Sheffield Steelers seeks to clarify goaltending situation

Sheffield Steelers hope to end the mystique over their goaltending situation in the next few days.

By Bob Westerdale
Friday, 02 August, 2019, 16:51
Jackson Whistle has departed the Steelers this summer

Coach Aaron Fox has seen Jackson Whistle decline the offer of a watering-down of his contract at Sheffield and has left for Nottingham Panthers to claim their No. 1 shirt.

Yorkshireman Brad Day has gone to Telford Tigers in pursuit of more ice time.

But all three Steeler netminding vacancies (two imports and a Brit) are close to being filled.

Website speculation has continued to throw in the name Pavel Kantor as one of the three.

So far, Steelers, who have also parted company with Jackson's brother Brandon, are not letting anything out of the bag.

But if Kantor is an option - he wouldn't be a bad signing as a competitor for the starting role.

The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic is 6ft-plus of solid goaltending muscle and agility...a man who knows how to win.

Last year, it is fair to say he bounced around three teams in his home country, his contract ran out with his parent club BK Mlada Boleslav and he could now be interested in his first season in British hockey.

A spell of stability - he has been on loan three times in the last two seasons - may appeal.

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Steelers started off last season with a Czech defenceman in Jiri Gula - an old team-mate of Kantor's at HC Litvinov.

But he only lasted 15 games in orange before leaving for HK Dukla Trencin in Slovakia.

Sheffield Steeldogs, who this week co-announced a fresh partnership with Steelers, have recently signed two other Czechs: forwards Vladimir Luka, 37, and Jan Danecek, 33.

Dogs' coach Ben Morgan said: "Vladimir has a lot of experience to share with the team, as you’d imagine with a 37-year-old, and we are seeing other teams signing even older guys at the moment.

“We are going to have bags of youth on the roster, we need some older heads and having a couple of more experienced forwards will pay dividends.

“Vladimir will be a real go-to player next season, he is a skilled forward who certainly knows where the back of the net is, he is someone who we will look to put good numbers up throughout the season.

“Jan will bring a lot to the offence and will be a slightly more aggressive, hard-hitting guy, with really good hands.

“He has posted good numbers over the past five years and those who have played against him have spoken highly of him. Jan is very excited about coming over to England to play in this league and at 33 he brings a lot of hockey knowledge to the team. He is a play maker but I expect him to be a scoring threat as well.

"He will strike up a good chemistry with his new line mates and I see Jan as being a gem for this season.”