Stingrays' Cale Tanaka ready to prove a point
CALE Tanaka says he's aiming to prove himself in ice hockey's top flight this season.
The 26-year-old's signing distinctly underwhelmed many Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays fans, given his lack of pedigree.
However, the hope is he will prove a revelation, like former team-mate Andrew Coburn.
He, too, was an unheralded signing, but finished as Stingrays' second-highest points scorer in 2010-11, his only British campaign.
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Tanaka said: "I want to prove myself, I want to be a contributor and help the team.
"I'm a real team guy and do what I can do for the team to get a win, that's most important, as that's what makes people happy."
Tanaka – who is Canadian by birth, but has both Japanese and Scottish relatives – admits signing for Stingrays is tinged with sadness, as he will not be renewing acquaintances with his former University team-mate Coburn.
"It's too bad he's not here," said Tanaka.
"I know everyone loved the guy here and he was a great team-mate. It's kind of sad but it's really good for him.
"He has got some responsibilities back home, he's doing something with the family business, and I think he's just got engaged."
Tanaka's season gets underway on Saturday when Stingrays face their own ENL side at Hull Arena (6.30pm).