Steeldogs coach Andre Payette insists his club will retain their “Made in Sheffield” brand this season - despite finishing next to bottom of the English Premier League in the last campaign.
Speaking on video at thestar.co.uk, he said: “We rectified a lot of the problems we had last year. After Christmas we were one of the better teams in the League. I don’t know if it (the brand) didn’t work. We had some younger players who are (now) a year older...(but) at times maybe it would have been nice to bring in another British player. But we stuck with the ‘Made in Sheffield’ team and that’s what we’re doing, this year. If we need to bring in a guy we’d look at it.”
Dogs have signed ex Coventry Blaze star Greg Chambers. That means: “We have the best goalie, the best player, the best playmaker and maybe the toughest player in the League” claims Payette. “Our imports will bring something this year and with our great group of Sheffield players we will be fine.
On Chambers, 30, he said: “Anybody who gets over 100 pts in the Ontario Hockey League, is really gifted. Last year he had 80 pts at Basingstoke, the nearest guy to him had 60. When you have 20pts more than anybody on your team its shows you are able to do stuff on your own and create. He is a tremendous playmaker and that’s what we need. If he can get the puck to Lubo (Czech forward, Lubomir Korhon) we are going to be in business.”
n Steelers, in Slovakia for the start of a three-game pre-season camp, are monitoring new Canadian signing Dustin Kohn, who was “shaken” by a car accident after arriving in England. Steelers play HC Kosice tonight, before facing HC Ambri-Piotta (Switzerland) tomorrow and SAPA AV19 (Hungary) or Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia) on Sunday. They will trial 23-year-old Slovakian forward Milan Canky.
Steelers coach Doug Christiansen says he admires the commitment of American signing Rylan Galiardy, who has undergone a horror journey to meet up with his new squad in eastern Europe.