Fighter Ryan will lend big helping Hand to Stingrays
COACH Sylvain Cloutier expects new signing Ryan-James Hand to bring a much-needed physical edge to Hull Stingrays' line-up.
Having scored just seven goals in nearly 400 games, the 27-year-old will hardly add to Stingrays' attacking presence.
Instead, the 6ft 1in, 180lb Ottawa-born blue-liner – with 168 fights and over 1,400 penalty minutes to his name – will be expected to weigh in when the going gets tough.
Cloutier said: "Ryan is willing to do anything for the team and from the first time we spoke on the phone I knew I wanted him on my team.
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"He is my type of player, a guy that comes to work every night and you can count on. He will bring a physical part to our team we haven't had in a few years. It's a great addition to our team and he can play both forward and D.
"He will be one of our leaders and he will hold guys accountable."
Enforcer Hand is the third new face for Stingrays' revamped defence, following the signing of former Edinburgh man Tomas Valecko and new-to-Britain Shane Lovdahl.
In theory that would leave just one import slot to fill on defence.
However, both Jeff Smith and Kurtis Dulle have been linked with deals in Hull.
If both signings materialise that will mean five import defencemen on the books, with six overseas men up front.
Given Stingrays are now woefully short of British-born players – with virtually all of last year's contingent now at new clubs – it is likely one of the defensive quintet will spend time on forward duties.