As announced on Cool FM’s ‘Cool Saturday Show’, Belfast Giants Forward David Rutherford is set to return to Northern Ireland for a fourth EIHL campaign.
Full interview with Cool FM’s Dave McCammond:
Rutherford was packing his bags for a move back to the ECHL from the struggling Edinburgh Capitals mid-2015/16 season, when the Belfast Giants came calling.
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) August 30, 2016
‘Rudy’- a naturally skilled puck handler with quick feet- made an instant impact in Teal, and battled injury for the remainder of 2015/16 and into 2016/17 to consistently average over a point-per-game.
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) February 18, 2017
After announcing his retirement from hockey ahead of the 2017/18 season, the call of the rink proved too strong, and Rutherford joined a surging Belfast Giants under new Head Coach Adam Keefe to pick up right where he left off- posting 48 points in just 36 games.
Rutherford iced that particular cake by clinching his first major silverware in a Giants uniform- hoisting the Challenge Cup after a thrilling final against the Cardiff Devils in their own back yard.
In fact, success is something he has never been far from in hockey. His career boasts two WHL Championships, a CHL Championship, a CHL Memorial Cup and an ECHL Kelly Cup in addition to his Challenge Cup win with Belfast.
To put it lightly- Rudy is also well known as one of the Elite League’s strongest and most colourful characters. Early projects such as his ‘DJR91’ merchandise line and official smartphone app earned him a dedicated fan following- along with his fair share of critics.
However; as many parents/kids/community groups (…and to be completely honest I myself) can testify, Rutherford has also quietly pursued a considerable measure of extra-curricular outreach work in and around Belfast, and is commonly known as the first to make time for anyone who should make a request.
Appearing to cut something of a quieter and more measured figure in recent times, his return sets the stage for a potentially career defining season in the Elite Ice Hockey League.
Regardless of where you stand one thing’s for sure; the addition of #91 is a huge boost to any roster’s goals and assists tally.
Rutherford’s full career statistics are available at Elite Prospects.