Jonathan Phillips: a familiar face in a sea of Sheffield Steelers change
Sheffield Steelers may have a brand-new look to them next season - but they will still have their 36-year-old evergreen captain at the helm.
Jonathan Phillips, who led Great Britain to World Championship gold recently, has been given a year extension at the Elite League club he joined in 2006.
This will be his 13th season - and he will doubtless go on to smash more records. He has played 759 times for Sheffield, amassing 143 goals and 256 assists. His first point next year will be his 400th.
Phillips returns desperate to help bring back silverware after a barren 2017-18 campaign.
“We have created many fantastic memories here and we aren’t finished yet,” he said.
“This is the most incredible building to play in with the most fantastic teammates, coaches and staff.
“We all do our best day in and day out to put in the maximum effort to provide the fans with a great product and winning team. Most years we have been successful and we all aim to be again next season.”
Phillips has lifted four league titles and three play-offs in Steelers colours.
“It’s going to be an exciting summer,” he said.
“It’s strange in many ways as many long-time teammates will be heading to pastures new. We will welcome the new faces into the room and ensure they know the strong and long-lasting values we have built here over the years.
“The summers aren’t very long any more. We have just finished with GB and already we have started to look ahead to pre season and our training camp. We wouldn’t have it any other way”.
Head coach Paul Thompson describes the one-time Cardiff Devils right winger as :“The best captain I’ve ever had.”
He added: “He’s a man who cares about the values of the Steelers and the glue that holds many things together.
“The work ethic he brings to the rink every day is contagious. His fitness levels are off the chart and his desire remains the same today as when I first met him. For both club and country, he is a leader and warrior, and we are lucky to have him.”
Steelers, who expect to lose Liam Kirk to a North American franchise after the NHL draft, have also re-signed goalie Brad Day on a one-year extension.
Day joined the Steelers in 2015 and has played under Tyler Plante, Marek Pinc and Ervins Mustukovs in recent years.