Sheffield Steelers rink rats poised for trouble

Mark Thomas, with Sheffiield official Dave Simms, after the 2014 Playoff Final win
Mark Thomas, with Sheffiield official Dave Simms, after the 2014 Playoff Final win
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Mark Thomas believes the new Sheffield Steelers line-up next season will feature more than its fair share of agitators.

“The coach who bought me to Sheffield (Dennis Maxwell) could really get under the skin of the opposition. Ryan Finnerty as well, he had the fastest lip for put-downs and could back it up on the ice, he could start a riot in a phone box.

“Now we’ve signed Jay Latulippe. He was a pain to play against in Cardiff and Dundee. He’d get under your skin, you wanted to take your stick to him! This season I think it will be a battle of the rink rats because we’ve also signed Pascal Morency - by all accounts he is the king rink rat. I watched some of his videos and he seems a real piece of work. He’ll be a huge asset. He seems a character who is not afraid to drop the gloves.

“If you have Latulippe and Morency up to their tricks then Jason Hewitt will not want to be left out. He isn’t afraid to give anyone a whack off the puck and start trouble. Having the other two will just bring out the best, which really means for the opposition the worst, in Hewy.”

Thomas, who has a testimonial lined up in February, added: “I think Hewy played his best years when he had Finnerty in the side, he saw how Ryan just got under people’s skin and followed suit.

“Can you imagine G (coach Gerad Adams) putting these three rats on one line?

“This Steelers’ team seems to have a bit of everything, great goaltending, good defence, great scorers but it also has some agitating mentality and those three will lead that charge for sure.”