The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce that Rob Stewart will continue as the team’s Assistant Coach for the 2018/19 season with Jim Vandermeer, Jonathan Ferland and Pat Dwyer named Player/Assistant Coaches.
Rob Stewart’s long standing service to the Giants stretches back to the opening season in 2000 with his number #16 jersey retired in The SSE Arena.
In the 18 seasons of Giants existence, the team has won nine Championships and Rob Stewart, who was inducted into the Ice Hockey Journalists Hall of Fame in 2013, has been part of every single one of them, three as a player and six as a coach.
Stewart continues to be a loyal servant to the team he helped build back in 2000. He has also ensured the future of ice hockey is bright in Northern Ireland as the head coach of the Junior Giants Development Programme.
Jim Vandermeer, a 6’1” Defenceman with nine seasons of NHL experience, returns for a fourth season in Belfast after joining the Giants in 2015/2016. The 2018/19 season will be a third as a Player/Assistant Coach for the Giants fans favourite.
Jonathan Ferland will make the 2018/19 season his second in-a-row with the Giants and signed for Belfast from the Vienna Capitals where he captained the Austrian Hockey League side to the national championship in 2016/17.
Pat Dwyer arrived in Belfast this year from SønderjyskE of Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. Dwyer played for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes in seven straight seasons between 2008-2015. The 35 year old posted 42 goals and 51 assists, good for 93 points in 416 NHL games.
Head Coach Adam Keefe on the announcement of his Assistant Coaches:
“Rob has been huge for me – his experience in the game and his resume speaks for itself and he has been an invaluable help for me.”
“Vandermeer, Dwyer and Ferland are not only great assets to us both on the ice but off the ice as well to myself. I am able to pick their brains and get their suggestions when it comes to aspects of the game such as powerplay and penalty kill.”
“It was important to grow that network that we can use to make the team as good as possible.”