The Extra Import Question

Belfast Giants well and truly threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the Elite League this week by signing an extra 11th import player. The move came as a bit of a surprise, especially as Giants coach Doug Christiansen gave no indication that he was planning such a move in an interview earlier this week on the A View From the Bridge podcast.

Our very own Panthers are no strangers to using the extra import tactic, over the past few seasons Robert Stancok, Rumun N’dur, Nick Toneys & Ian McDonald have all been used as the spare man in case of injuries, however this has often led to unrest, none more so than in the case of McDonald last season which ended with him being cut from the roster. While it can be debated whether or not this tactic has been a success for the Panthers, the Giants are the first team from memory who will have started an Elite League season with an extra man.
For me this has the added advantage of every player on their roster knowing where they stand from the beginning. It has been mentioned that it could lead to an unsettled locker room or problems on the ice due to not having settled lines but I feel it gives them and advantage as an injured import can be replaced immediately. If the team remains healthy the imports will be looking over their shoulders knowing that someone is in the stands ready to take their place, it encourages them to stay on top of their game.

The other debate that has raged is on the subject of cost and the usual and predictable question of ‘How can they afford it?’ Personally I don’t have a problem with it, there is no wage cap as such and as long as the Giants are living within their means then what’s the problem? Giants GM Todd Kelman made a fair point when he said that the team had 11 imports last season so why would they be spending more to have 11 this season? When you think about it for a while you can see he’s not wrong.

Would I like to see Panthers go out and sign an extra import? Personally no, but that’s because I don’t feel it has worked well for us in the past. Will the Giants move be a success? I guess we won’t know until the end of the season.

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3 Responses to “The Extra Import Question”


  1. 1 Philuk August 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    As A Giants fan, I totally agree and its a smart move by Todd. We all know how bad injuries have been in Belfast over the past few seasons, bringing in players is fine but it takes time and does upset the on ice chemistry.
    As you said if we do get lucky and dont have injuries from week 1 like last season, its going to keep players honest and give us the option to rest key guys for key games.

  2. 2 Bob August 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    i think its a good move ,adds a bit more competitivness in the team .It does put a load more pressure on the coach as i think we all know Belfast with the team they had last year should of won the league and more but ended up with nothing . so this year Todd and the fans expect .
    I have no doubt Panthers will follow

  3. 3 Texpef August 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    May have the same amount of imports but they have bought in one of the best and hence expensive brits to the side the cope with the loss of an import and serveral other potential quality brits beside so dont see the argument as to still got the money available myself…


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