Stena Line Belfast Giants Head of Hockey Operations Steve Thornton believes that Kevin Westgarth will bring “A physical presence and leadership” to the Giants roster – with his newest signing going straight into the lineup for Saturday’s clash with the Cardiff Devils at the Odyssey Arena, face-off7pm.
“He has won a Stanley Cup and has played the past five or six years in the NHL. He’s a smart guy – a Princeton ‘Grad’ and put up good numbers in college as well as the AHL.”
Injuries have been a common occurrence for Thornton’s team this season and hopes to have other Elite League teams altering their gameplans due to Westgarth’s arrival,
“I think teams’ gameplans when they see us as defending champions, when they look at us on paper – they talk about ‘running us’ and being physical and I wanted to see this season what the other teams had. Because of the injuries this season and they way we are getting injuries – now other teams will think twice before they play that style against us and that is a huge asset for us.”
Westgarth’s five season’s spent in the top league in the world, the NHL, with the Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames have earned him a reputation as a physical presence and Thornton expects the newest Giant to also bring offence to the Belfast Giants – starting this Saturday night in Belfast against the Cardiff Devils,
“He’s had a specific role in the NHL – he plays, which has kept him in the league. He doesn’t just fight, but he can fight – and he has fought the heavy weights. Over here on the big ice, he’s going to get more ice time and we’ll be able to use him on the powerplay and in front of the net. He’ll cause havoc with D-men and his attitude is top notch. He has a high compete level and a great work ethic and he’s going to be a great guy for us to have in our locker room.”
Good seats are still available for Kevin Westgarth’s debut this Saturday night at the Odyssey Arena when the Giants take on the Cardiff Devils. Tickets available to buy from the Arena Box Office in person, by calling (028) 9073 9074 or online at Ticketmaster.
Thanks for all the Welcome messages, can't wait to see you all at the Odyssey next weekend!
— Kevin Westgarth (@KWesty19) October 30, 2014
— Love Belfast ❤️ (@love_belfast) November 3, 2014