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Belfast Giants bolster lineup for Bruins

by Shawn P. Roarke /
The Belfast Giants Selects are just about halfway home in their quest to find a lineup that can challenge the Boston Bruins in next month's 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge exhibition game in Belfast.

Thursday, the Giants Selects coaching staff added four more players to the roster, bringing the total of named players to 11.

Long-time American Hockey League defenseman Richard Seeley headlines the latest quartet named to the roster for the Oct. 2 exhibition, which is the opening game in Boston's two-week European tour to start the 2010-11 season.

Forwards Ashley Tait, Jade Galbraith and Dan Carlson were also named to the roster.

"These four players are an indication that we are not just trying to have an All-Star team," Belfast Giants Selects coach Doug Christiansen said. "We are looking for a complete team that can push the Bruins for 60 minutes."

"These four players are an indication that we are not just trying to have an All-Star team. We are looking for a complete team that can push the Bruins for 60 minutes." -- Belfast Giants Selects coach Doug Christiansen

Seeley, drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1997, played his junior hockey in the Western Hockey League before spending eight seasons in the AHL, suiting up for Lowell, Bridgeport, Manchester and Norfolk. He amassed 81 points and 658 penalty minutes in 399 AHL games before leaving for Europe in 2006.

Since, he has played in the German Elite League and the Austrian Elite League. This is his first season in the UK Elite League, joining the Giants as a marquee signing this summer.

"Rich Seeley is arguably the best defender in the league," Christiansen said. "He is a career AHL defender and is a guy who we expect to be a rock for us. His playing is second to none in the EIHL and he should be fantastic for the Giants Selects."

Tait, who plays for the Sheffield Steelers, is one of Great Britain's most accomplished players. He began his career with Nottingham in 1990 and has also played for Kingston, Coventry and Sheffield, which he joined in 2007. In 2008-09, he helped led the Sheffield Steelers to the regular season and playoff titles, scoring 57 points in 52 games.

"Ashley Tait is a player who can play on any line and grind and skate with the Bruins," Christiansen said. "He has a great work ethic and does all the little things well."

Galbraith, from Hinton, Alberta, spent three years in the ECHL before chasing his hockey dreams to Europe. He has spent the past three seasons with Nottingham, scoring 77 points in 56 games last season.

"Galbraith is magical on the puck," Christiansen said. "We need someone who can be crafty and create against the Bruins defense. He is a player who has shown how skilled he is. The Giants Selects are looking for him to have an impact."

Carlson, born in Edina, Minn., has found a home in Coventry, playing for the Blaze in five of the past six seasons. Carlson played his college hockey at the University of Notre Dame and spent three years in the North American minor leagues before heading to Europe. He had 70 points in 56 games last season and has 377 points in his five seasons with the Blaze.

"Carlson is another player who knows the game and can help the EIHL on the penalty kill and five-on-five," Christiansen said. "In my opinion, he is the most underrated player in the league." 

These four players join the seven players already named to the roster: Cardiff's Scott Matzka, Sheffield's Ben Simon, Nottingham's Corey Neilson, Coventry's Luke Fulgham and Jonathon Weaver and Belfast's Colin Shields and Jon Gleed.
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