The Belfast Giants have signed up returnee Stephen Murphy and a newcomer with a connection to the team in Jackson Whistle as their starting netminders for the new season.
Scottish Giants veteran Murphy will rack up his eighth season in teal, while Whistle – son of the team’s first ever head coach Dave Whistle – joins from the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
Murphy, a Team GB international, has served as the backbone of the team during his time in Belfast and has collected All-Star awards and won the British Netminder of the Year award eight times.
He first signed from the Manchester Phoenix in 2009, with the Giants winning their second Playoff Championship at the end of his first season when the netminder starred in the penalty shots win.
“Murphy has been the backbone of our organisation since I signed him back in 2009 and has backstopped us to a Playoff title as well as two Elite League championships,” Steve Thornton said.
The Giants’ Head of Hockey Operations also welcomed 21-year-old Whistle into the team as a non-import who played his junior hockey in the UK.
After making his debut with the Vancouver Giants at the age of 16, he then spent four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets.
Thornton said: “I’m excited to bring Jackson Whistle to Belfast.
“First and foremost, he is an excellent goalie with impressive stats in the WHL for the Kelowna Rockets and helped them win the championship in 2015.
“He is a big goalie at 6ft 1ins and I expect him to compete with Stephen Murphy for the starting netminding duties this season.”