Frank Doyle will be the most important member of Sheffield Steelers’ championship-hunting squad this coming season.
The 32-year-old Canadian replaces John DeCaro as the club’s first choice goaltender.
Today, we publish a question and answer session with the 6ft 1ins netminder.
What’s been the high point of your career?
My best moment in my pro career was playing with the New Jersey Devils. I had the chance to play some pre-season games as well as sitting on the bench as back-up to Martin Brodeur. It was a cool experience for a kid who grew up idolizing some of these players.
Is there a particular goalie whose style you have tried to adopt?
There isn’t one that I have tried to emulate. I spent three years with the New Jersey Devils organisation; they teach their goalies to play similar to Brodeur. They focused on skating drills and movement on your skates. So, when you see me play you may see a little of Broudeur in my game!
How easy/hard to do you envisage it will be studying and playing?
I think that it will be a little adjustment considering I’ve been out of school for 10 years. However, I’ve always enjoyed school and am looking forward to going back to take my MBA.
Do you know any of the current or past Steelers teams? Or any other players in the Elite League?
I don’t know any of personally although I do recognize some that I’ve played against. I know Mike Schutte (Coventry) from the University of Maine and Mac Faulkner (Cardiff) from playing against him in Italy.
What superstitions do you have?
I have the same routine that I go through before each game. Goalies usually get a bad rap for being the “weird” ones but I feel that I’m fairly normal! I used to be more superstitious when I was younger but I felt that it made me more nervous and used up too much energy before the game even started. My pre-game routine consists of stretching, visualization and some communication with the guys about the upcoming game.
How important is it to you that you win the League or Play Offs or both, in Sheffield?
Unfortunately I’ve never been on a team that has won a championship. The past three seasons in Italy we finished near the bottom of the standings and didn’t have a team that could compete for a title. My goal is to win a championship, hopefully in Sheffield.
What sort of a relationship will you have with the skaters: do you regards yourself as a leader, directing operations from back?
I’m composed, calm and vocal in the net. I like to give my teammates a sense of confidence so they can focus on their job. Communication on and off the ice is huge for success in the defensive zone so getting to know the guys and how they play is key.
Who is the greatest player you have played with..and against?
The greatest player I have played with is Martin Brodeur. I had a chance to play a few pre-season games with him as well as be his back-up for two regular season games. His approach to the game is amazing...he enjoys every second of it. The greatest players that I’ve played against are Brendan Shanahan and Danny Briere in a couple NHL pre-season contests.
Do you know much about Sheffield?
I’ve never been to England so this will be a whole new experience. We’ve been researching Sheffield. It looks a nice place.