Rod Sarich may be open to extending his commitment to Sheffield Steelers.
The veteran ‘retired’ at the end of last season but agreed to ice for them in the Champions Hockey League. That has now included this weekend’s games with Manchester Storm. And Sarich has revealed he’s considering the possibility of “spotting” in League games when the club wants him.
“I haven’t had a full conversation with Thommo (coach Paul Thompson) yet but I really have enjoyed the CHL, it’s a great experience to play teams at such a high level; everybody tries to elevate their own performances in games like that.
“I don’t think I can do full-time with business and family responsibilities, but part-time? Well maybe I could be injury-relief or spot in.”
Even that in itself would be a commitment for Sarich: “At 35 if you are going to play, it’s maybe better to play all the time” said the fitness-conscious Canadian. “But we’ll see what happens after the last CHL game.”
Sarich expects some of Steelers’ new boys to be surprised by the cramped confines at the Manchester rink in tonight’s friendly.
“The Swedes might not have played on anything as small as that” he said. “But the important thing this weekend is to try and keep the speed we had in the CHL games - on smaller rinks you don’t have much time and space.”
Sarich hopes to see Mathieu Roy back from his foot injury. “We missed him when he got hurt, he is a steady guy around the net always looking for goals and at the other end always blocking shots, which is how he got injured in the first place.
“He is a leader in the room and on the ice; I have a feeling he will be back this weekend.”
Steelers host Storm on Sunday in the Challenge Cup at Sheffield Arena.
*Sheffield owner and Elite League chairman Tony Smith says all teams will be competitive this year saying the division had become much more professional.
Video replays and goal-line technology will be brought in across most rinks, he hopes.
Three-on-three overtime sessions should also bring more excitement.