Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty say his new star defenceman’s track record proves he can be a hit at Elite League level.
Matt Stephenson, 27, has played nearly 130 games in the AHL and joins the Sheffield blue line this coming season.
“You don’t stay in the AHL for nothing, he was a shut down guy at a very high level, I’m excited to have him and his family here,” said Finnerty, who has also tabled an offer to another D-man.
Sheffield obtained the services of Stephenson through American-based agent David Imonti. “He has delivered a lot guys and we’re grateful to him,” said ‘Finner’.
“There is one ‘D’ spot left, I really like the look of our team, we have got a great blend of skill and toughness. It’s encouraging.”
Meanwhile, a D-man from the past, Timo Willman, part of Sheffield’s 2003 league championship side, will return to the Arena for the Festival of Hockey on August 27.
The Finn is one of the few European players to wear the Steelers’ shirt yet in 2002-03 and took home with him a league championship.
Canadian Marc Lefebvre, who joined Steelers in 2003 will also be there.
Club official Dave Simms, who has been tasked with bringing over the former import players, claims the best Steelers’ player of all time was another returnee Jason Lafreniere. Ken Priestlay, another candidate for that title, cannot make the birthday celebrations.