SHEFFIELD STEELERS: Ryan Finner fails in Panther-poaching raid

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Sheffield Steelers have failed in a bold bid to land two of the most influential players from last season’s Nottingham Panthers’ line up.

Coach Ryan Finnerty explored the possibility of signing Montreal pair, David Beauregard, a winger, and 6ft 4ins D-man Giu Lepine.

A club source said: “We noticed Nottingham’s signings had not included either of these two and thought it was worth seeing what their situation was.

“Beauregard thanked us for our interest but indicated he was not planning to return to this country.

“That’s a pity because he is a skilled goalscorer. It might have been a decent double-act had we have got Lepine, too. He also suggested it was unlikely he’d be coming back, although if he was Panthers would be his first choice.”

Beauregard, 36, is revered as an almost comic book hero in some hockey circles.

In 1994, he was blinded in his left eye after a high stick - yet reportedly played on and scored on a breakaway.

Last year, Beauregard was Panthers’ top goal scorer with 41 in 63 games. Lepine was the club’s top penalty minutes taker.