Gord Baldwin was taken aback by the number of changes coach Gerad Adams was making to Sheffield Steelers’ Play Off championship-winning style.
But the strapping defenceman overcame any reservations he may have had when he saw the quality of players being recruited ahead of the new season, which faces off with a friendly against Coventry Blaze at iceSheffield on Saturday.
“I followed all the summer signings every day. I either spoke with Gerad or looked on the web site all the time” said the 27-year-old Canadian, who joined the club 12 months ago. “At first I was a little surprised at the amount of changes but then I got excited as the new signings came through and saw how the team was coming together” he said. “I can honestly say that with every new signing made I became more excited for the year ahead.
“I spoke with (returning team-mates) Dustin Kohn and Frank Doyle a short time ago and the conversation was: ‘Wow, we have a great side being built here!’
“I have played with both Tyler Mosienko (Las Vegas Wranglers) and Darrell Hay (Mlada Boleslav, Czech Rep) and they are two great additions. I can’t think of a harder working player that Mosienko.
“He was the hardest working guy on the team and then again in games on the ice. You don’t lose that work ethic and I think he is built for this league, the fans will love him. I have a great relationship with Darrell after playing alongside him as well. He is very skilled and has a huge passion for the game, he is one very talented defenceman.
“From top to bottom we look strong and deep” added Baldwin.
“It was nice to go home in the summer especially with a championship behind us.
“It’s always a nice story to tell when you see people you haven’t seen for a while and they ask you how your year went and you can tell them well we won the championship.
“As happy as I was to fly home for the summer I was equally happy ato get back on the plane and fly back.”
Coventry arrive at Sheffield on Saturday with Steve Goertzen in their side. Ashley Tait has retained the captaincy.