Sheffield Steelers could be Maxed out

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Sheffield Steelers expect Max Lacroix will be the first player to leave their Play Off winning squad.

The forward is likely to sign a deal with Rouen Dragons, of France.

Max Lacroix with Tim Spencer, left

Max Lacroix with Tim Spencer, left

Speculation that Rouen general manager Guy Fournier had agreed terms with the French Canadian first surfaced last week.

Steelers coach Gerad Adams, asked if the rumours were true, said: “Yes, I think so. There has been contact with the player. Max played well for us and put up some good numbers. I would definitely like to speak all the guys who are attracting interest. But if anybody can move on and improve their careers, then of course we would not stand in their way.”

Lacroix, 26, started the season in brilliant form, suffered a serious leg injury, but returned to make a formidable contribution to the Play Off wining campaign. Most notably, he stepped into Jeff Legue’s centreman role after Legue suffered a broken jaw.

Adams, having secured his own position this week, will first try and ensure the British contingent stay together. If he could add to it, he would. But market forces - the wages being sought by some players - may prohibit that.

After that, he will move on to retaining the imports that have earned their keep at Sheffield Arena.

One of those might be Tim Spencer, who has proved that he can play forward or defence, can fight and protect, and is a team player in the sense that he did not kick up a fuss when he was dropped.

Adams said: “We certainly need that type of player. Tim did a good job on the back end in particular and it is there we need to be more physical, next year. We need that physical presence as I want to form a team that is first and foremost hard to beat.”

* A former player of Doug Christiansen - the coach who was sacked by Steelers last season - is said to be behind a “Big Doug” parody account set up on twitter.