Former Cardiff Devils favourite Brandon McNally bringing the fight for Sheffield Steelers

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Brandon McNally will be hoping he won't be a member of the Sheffield Steelers' Broken Bone Club, this season.

Last term, skipper Jonathan Phillips played on despite fractures to his sternum and ribs - amazing coaching staff who were keen to protect the player from himself.

McNally is a similarly driven character.

He was placed on Cardiff Devils' Injury Reserve list last September 25th, after cracking a bone in his hand.

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Brandon McNally  is typical action while at Cardiff Devils. Picture: Cardiff DevilsBrandon McNally  is typical action while at Cardiff Devils. Picture: Cardiff Devils
Brandon McNally is typical action while at Cardiff Devils. Picture: Cardiff Devils

He was back in November, but then bad luck struck again and he suffered a fracture to his wrist.

"I was supposed to be out three or four weeks but I didn't want to take any break," he recalled.

"I should have probably stayed out to keep it rested, but it was only a slight break.

"Most of the fights that I had, I didn't really want to fight because my wrist was still broken.

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Brandon McNally at Cardiff DevilsBrandon McNally at Cardiff Devils
Brandon McNally at Cardiff Devils

"When I fought Cody Sol in Glasgow (Clan) I think I had broken my wrist just four days or a week before that.

"I played against Sol in Fort Wayne ( Indiana) and knew him from then - I didn't want to fight but I didn't have a choice.

"When we were in the penalty box I was telling him: 'Come on Solsy, I just broke my wrist!' We were laughing about it."

It may be a relief, though, that Sol has now signed for Fassa in the Alps League.

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Brandon McNally enjoying the limelightBrandon McNally enjoying the limelight
Brandon McNally enjoying the limelight

The 30-year-old Italian American can be hot-blooded on the ice.

But he says: "I wouldn't really consider myself a tough player, I attended Montreal Canadiens' training camp and signed an American League contract before I ever even had a fight in hockey.

"I couldn't fight in College, so they took me based on my skills and how I play hockey.

"I didn't start fighting until the year after.

"So they looked at me as a power forward that could play hockey who could create space for my team mates, a net-front presence on a Power Play, so that is kind of what they looked at me as.

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"And that is the sort of player I still am, it's just that now you have to fill a role and championship teams have roles for certain players, and I figured out what my role is on a winning team."

McNally, 30, admits he blew his top in an ill-fated Cardiff game at Dundee Stars, last season.

There was a major disturbance in the Scottish rink - the EIHL said he engaged with multiple unwilling combatants - and a bottle was thrown from the crowd.

A heated exchange with some fans ended with a member of the public leaving the seats and running towards McNally.

The skater was fined and suspended for two games.

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"I was wrong what I did and sometimes you lose emotion and control - that has been a work in progress for the last 10 years, controlling emotions and doing stuff like that," he said.

"If I were to look back at my career I have really grown, although I know some people in the UK probably won't believe that."

But he said there were now fewer incidents of him talking penalties, and hurting his own team than in previous years.

McNally will make his Steelers' debut on Saturday, in the challenge game at Nottingham Panthers.