ICE HOCKEY: Steelers’ new NHL import Fata puts fighting into perspective

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STEELERS’ new defenceman Drew Fata admits that he “picks his spots” when it comes to fighting.

At 29, he will drop the gloves when he thinks it is necessary, rather than the impulsive aggression he demonstrated in his formative years.

The former NHL skater, who was Sheffield coach Ryan Finnerty’s last Summer signing, said: “As a player I’d like to think I bring a bit of everything. I’m solid defensively. I chip in with a little offence and I’m not afraid to jump in with the rough and tumble either.

“I guess I’m a bit different to the player I was 10 years ago when starting out, back then I’d fight every night. Now perhaps I pick my spots.

“Toughness is important and fighting is an important part of the game. However to win championships it’s more important you play well, score goals and stop your opponents.”

The Canadian had several offers from other clubs in Europe, but the opportunity to study a Masters at the University of Sheffield swung it: “This chance to study at such a great school as well as play hockey for a winning franchise really appealed to me.”

Fata won’t be a total stranger in the Steelers locker room, either.

“I played with Steven Goertzen in the States, he is a great player. James Jorgenson and I hail from Sault Ste. Marie and Tylor Michel is married to a friend of mine.”

Fata has 321 American league games behind him. “There is a lot of quality players looking at England” the former Binghamton Senators player added.

“ I think guys now look to explore Europe a lot earlier than they did. Maybe that’s why we have 1,249 American league games on our roster this year.”