Belfast Giants: Adam Keefe is named new head coach
Adam Keefe has moved from team captain to head coach of the Belfast Giants after he was named as Derrick Walser's successor on Tuesday.
The Canadian played in 352 games during six years as a Giants player and was a favourite with the fans and team-mates.
"I know what the supporters and this city expects with regards to trophies," said Keefe.
"I also know what is expected of me and I look forward to the challenge, I would not have it any other way."
He added: "An Adam Keefe team competes hard every single night. It's not easy to win in this league and a consistent work ethic will carry us through.
"I'm a big believer in relentless puck pursuit with fast physical hockey. Years ago our arena was known as a tough place to come into, teams knew they were going to pay the price when they came here with a hard fought game.
"I'd like to bring that back and make it tough for teams to come in here and win hockey games."
SSE Arena replacement
Keefe's appointment comes a month after Walser departed when his contract was not extended.
The 33-year-old posted 56 goals, 78 assists, 134 points and 1,082 penalty minutes as a Belfast forward and captained the Elite League team from the 2012/13 season.
Keefe carried out the role of player/assistant coach for the last two seasons.
"I am delighted that Adam accepted the position of head coach," said Steve Thornton, head of hockey operations.
"Adam understands what it means to be a Giant, what the Giants mean to the community and he is one of the best leaders that I have seen.
"Coaching is in his bloodlines, this is something that he has been prepping for and he knows what it takes to win in this league which will help him with the transition.
"We are confident that we have found the right man for the job."