Steelers have confirmed that 6ft 3ins Joonas Ronnberg has re-joined the club until the end of the season.
The Finn initially left for family reasons, then agreed to return for a Continental Cup series in Denmark, and has now committed for the rest of the year.
“We stayed in touch” said Thompson “and I remained hopeful that at some stage Ronnie could return.
“We touched base again whilst we were away in Minsk and quickly concluded a deal on Tuesday. The flight was arranged immediately and he arrived today to meet up with the rest of the team.
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“This team has so many games coming up. Cup semi finals, big league battles and then of course the defence of our Play Off championship. We have 8 games in the next 16 days so having fit and healthy bodies is paramount. Injuries and suspension have hurt us this year, we have already played 34 games with 5 D and that can’t continue if we are to have success.
“I was delighted Tony Smith (club owner) gave me the green light to add Joonas to our roster. He will be in the line up on Saturday in Milton Keynes.
“The big man was out top plus minus player before he left us, he is a great defensive defensemen and a fantastic penalty killer. We have missed him but he is back home now”
Ronnberg said: “I’m happy to be back in Sheffield and thrilled that we could find a way to work out a way for my return. I have been following the team from Finland and keep in touch with many of the guys on a daily basis.
“Paul and I spoke lots, before Christmas he asked if I could see a way this return could happen and we said we would both take another look after Christmas and New Year. More talks last week and then on Tuesday we came to an agreement”
Ronnberg will be in the Steelers line up for the game against Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday and will make his home debut (again) on Sunday when the Steelers play Belfast Giants at the Arena – Face Off 5.00pm.