of the past five seasons with a total of 169 NHL games played, spent with the LA Kings, Caroline Hurricanes and the Calgary Flames.

The forward, from Ontario, Canada played in Princetown University for four seasons from 2003-2007 followed by a move up to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL before his first season in the NHL, spending part of the 2008/09 season with the LA Kings. Two more seasons were spent in the AHL with Manchester before he once again iced for the LA Kings when, in his third season with the franchise, he lifted the Stanley Cup following the Kings’ Game 6 win over the New Jersey Devils on 11th June 2012.
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Afterwards, Westgarth moved on to the Carolina Hurricanes, playing 43 times before being traded to the Calgary Flames last season on 30th December 2013, icing a further 36 times for the Canadian franchise.

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Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey Operations for the Stena Line Belfast Giants had been tracking Kevin Westgarth for some time and was pleased to finally get his man,

“We’ve been talking to him for a while, trying to get him to come over and we were trying to remain patient because guys like this who can be a presence and can also play are hard to find – so he was definitely worth waiting for. I think he’s going to be a real force for us.”

And when asked what the fans of the Belfast Giants can expect with Kevin Westgarth, Thornton had this to say,

“He’ll be a presence. He’s played in the top league in the world and he’s a big guy who will keep other teams honest. He will be able to contribute offensively – putting up good numbers in college and the AHL and he’s playing in the NHL, not just sitting on the bench.”

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“He’s going to be a guy that the Belfast fans are going to like – playing with his heart on his sleeve. He stands up for his teammates and hits the dirty areas – and that’s exactly what he’ll do for the Giants.”

The Stena Line Belfast Giants return to action on Friday night at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast when they take on the Braehead Clan, face-off 7pm.
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