SHEFFIELD STEELERS:Shock as Mathieu Roy announces retirement
Injury-hit Mathieu Roy has sensationally quit Sheffield Steelers saying he can barely hold a pen in his hand, let alone an ice hockey stick.
The winger had been one of only two imports expected to stay at the club, following the retirement of team-mate Levi Nelson.
And, ironically, his decision comes within 24 hours of The Star publishing a recent interview with coach Paul Thompson, who had said the Canadian had the skill set to be "that guy" for the club again.
Roy said: "I didn't expect the retirement to come so soon. The reality is that my body isn't responding to the injuries I have. I get up in the morning and struggle to walk. I can't hold a pen properly my wrists are so bad.
"I wanted to come home and rest up and then be in the best shape of my life for the new season.
"It was soon pretty clear to me that this wouldn't be possible. I kept giving it "another week" but the time came when I had to make a decision.
"It's the toughest call I've ever had to make and I put off calling Thommo for as long as possible in case things changed. Unfortunately they didn't.
"To everyone in Sheffield I can't thank you enough" said the player nicknamed 'The King of Sheffield.'
"Ownership and management have made this a great club to be a part of. Thommo and Jerry (Andersson) made coming to the rink fun, hard work but fun.
"Most of all my team mates inside the room. We shared a goal to win and for the most part we did just that with three championships in four years. I so wanted to come back and win more with you all.
"This year was going to be a new start, so exciting but unfortunately it's not to be. The club have been really good with me and understanding and haven't forced this decision at all. I have new opportunity ahead of me at home and a good job which I guess made the decision a little easier.
"I will miss competing. I love to win games and to win Championships. I love the battle and can't imagine not having that in my life anymore. I can't believe I won't experience that feeling again."
Thompson said the player's decision was a "bolt out of the blue."