Familiar faces bolster Sheffield Steelers' squad

Suddenly it's starting to feel like "It's Coming Home" - that's Steelers' Elite League squad returning to Sheffield Arena we're talking about.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 1:00 pm

Wednesday saw the EIHL team's management announce the return of John Armstrong and Tanner Eberle to the side, exactly the type of club servants you'd want back if titles are on your mind.

It follows Tuesday's declaration that tenacious winger Anthony DeLuca will also wear orange again.

So as things stand, Steelers now have five skaters back from the team that challenged Cardiff Devils at the top of the 2019-20 league table and won the Challenge Cup.

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That's along with Adrian Saxrud Danielsen, the Norwegian defenceman who played such a strident role in the Sheffield blue line in the April/May mini series.

Ex NHLer Justin Hodgman is a new addition, so the core of the team is coming along nicely.

“I missed hockey, missed Sheffield and being a Steeler. I missed being around the guys, missed scoring" the Canadian said.

John Armstrong. Pic Dean Woolley
John Armstrong. Pic Dean Woolley

“My wife and I would sit down at night and just tell each other stories from our time in Sheffield.

"It got to the point when we looked at each other and just said: 'Let’s make this happen.' There was just something missing in our lives.

“There is no question that we have unfinished business in Sheffield. We’ve won championships before and then had to rebuild. Last year’s Challenge Cup win was a message that we were back and looking to win again.”

Eberle was a stand-out performer in the mini series and he comes back as a true impact player who wants to help the team in every department.

Tanner Eberle

He said: “I think I share the words of so many of the guys in saying how much I missed Sheffield during the last 16 months or more.

"Playing in the Elite Series was a small taste of near normality, it was just so good to be back with the guys playing hockey.

“There is a massive buzz being a Steeler and you can’t replace that feeling of skating out on to the Arena ice and hearing the crowd cheer you on.

"The fans make you feel so special and the organisation looks after us so well. It’s the best place for me to play for sure."

The forward added: "We have improved year on year since I arrived.

"Our last game together was the Challenge Cup win and that leaves a great taste in your mouth and an appetite to go on and win more.

“To be a part of our core group that started two years ago, I think that’s one of the most important things to win in this league as lots of us know what each other brings to the team so there shouldn’t be any reason not to be ready for game one this season.”