Sheffield Steelers: Fox happy for Tanner Eberle to play with 'reckless abandon'
There may be a lot of new names at Sheffield Steelers - but don't forget Tanner Eberle, who is about to embark on his second season with the club.
The 25-year-old Canadian cracked in some neat and timely goals in three games for his club in pre-season and that didn't go unnoticed by either management or fans.
His coach Aaron Fox was so happy with his output and general creativity, he might select him on a line with new boys Martin St. Pierre and Michael Davies in Saturday’s Challenge Cup meeting at the Arena with Nottingham Panthers.
Eberle wrapped in four goals in the friendly games - and anybody who delivers that sort of return will get rewarded under Fox's regime, going forward.
"He played with a reckless abandon," said Fox.
"He tipped pucks that don't always go to the net, but he found it.
"We will be looking to him to push the pace, make space, help defensively and retrieve pucks for the other guys."
Eberle, man of the match in the 5-4 win over Budapest last weekend, is one of eight players who scored in the 17 goals in the friendly games.
Fox wants at least three of his four lines to compete for goals and will be happy to promote players, who exhibit the goal and assist touch, up the rankings.
Russian import Nikolai Lemtyugov nabbed three goals in pre-season and is also a hit in the dressing room.
The forward sometimes struggles with the English language.
But Fox says: "There is no issue there, it is almost like a bit of comedy when he communicates with the guys - who all like him, he manages to talk ok when he wants something...but when you are pushing him there is a language problem!
"But he is awesome in the (dressing) room and fits in well with the rest of the group.
"His wife, who speaks English well, is joining is joining him in Sheffield, his two kids are going to go to school here, and they are all fully committed to integrating."
Fox expects winger Marc-Olivier Vallerand to return from injury, against Nottingham in the season-opener.
He has had an upper body complaint that kept him out of the game against the Hungarians.