Earlier in the off-season, the Stena Line Belfast Giants announced the signing of DEL Captain Calvin Elfring on a one year contract that will see Elfring and his family move to Belfast for the 2013/14 Season. Calvin has played his ice hockey in Germany for the previous 12 years after three seasons spent in the ECHL including numerous call ups to the AHL. Out of those years in Germany, nine have been with Straubing Tigers of the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga), one of Europe’s top ice hockey leagues and Elfring was given the honour of captaining the Tigers last season.
Belfastgiants.com caught up with Calvin Elfring ahead of his move to Belfast, “I am excited to get to Belfast after hearing lots of great things about the city. I have spoken to ex-Giants Mike Bales and Jason Ruff a lot and they were extremely positive about Belfast which was important for me and my family. I love the countryside and golf so i’m hearing that I should really enjoy Northern Ireland!” joked Elfring.
Mike Bales and Jason Ruff are not the only ex-Giants that Elfring has played with or come across. He has connections with famous Giants names such as Ryan Bach, Terran Sandwith, Noah Clarke and Robby Sandrock.
When asked about how the move from Germany to Belfast came about, Elfring had this to say, “Winning is extremely important to me and I desperately wanted to play for a top team who are determined to succeed. Therefore, from what I had heard about the city and the Giants organisation, coming to Belfast was a no brainer and it was fantastic to reach out to Todd Kelman to make it happen.”
Calvin has played the previous 12 seasons in Germany with seven of those in the DEL, “I only intended to play in Germany for a few years and ended up spending 12 years of my life there! My family & I loved our time in Straubing, it feels like home however we cannot wait to begin the next phase of our lives in Belfast.”
The 2013/14 season may be Calvin Elfring’s first in the Elite League however he will bring a wealth of experience to the Giants lineup as, after 15 seasons as a professional, Elfring has posted an impressive 590 games while in Germany after adding over 200 games across the AHL, ECHL and IHL in North America.
“The hockey in Germany is incredibly fast paced and I really enjoyed playing in the DEL. Last season I was the Captain of Straubing, as voted by the players, which was a huge honour. I take pride in the experience I have gained through hockey and take it upon myself to try to pass that experience onto the younger guys on the team. During my career I have been fortunate to play with Stanley Cup winners and I know how much I was able to learn from them. It’s great that the Giants have signed local players in Gareth Roberts, Robbie Brown and Andrew Dickson, I look forward to working with them and hopefully I can help their development both on and off the ice.”
We asked Calvin about his expectations for the 2013/14 season and he had this to say, “As I already said, winning is the most important thing to me and I am determined to help the Giants to the Elite League championship this season. As a team, we need to make sure we come together as a group and I believe that success will follow. This season in Belfast is a great opportunity for me and my family and I hope to help bring more success to the city of Belfast.”