Steelers’ forward Jason Hewitt has his eyes set on overtaking club legend Ron Shudra as Sheffield’s longest-serving player after being awarded a new one-year contract.
There were rumours inside the club that ‘the British Bulldog’ would not have made the cut, had there not been a change of coach.
But new boss Paul Thompson has handed the former Great Britain forward - who will 32 in August - a new one year deal.
Hewitt, who has also been awarded a Testimonial by the club for his 11 years service, has made 612 appearances for the Steelers since his arrival back in 2005 just 10 behind ‘Rocket Ron’.
While overtaking Shudra would be remarkable in itself, Hewitt says his focus is simple: “winning trophies...because that always has been my number one target.
“To play for a club like this for so long is a privilege and I have always considered it that. When I walked into the Arena back in 2005 I didn’t think I’d play here for 11 seasons and have a chance to become the club’s longest serving player making more appearances than Ron. I guess things like that are what you look back on once you have finished playing, I still have a lot of hockey and a fair few more trophies inside me before I consider hanging them up.
“I loved playing for Thommo with GB. I respect and like his style, he had faith in me when he brought me onto the GB side and I will never forget that.
“Nothing gets passed Thommo, he doesn’t miss a thing. He praises you when you do well but he isn’t afraid of letting you know when you are disappointing him.”
Thompson wants Steelers’ attack to be grittier this coming season and is an admirer of Hewitt’s all-action style.
He said: “He has been a vocal leader on and off the ice for this hockey club for many years and that is an important characteristic that the clubs needs. He bleeds orange and he makes people accountable around him. I like that in a veteran player.”