Sheffield Steelers fans can expect to see a speedier version of the Rob Dowd than the one who left the club in 2011.
And the player says that is partly down to Doug Christiansen – who coached him in Belfast and will do so again in Sheffield next season.
Dowd says: “Doug is a very technical, methodical coach who works with individuals to get the best out of them.
“At Belfast, he took players aside and worked on particular aspects of their game. At one point, with me, he worked on my skating and acceleration.
“He would be very patient – his view is that something worthwhile takes as long as it takes.” Last season, Dowd tried his luck at a Swedish club.
And while the experience did not totally suit him, he learned a lot there.
“I wanted to experience a different sort of game and that’s what happened.
“The biggest difference there was speed. For the first couple of weeks there I was petrified!
“All the players across four lines were like lightning.
“I hope like training under Doug, it has helped improve my speed – we did enough running off ice, that’s for sure.”
Dowd says Christiansen’s reign will be one built on tactics and preparation.
“After Belfast I never wanted to watch a video again! He can tell you the stats of an opposition player who was at another team 17 years ago!
“But he is a very hard worker and he cares. He gets the best out players. “
Dowd cannot wait to perform before Steelers’ fans again.
“Hopefully they will see an improved two way player. I am the first to say I am not the most gifted of players but I work hard for what I get. You can’t guarantee anything in hockey, but I didn’t come to Sheffield to lose, that’s for sure.”