Rainer Returns for Fifth Season in Belfast
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the return of Canadian defenceman, Kevin Raine for another season in Teal at The SSE Arena, Belfast.
The 29-year-old from Dryden, Ontario is widely considered to be among the best defencemen in the EIHL, and has the accolades to prove it.
The two-time Premier Sports EIHL League Champion and three-time Challenge Cup Champion has also hoisted the AHL’s Calder Cup and the OHL’s J. Ross Robertson Cup in a career defined by a committed, hard-hitting, no-nonsense style of defending.
When he came to Belfast in 2017, head coach Adam Keefe called him ‘my type of player.’ Voted ‘fan favourite’ at the 21/22 end of season awards, the news of number #22’s return for another season is sure to delight the Teal Army who clearly concur with their coach’s assessment.
Raine has also played an important role as part of the leadership group as the Giants’ alternate captain for the past two seasons.
Commenting on the re-signing of Raine, head coach Adam Keefe said: “Kevin Raine’s return is welcome news not just to the coaching staff and team, but for the broader Teal Army. A popular figure on and off the ice, Raine is bought into the vision for the Belfast Giants, both in terms of sporting success but also making a positive impact in the community. He is a physical presence and an important part of our defensive line-up, proving time and time again that he knows what it takes to win. I have every confidence that he will play an important part as we seek to defend our EIHL titles and make an impact in the CHL.
Speaking of his return to Belfast, Raine said: “I’m excited to be coming back to Belfast for a fifth season. Last year was very special; returning to the ice after an 18-month hiatus brought focus to how much this city, its people and this sport means to me. Going on to become Challenge Cup and Elite League champions made that comeback even sweeter.
“I’m excited to get back to Belfast, reuniting with the team to build on the success of last season. I'm focused on bringing the best version of myself to the ice every time and to making this year count.”
Tickets for the 2022/2023 home Pre-Season, Premier Sports Elite League, Challenge Cup, and CHL home games at The SSE Arena, Belfast are on sale NOW. More information and a full list of fixtures are available here.
MORE ABOUT OUR LATEST SIGNING
KEVIN RAINE | #22 | ONTARIO, CANADA
With over 230 Belfast Giants appearances and multiple championships under his belt, Kevin Raine has become a firm fan favourite at The SSE Arena. His on-ice persona is one of intensity and physicality, but away from the rink he is surprisingly gently spoken and calm, with a deep personal passion for mindfulness and wellbeing, acting as an ambassador for Action Mental Health Northern Ireland.
These elements combined have not only rounded him as a professional athlete in recent years- they have also endeared him to thousands of hockey fans on these shores.
Raine spent his junior career in the OHL, splitting his time between the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves. His OHL title came with the Knights in 2011-12, playing alongside future Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat on an exceptional roster of young players.
After turning pro, Raine made the move to the AHL where he made 130 appearances for the Portland Pirates, Manchester Monarchs, Ontario Reign and Charlotte Checkers. He hoisted the Calder Cup with the Monarchs in 2014/15, icing 53 times and sharing a locker room with future Spittin’ Chiclets podcast star Paul Bissonnette.
A spell in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades was to follow before the Belfast Giants came calling in 2017.