STEELERS’ lucrative tie-up with the University of Sheffield has delivered them a player who could lead them to the top of the Elite League class.
Coach Ryan Finnerty has bagged 68 NHL game veteran Steven Goertzen on a two year contract - the player lured partly by a free educational package.
Goertzen’s career in the world’s greatest league featured game time with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and the Caroline Hurricanes.
After a season with Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic, the Canadian now finds himself in Sheffield.
The 6’1 220lb winger - who has over 400 American league games under his belt - is no goalscorer. You have to go back to 2003-4 season to find a campaign in which he recorded double figures. But he is regarded as a no-nonsense power forward who will drive up and down the wing and create openings for skill players.
At 28 years of age, Goertzen is clearly no washed-up north American looking for a final pay day. And the fact he has committed - as much as you can with an Elite League contract - for two years, suggests an element of continuity that club management like.
Finnerty said of the signing: “This has been a hard long slog but we got our man. We have signed quality and leadership and a player with a career ahead of him.
“We haven’t signed this guy to be our top scorer but a big power forward who fore checks hard and plays with an edge. You don’t play where Steve has played if you’re not something special.”
Goertzen, Steelers first ex NHLer since Ben Simon and Rob Globke, said: “I’m excited by this new challenge. I’m a hard nosed forward, I earn respect by being a hard working player for my team. I pride myself on my all around play, whilst I’m not know for being an overly offensive player I’m comfortable contributing points. I’ve been a leader wherever I have played, its a role I enjoy and I’m comfortable with. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the club and the guys I will be joining, we are all the same, we all want to win and be part of something special going forward. I can’t wait to arrive.”