Dingle: "I just love to score goals"
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze recently announced the signing of 33-year-old American forward Ryan Dingle for the 2017/18 Elite League season.
The 5’11” left handed centre joins the club from Elite League rivals Fife Flyers where last season his 31 goals in league play (plus 29 assists) saw him sit second in the top goal-scorers chart. Dingle's number just 1 fewer than Scott Pitt of the Braehead Clan who played 11 more games than the Flyers’ forward of the year.
This week, Ryan kindly took the time to answer some questions for us as he looks forward to the new season in Coventry.
1. You had two good years in Fife posting 120 points in 110 games, helping them reach the Playoff finals weekend in your debut season, so why now Coventry?
RD: “I really enjoyed my time in Fife but it's no secret that there was some uncertainty about their future in the league. My wife has just had our second child and we needed some security on that front. Also, I've played four games in Coventry over the past two seasons and really enjoyed the atmosphere in the Skydome. Danny recruited me to Fife so he knows my priorities and that too played a part in our decision to relocate our family.”
2. Tell us a bit about that relationship with the Blaze Head Coach Danny Stewart?
RD: “Danny is a passionate person and coach. He has a great hockey mind and I respect the vision he has for the future of Coventry hockey. I also think we work really well together. We may look alike but we have two very different personalities that feed off of each other. I'm really excited to continue playing under Danny.”
3. You were a Captain in Fife and held the ‘A’ at Cortina in Italy before that. How would you describe your leadership style?
RD: “I like to lead by example. I think that work ethic is a choice. If a leader on any team is taking short cuts then it is easy for the rest of the team to have excuses. Leadership is on and off of the ice not just at the rink.”
4. You've managed to put up strong numbers across your career, particularly in regards goals as a centreman - what do you put that success down to?
RD: “First off, I just love to score goals. Whether it's on a 10-year-old at my hockey camp or in the Elite League. I can't really put it into words, but at 33 I still get equally as excited when I score now as I did when I was 10. That being said, it's not always about points. You can ask almost any hockey player and they'll tell you that they would trade points for the success of the team any day. I was a good scorer in college but my first couple of years pro I was finding it more difficult to get on the scoreboard. Once I began to focus on team success I found that the puck started to find the back of the net again.”
5. On top of your impressive point production, Danny Stewart often likes to praise your work-rate, the defensive side of your game and the way you “work both ends of the puck”. Is this something you take particular pride in?
RD: “I absolutely take pride in my play away from the puck. I like to forecheck, create turnovers and kill penalties. All three of those things are a huge part of the game but are highly overlooked compared to point production by the common observer.”
6. Blaze defenceman Kevin Noble is often described as a pain to play against, a description Danny also used to describe you on your announcement to the club. How was it playing against Kevin over the past two years?
RD: "Kevin Noble is a good solid defenseman. He sure is a pest to play against and has a great compete level. Players like him are the ones that add depth to your line-up and frustrate the opposition. I'm happy to be playing with him rather than against him next season!”
7. Finally, what are you up to over the summer?
RD: “For the past seven summers I have run a hockey camp in my hometown, Steamboat Springs, Colorado called Elite Hockey Training. I have five different camps for boys and girls from ages 5-18. I really enjoy working with kids and being on the ice is where I am most comfortable. It's best of both worlds in my mind. So, between spending time with my family, coaching hockey and training for next season my summer is pretty full. I still love playing, so most of my summer consists of wanting to get back out on the ice for the following season.”
We thank Ryan for his time and look forward to welcoming him and family to Coventry in August.