Giants fan favourite Paul Sample is hanging up his skates. The 27 year old British forward has decided to retire from ice hockey to pursue other opportunities. Over the span of his career Sample spent two seasons with the Giants, the first in 2003-2004 when he posted 38 points in 55 games. Following his success in Belfast he moved to Sheffield and Cardiff for two seasons a piece before returning to Belfast for his final year. In the 2008-2009 season Sample appeared in 58 games, scoring three goals and posting 13 assists throughout the year.
Sample has now returned to his hometown of Newcastle, where he and his partner Lindsey welcomed their daughter Lola into the world on April 30.
Coach Thornton had this to say; “Samps is one of the best British players around, so of course I would have loved to have had him back in the line-up for another season. However, I respect his decision to retire from hockey and explore new opportunities.”
General Manager Todd Kelman expressed well wishes to Sample on behalf of everyone in the Giants organization; “Samps is a great guy and we are going to miss him in Belfast. I would say that Samps was one of my all-time favourite teammates and a big part of our team last season. Guys like him bring teams together and his true value is much more than what he ever brought to the ice. You really have to respect a guy that wants to begin a career away from ice hockey in order to provide for his family and that is the type of guy that Paul is. I know he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do. We wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.”