Sheffield Steelers more concerned with getting talent on the ice rather than on the bench

Mark Matheson's decision to join Nottingham Panthers leaves more than just a player spot to fill at Sheffield- there is also the question of his assistant coaching role at Steelers.

By Bob Westerdale
Monday, 17 June, 2019, 21:05
Mark Matheson

New team boss Aaron Fox probably won't have the same numbers in his management infrastructure as Panthers will.

But the organisation are more concerned about bringing in quality recruits on the ice rather than off it.

Asked about filling the role of a player-assistant coach, Fox told The Star: "This is still being discussed. We'd have to see if it fits, from the player side of things.

"We have to see what is really going to help me the most and the team as a group."

Asked if there were players already on the roster that could do the job he confirmed there were skaters with suitable skills.

But he was not interested in the situation seen at some other clubs where multiple player-assistant jobs were handed out as a "résumé builder" for the individuals concerned - while they were not actually given any definitive role.

Mark Matheson guards the net at Glasgow

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"I am not overly concerned or overly looking for a player-assistant coach right now," he said.

"But it is likely, I would think, there will be somebody in for that (role) although it hasn't been done."

Panthers director of hockey Gui Doucet says the appointment of Matheson will help their team specifically in the IIHF Continental Cup and in 'derby' games against Sheffield.

He said the Matheson's former team mate Tim Wallace, now the newly-appointed head coach at Nottingham, had enough good things to say about the defenceman that he was easily convinced to make a move for him.

Matheson's experience of playing in Europe will help during Continental Cup exploits.

And as a big-game player he would not need to be told how important it was for Nottingham to beat Sheffield.

"Mark brings a lot of things to the table" said Doucet, who said Matheson's CV had been bolstered by his experience running the bench at times at Sheffield last season.