Sheffield Steelers goalie rejects advances from other clubs
Tomas Duba has declined attempts from clubs keen to sign him in leagues that continue to play, despite coronavirus.
The netminder was a huge hit for Sheffield Steelers last season and the Arena door was open for a possible return.
But the pandemic halted the Elite League and Duba and his family have remained in the comparative safety of his wife's home country, Finland.
In the past few weeks, clubs have reached out to the Czech goaltender, who turns 40 in July.
Duba confirmed: "I have had several hockey offers this season, but I turned them all down.
"I keep myself in playing shape though by working out in our local gym and going on the ice with the team I help coach.
"I can demonstrate to the other goalies what and how to do certain skills."
While that has been a useful way of keeping fit, Duba continues to keep an eye on the fate of Steelers and the EIHL.
The league is trying to ramp up its dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with a view to putting on a slimmed-down season in England late this month or more likely March.
"I’m closely following the situation in the UK," said the goalie, who was drafted in the seventh round of the NHL, 20 years ago.
"It would be really great if the EIHL would somehow be able to start, even in some short form.
"The owners do their very best to make it happen. So fingers crossed."
Duba said his family was doing well in Finland.
"The situation here, in general, has worsened, but we’re still not doing as badly as in the rest of Europe," he said.
"In our town, there hasn’t really been a lot of cases. Something like one case a day. So we feel quite safe here.
"School, shops, restaurants, hotels and cinemas are still open, so far. Masks are strongly recommended when you go to shop, but that’s about it."
*Steeler Robert Dowd was on fire as his current team, Eppan, of Italy, came back from 4-2 to win 7-4 against Valdifiemme.
The Great Britain winger chalked up a goal and four assists. Sheffield team-mate Marco Vallerand also assisted.
The pair are top scorers for their club.