It is entirely possible that without the ice hockey outpost of Solihull, there wouldn’t be a Sheffield Steelers. Certainly not in the form it is now.
With 85-miles and two divisions separating the Elite side from Barons, the ENL oufit, it is hard to see what the two have in common.
Perhaps only older fans will know: Steelers were effectively born as an idea in Solihull with many of the first Sheffield side coming from what was left of the 1991 Barons – Ron Shudra, Ronnie Wood and present Sheffield coach Paul Thompson included.
Tonight Steelers play a charity game at Barons, who are coached by former Steelers enforcer Perry Doyle. The event is part of a testimonial for Rob Eley, who played for Thompson in Coventry and whose wife suffered from cancer.
Eley is donating the proceeds to the hospital which has cared for his wife and Steelers want to be associatred with that sentiment.
Steelers will stay in Solihull overnight before training there on Thursday.
n Steelers have extended goalie Marek Pinc’s contract by another month as there is still no date yet for injured Tyler Plante’s return. Pinc was brought in as cover and his initial deal is due to expire yesterday.
“It’s important that we came to an agreement with Marek on many levels,” said Thompson.
“We like him as a man and as a goalie and in recent games we have started to see the real Marek; he played his best and strongest game for us in Nottingham.
“ We can’t rush Tyler back and he isn’t ready yet. If we force the issue and a little like what happened to Geoff Woolhouse happens and he breaks down then we all lose. Tyler is working hard but this is an injury you can’t rush.
“There is more to come from Pinc; we are seeing that every day. He wants to stay and we want to keep him around. Who knows where this will end up?
“I’m delighted he is remaining with us.”