SHEFFIELD Steelers’ coach Ryan Finnerty will cut some slack for his new import signing Simon Ferguson when he arrives in the UK.
The boss expects good things from 335-game AHL forward - eventually.
But a lack of competitive action means the 29-year-old right wing will almost certainly need to bed in.
“He has not played for a month or more, so it will take another month to find his feet,” said Finnerty.
Ferguson became available after failing to impress at Ljubljana Olimpija, Austria.
In 10 games, he failed to find the net, but got three assists. But while the Austrian league was not a good fit for him, Denmark, the previous year, certainly was. He chalked up 51pts and 136 penalty minutes in 40 games for Esbjerg.
“He is gritty but has more of an offensive touch,” added Finnerty. “He certainly has the capability of putting puck in the net.
“In Austria, it didn’t work out and he hung to see what was going on. It took us a while to get this deal, then it was delayed by the visa. That’s why he has been sitting around. He has been skating but not playing games.”
Ferguson, who has iced for five AHL teams, is unlikely to feature in Saturday’s home game against Cardiff Devils because of visa problems.
Two British skaters are leading the scoring table at Steelers. Ashley Tait has 22 points, Colin Shield 21.
Top of the table Belfast Giants could extend their lead over second-place Sheffield, tomorrow. They host Nottingham Panthers, seeking to move three points clear, level on games.
Look out for a controversial Steelers’ story tomorrow...only in your Star.