Yee-haa! Cowboy Mark saddles up for a season at Sheffield Steelers' rodeo
A seventeen-season veteran will be a new face on the Sheffield Steelers blue line this year.
The Play Off champions have signed 33-year-Canadian defencemen Mark Matheson, who has played in the AHL, SHL, EBEL, Norway and France.
Matheson ( 6’2”) has been on coach Paul Thompson’s scouting list for more than a year. He will fill one of three holes on the back-end at the Arena.
Matheson who describes himself as “born and raised in Cowtown” (Calgary) has played his past two seasons at Rouen, France.
“I’m a pretty patient player, I have a good hockey IQ” he says. “I’m used to playing heavy minutes and in all situations. I can play defensive is that’s required and also can be offensive if that’s what the team needs. Team is key to me, it starts and ends there, whatever is required we try and deliver.”
Thompson said: “It has taken us 14 months to sign him. I tried hard last year after he was named MVP in France after his side’s play off victory. We kept our eyes on him and this summer we were successful in signing him.
“He is a big body but also very mobile, something that is vital in today’s game. I know what I’m looking for from my defence and he brings it in abundance. He is a perfect fit into what we already have and hope to sign in the weeks ahead.
“Mark’s strengths are his all around game, you can play him in any situation. That’s something I thought we needed more of.
“As well as being vastly experienced, I remember watching him in Linköping when I was coaching in Sweden, he is also a winner with championships in Norway and France.
“Players coming to Sheffield know that we are a winning organisation and that winning is expected. We want guys who want to be part of winning culture.
“He has played for big clubs with big expectations, he knows to expect the same here. Being a Steeler won’t faze him.”
Matheson added: “Playing in the Elite League and playing in England excites me and my family. This is going to be a great experience for us.
“We know a lot of players who have played in the league. The feed back has been good and especially coming to an organisation like Sheffield is reassuring.”