David Simms Sheffield Steelers ice hockey column: Excited? You really should be by now

So this week’s big news has been the signing of Martin St Pierre and the release of Jackson Whistle.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 3:29 pm
Martin St. Pierre during his time with Salzburg

Let’s start with St Pierre. Wow what a pick up by Aaron Fox. Yes 35, but look at the experience and the results he has attained in his career.

Within moments of the media release being sent out I had two former Steelers, Geoff Walker and Steve Munn, on to me waxing lyrical about him both as a person and a player.

The St Pierre signing sends a message that the Steelers are serious and are back in the hunt.

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What a line up of talent we have available to us this year, it doesn’t seem like yesterday that we confirmed Marco Vallerand and we were all so excited, now three months later we have signed a KHL veteran to complete the forward roster.

Excited? You should be.

The day before the St Pierre arrival the Steelers confirmed that Jackson Whistle wouldn’t be returning. It was later confirmed that Jackson would join Nottingham.

Jackson is a good lad, there is no animosity with him and anyone at the club.

This is just the sometimes distasteful business side of sport. Jackson had a contract at a certain amount, we felt that this money could have been better spent elsewhere on the team and that we could find a better goalie.

Fox did the right thing putting the club first, he had advised the club of his plans and the club, under details in the contract, bought Jackson out. He was then free to go and find another club which he did.

The club did put Jackson is a difficult position, something Aaron confirmed in his Star article earlier in the week.

We must all remember though that Aaron’s job is to make us better, is to make us competitive and to make us win again.

He felt this was in the best interest of the club and pulled the trigger. We all back him.

Behind the scenes everyone is more than happy how Aaron has fitted in, he seems to have grasped us as a club and has done exactly what we expected with this batch of recruitment so far this summer.

Back to goaltending, the Steelers now need to find three new goalies. A British back up and two imports. That’s new for the Steelers having a 1-2 import goalie punch for a whole season.

It’s common knowledge that the club has signed one import goalie already. I don’t think the club will confirm his details until the other two goalies have also been signed, if you like a triple signing one day soon, and it will be soon.

Another date for your diary, Friday 2nd August. It’s the date that all Steelers tickets go on general sale. The cut off date for season tickets is now gone and the Arena have been advised of all of the season ticket seats that will be taken out of the general sale system.

9am is the time to hit your phones and keyboards. The first competitive game is the 31st August Vs. Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup.

Also, for season ticket holders. If you wish to reserve your season ticket seats for the special £5 and £10 games we have this year you can do so up until Friday 16th August.

Tickets still remain on sale (at £10 each) for the two home exhibition games against HK Poprad on the 17th and 18th August at ICE Sheffield. The first game at the Arena is on the 24th Vs Budapest with all tickets just £5.