Jade’s ‘soft hands’ may guide Steelers

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Steelers are keeping tabs on Canadian skill merchant, Jade Galbraith, who has been released by Nottingham Panthers.

Player coach Ryan Finnerty has been making background checks on the 29-year-old right wing, who could be an option if Joey Talbot confirms his retirement from the game. Galbraith was a three year asset for Panthers, scoring 266 points in 186 games. But the club has dispensed with his services in favour of the hard-working and more robust Brandon Benedict.

Playmaker Galbraith scored 28 goals and 65 assists, last season, an improvement on his previous two campaigns.

Last Summer, Panthers described him as having “the softest hands in the league.” Coach Corey Neilson said he was “a Panther through and through””...so any move to rivals Sheffield would have interesting consequences for the fans.

Galbraith is a one-time team mate of Talbot at Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies and former Steelers Steve Munn, Shawn Maltby, Randy Dagenais and Brad Cruikshank.

n Three netminders who have kept out a barrage of shots on Sheffield Steelers’ net in years gone by are to attend the August 27 Festival of Hockey at Sheffield Arena., the event celebrating 20 years of ice hockey in the city.

Canadian Wayne Cowley, Grand Slam goalie for the club, is the biggest draw. In the 1996 season, he was the only import goalie in the British top division and he went on to lead the side to the Benson and Hedges Cup, the League Title and the Play Off Championship.

Cowley said “I was delighted to get the call, Steelers have had some wonderful goalies over the year and to be asked to be one of the guys returning is an honour. I had a wonderful time in Sheffield, we won it all, they were great days. To be able to come back and remember them with guys I shared the room with is incredible. I remember how crazy the fans were and I hope to see them in August, it will be a great day thats for sure.” Andy Havenhand, netminder in the first year in 1991, and Finnnish keeper Pasi Raitanen have also agreed to return.

Havenhand has suffered knee ailments since retiring, a result of the years playing hockey.

A club spokesman said: “Whilst he won’t be wearing the pads at the Festival of Hockey Andy Havenhand will rightly take his place alongside other giants of the Steelers history.””

Hull Stingrays have signed Czech forward Frantisek Bakrlik. The 28-year-old has been playing in Poland and Hungary for the past five years and is a former Adirondack Frostbite team-mate of Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier as well as recent signing Dmitri Suur.