STEELERS’ coaches may have to rein in the natural attacking inclinations of their ultra-offensive defensive pack next season.
Sheffield have a plethora of options on the blue line with seven-season veteran Rod Sarich, Matt Stephenson and new import Jim Jorgensen.
Added to the mix is Mark Thomas, Danny Meyers and, assuming Chad Huttel is not returning, another stay-at-home import d-man.
Player assistant coach Ashley Tait admits it almost looks like Sheffield could have a forward line formation in front of their goaltender.
“Their first obligation is to defend and they are going to have to remember that” said Tait. “The number one priority is to protect our goal. I have been talking to Ryan (Finnerty; head coach) about the the way we go about our business from our end to their blue line and while the last thing we want to do is suffocate the talent at our disposal, they must all know where and when they have to be in certain circumstances.
“Sometimes there is a fine line between a brilliant attacking movement and surrendering a golden opportunity for a break away. The onus is on the players to get the balance right.”
Tait was pleased to see the club sign up American skater Jorgensen, from Braehead Clan. “He reminds me a bit of Neal Martin (former Coventry Blaze d-man.)
“Jorgensen sees the play well and is useful on the point in Power Play. But his biggest asset is his skating, he is very quick.
“He put up some pretty good points and he will be our number two-to-four defenceman depending on how our night is going.”
Jorgensen, 26, scored a career-high in points for the Scottish side in his maiden Elite League season.
If he can repeat his 15 goals and 32 assists for Steelers in the 2012-13 season, he will represent a tremendous piece of business for the club.
Meanwhile, former Steelers owner Paul Ragan has had a light-hearted crack at his old club and The Star.
We carried a headline: “Big game hunter Danny Meyers to help bring back Steelers glory days” after the signing of the Nottingham Panthers defenceman.
But Ragan reminded readers on Twitter: “Like he won the league for Nott!”