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Riley calls time on career

Photo: David Williams

Former Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils forward Blair Riley has announced that he is hanging up his skates to pursue a career outside of hockey.

The 34-year-old has taken on a full-time job with a Project Management company in his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, and will not be part of the Devils' squad going forward.

Riley arrived in Europe after playing 330 games in the AHL He put up 56, 57 and 69 points in three seasons for Belfast respectively, and would win a league title and two Challenge Cups. He remains the last team captain to lift the EIHL league trophy after this season was called off early due to Coronavirus. The Canadian leaves the EIHL having played 255 games and scored 261 points, and also won the Spengler Cup with his national team last winter.

“Blair is the definition of an old school hockey player: he hits, fights, scores goals, plays through injury, and leads by example. He’s just a great pro and a great person," said Devils Managing Director Todd Kelman. "When he was in Belfast, I thought he was one of the most impactful players in the league and a huge reason for their success.  After a couple of weeks with us, I realised he was even better than I thought he was. It is too bad that this pandemic has cut his career short, but I am very happy that we got to have him with us for one season, and what a season it was.

"He might have been our best player in the CHL to start last season and he scored some of the biggest goals of the season for us. I would have loved to have him back for 2020-21 but with so much uncertainly this summer, he started looking around and found a great job in his hometown. He is a guy that is going to be a success in whatever he does, he has a list of intangibles too long to write about that will make him a valuable member of any team in any business."

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