Rob Sirianni’s sudden decision to quit Steelers shocked the Sheffield dressing room, admits captain Steve Goertzen.
But the club’s success in attracting Chris Blight, after he’d been released by Cardiff Devils, certainly went some way to appeasing him and his team-mates.
“Siri was a great player who scored a lot of goals and a great guy in the locker room - he is tough to replace” acknowledged Goertzen. “But Blighter is a great addition; it was a surprise someone of his quality became available at this stage of the season.
“Players of his talent are not easy to come by in this League. He fits into the team, works hard and is a great skater. That will be a factor on the bigger ice - certainly bigger to what he was used to in Cardiff.
“Playing against him you can tell he has got vision and is good defensively with an offensive-upside. He and Mac Faulkner have scored a lot of goals against us in the past.”
Arena fans will get their first chance to see Blight tomorrow in the home date with Coventry Blaze. Before then he and his team-mates are on the road at Nottingham Panthers, tonight.
It will also be another chance to watch fit-again Max Lacroix, now approaching his full potential after playing in the last six fixtures.
He has scored three goals and two assists in that period.
“Maxy is fine now and it is good to see him on the first Power Play unit with Chad Langalais, Dustin Kohn, Rob Dowd and Jeff Legue.
“The coaching staff did a good job in not rushing him back after injury and we are seeing the results of that now.”
Gord Baldwin will miss out tonight after being suspended for abusing an official last weekend in Belfast.
Goertzen said: “All our guys are passionate about the team and sometimes frustration boils over.”