Departure of two Sheffield Steelers players to Leeds will intensify competition between cities

The decision of hot prospects Jordan Griffin and Kieran Brown to leave Sheffield ice for Leeds could end up being a "good thing" for clubs in both cities.
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Defenceman Griffin, 18, has followed winger Kieran Brown, 19, from the Steelers-Steeldogs' stable to West Yorkshire.

Both had failed to make much headway at the EIHL Steelers and had iced for the NIHL Dogs instead.

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Now Dogs' coach Ben Morgan - whose team ended up three places above bottom club Leeds in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season - has to find a remedy for the missing skaters before the action starts.

"It’s part of the game, we have secured players from rival clubs in the past and have again done so this year so while we would have liked to have retained a few more of last season's squad it is what it is," reasoned Morgan.

"There was only an initial talk between ourselves (and Griffin) to see if he was interested in the offer the club made which Jordan declined leaving him free to play at another club.

"Jordan was not offered a two-way contract between ourselves and Steelers at any point, he was free to find a new club.

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"If the (Leeds) contract and opportunity is better for him personally then we wish him all the best.

The loss of the players will serve to intensify competition between Sheffield and Leeds, Morgan expects.

"Yes I believe so; which is only a good thing for both clubs in the long run."

There is no clarity yet on when the ice hockey season is likely to start.

Jordan GriffinJordan Griffin
Jordan Griffin
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It is now clear that September will be a key month for Steelers and the EIHL.

Steelers want to take part in the Continental Cup in Asiago, Italy, scheduled for November 13-15 .

Club owner Tony Smith, who is also EIHL Chairman, has already stated that Elite outfits: "need six to eight weeks from the time we know we can play in order to complete our teams, get work visas in place, book flights (and) buy equipment."

Ben MorganBen Morgan
Ben Morgan

Assuming the team was to fly out on November 12 after at least a few days of medical checks and training at home, then all the player-related arrangements will have to have been in place around or before September 18.