Great Britain forward Liam Kirk is the talk of the ice hockey world once again as his NHL entry-level contract with Arizona Coyotes hit the headlines around the globe.
Experienced ice hockey journalist Bob Westerdale covered the story for the Sheffield Star, while writer Mark Rackham – a long-time admirer of Kirk – penned this article for his worldwide hockey blog.
ESPN covered the story on their website along with the Sportsnet website in Canada, as Kirk literally went global again – just three weeks after his heroics at the World Championship in Latvia where he finished as joint-leading goalscorer with seven goals in seven games.
The story broke on Friday morning with a tweet by his agent Dan Milstein and Twitter came alive with excitement for the young lad from Maltby in Rotherham.
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) June 18, 2021
Speaking that morning, Kirk said: “I’m looking forward to linking-up with Arizona with an entry-level contract.
“It has always been my dream to play in the NHL so to get this deal with the Coyotes is fantastic. I am a step closer to that dream and I will continue to push myself to reach the elite level.”
GB Head Coach Pete Russell, who gave Kirk his full GB debut and also coached him as Great Britain junior, said: “It’s fantastic news for Liam.
“After an incredible World Championship, he gets an entry-level contract with Arizona in the NHL – it’s amazing.
“His journey is starting again and he’s now got a huge challenge ahead, but he’s a great guy and he has really developed as a player.
“Just think how far he has come in the past few years, especially with that performance at the World Championship. I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s from a lovely family and is a great kid. I’m really excited for him.”
And there was no shortage of organisations, coaches and players wanting to pay tribute to Kirky…
Everyone is so proud of you Kirky!
— Team GB Ice Hockey (@TeamGBicehockey) June 18, 2021
So happy for @kirky_1424 and the whole family on this unreal news. I know how hard Kirky has worked and he deserves this reward. It was also great to spend some time with him this morning at the @TeamGBicehockey u20 camp. Good luck Kirky 👍 pic.twitter.com/uLmjr2X8Ih
— Martin Grubb (@MartinGrubb) June 18, 2021
Everyone at the EIHA send our congratulations and best wishes to Liam and his family on this fantastic achievement.
— English Ice Hockey (@EIHA_Official) June 18, 2021
— Sheffield Steelers | #BleedOrange (@steelershockey) June 18, 2021
🇬🇧 With a performance like that at this years IIHF World Championships, we’re not surprised!
The very best of luck! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/4gYX3NEei0
— FreeSports 📺 (@FreeSports_TV) June 18, 2021
— Ben O'Connor (@Oconnor81ben81) June 19, 2021
— Jackson Whistle (@JWhis35) June 18, 2021
— #EIHL (@officialEIHL) June 18, 2021