Steelers new look defence will be bolstered by an old face after coach Paul Thompson re-signed Rod Sarich, for a 10th season at the club.
Thompson has brought in three new import d-men, Russ Moyer, Jace Coyle and Zack Fitzgerald saying he wanted to bring down the overall age of the unit, but made an exception to land 34-year-old Sarich, who has iced 507 games for Sheffield and is ranked fifth in all time Steeler appearances.
Thompson said: “I spoke to Roddy on the day I took over. I asked him if he is still hungry and ready for this? He had a glare in his eye, he wants to be part of it going forward. He has run power plays for years and years and if he is better than we have got then he will. That’s the way I coach. He is big, physical, dominant, skates well, he is a swing guy you can throw him up front.”
Sarich was an influential figure in the run-in to the League-winning season.
He commented: “Just over a year ago I thought I may be done for good and now here I am back looking for another championship. I’d say I had more fun last year and enjoyed the season as much as any I have played. Maybe you appreciate it more as you get older. Paul explained his ideas and ways to me and I like what I hear. It looks like a lot of work ahead of us with more training on and off the ice, that’s fine with me and I think the rest of the guys too. He won’t have any problems implementing that with the returning guys.
“With the Champions Hockey League and trying to retain our league title we have a lot to do, but a great squad to attempt it with.”