Sheffield Steelers ‘showed interest’ in Robert Farmer

Robert Farmer's decision to leave Nottingham Panthers was more than of just passing interest to Sheffield Steelers.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 16:07 pm
Updated Monday, 5th August 2019, 18:30 pm
Robert Farmer (left) in action against the Steelers last season

The Great Britain forward would have been an intriguing addition to the South Yorkshire side had it been possible to complete an inter-league switch and agree salary terms.

I understand that Steelers did speak to Farmer after he put himself on the market and before he eventually plumped for Corey Neilson's Lausitzer Füchse in the German second division, based in Saxony.

Farmer had been on Steelers' books in the 2009-10 season - the side featured Robert Dowd and Jonathan Phillips - and iced for a variety of Sheffield junior teams before that.

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But when the 6ft 3ins left winger decided to sever his ties with Nottingham, any chance of a move up the M1, or to any other team in the Elite League, was blocked because of details in his existing contract with Panthers.

With dual heritage winger Brandon Whistle leaving Steelers, Farmer would doubtless have been a good pick-up.

However, he is an expensive commodity and would have commanded the salary of an import at the House of Steel.

In short, at this stage of the close-season, he would have been a budget-buster.

Farmer is reportedly on a three-month try out contract with his former boss, Neilson.

Meanwhile, it seems Whistle had at one point been the subject of a potential loan-deal from Steelers for season 2019-20; the idea being that Sheffield could bring him back if they suffered injury problems.

But no satisfactory deal could be ironed out.

And Sheffield management - conscious of not wanting even the remotest chance of negativity after Brandon's Nottingham-bound brother Jackson was offered an inferior second-year deal to the previous season - decided it was in their best interests to move on.

Meanwhile, Steelers are making progress on filling their goaltending vacancies.

Coach Aaron Fox said of his netminder pursuit: "You always hope that you might get lucky and find a way to get a guy who had been earning ten or 15 times as much money than we could pay.

"But then you move on to the second tier where there are more reasonable opportunities. We will be fine in that area."