JEFF LEGUE has carried Sheffield Steelers for long enough.
Coach Ryan Finnerty is now looking for a star skater who will share the responsibility of trying to reclaim the Elite League title.
Finnerty told The Star: “I want somebody to rival for his influence on the ice; absolutely.
“We semi-addressed that with the signing of Colin Shields, he has played top level here like Leggy has.
“I need one or two more dominant offensive forwards that can create and score. We can’t start in September without them. I need a winger who can keep up with him because Leggy’s speed creates so much.
“Last year, he found holes to exploit with his speed but we couldn’t get the puck to him so it got wasted. I could see his frustration. Next season, he needs some help, that’s the priority I need to address. Jeff is an outstanding talent, he gets better each year and there were times last season he carried us. If we are to win trophies he can’t do it on his own.
“Jonathan Phillips played well with him, they worked so hard and created so many turnovers. Now we need to go one better.”
Finnerty said that a lot of player CVs were hitting his desk “but few are turning me on”.
“Some agents think the American League guys go to Germany, Sweden and Austria, the good East Coast League players go to Italy and the remaining Central League boys head to England, well that isn’t going to be the case unless they are special talents coming from there.”
Finnerty said the replacing of goalie John DeCaro was another major challenge.
“Goaltending is an area I can’t take a risk on. I don’t know if I can go with a 23-year-old second-year pro guy. I need experience and quality between the pipes. Even with Geoff Woolhouse backing up our goalie will play a lot of minutes.
“The back end is looking stronger already with Jams Jorgensen and Danny Meyers coming in. With Rod Sarich, hopefully Matt Stephenson and Mark Thomas also back there the last D man is a key player. I’m looking for a tough 6’4 stay at home player who clears the net like he is cutting down trees. If you find one let me know because right now they are not on my radar and the search continues.
“We have ample time to wait for the right quality.”