Sheffield Steelers’ new goalie Tyler Plante is no slouch when it comes to dropping the gloves and getting stuck in.
There have been several occasions when the 6ft 3ins American-born custodian has stood up for himself and team-mates - once against former Sheffield enforcer Tim Spencer when the two were rivals in the AHL.
Plante’s favourite was Ron Hextall, the 700-game NHL legend who had a decided edge to his play. But the 28-year-old son of Cam Plante, a d-man for Peterborough Pirates in the 1990s, isn’t coming to the Elite League to cause trouble.
“I never plan on fighting, my main goal is playing well and giving my team a chance to win” he says. “Sometimes emotion takes over but I guess you could say fighting is not a priority for a goaltender.”
Plante regards his netminding style as “hybrid” saying: “I have pretty usual goaltending specific tendencies but am not afraid to mix it up with some, let’s say weird saves! My favourite all time goalie would have to be Ron Hextall, as he was one of my Dad’s childhood friends and team mates; I always looked up to his aggressive style of play and absolute desire to win.”
Plante says there are several reasons why he accepted Sheffield’s offer - he had been approached by other Elite League sides. “Of the offers I had on the table Sheffield seemed like it was the place that was most focused on their final goal of winning a championship. And that’s what this game is all about. If you are not playing to win there’s no point. Also, I lived some of my youth in England, and had a chance to watch Sheffield play at home, and to me as a kid, seeing the big crowd and the loud music, not to mention I believe they won that game by a substantial margin they became my favourite club - even though I wouldn’t admit it to my father at Peterborough.”
Plante, who was on Florida Panthers’ books, has won a championship in Italy and played last year in Norway. He is currently spending Summer in Manitoba.