Sheffield Steelers swoop for "misery maker" from Glasgow Clan

One of the arch mischief-makers who heaped misery on Sheffield Steelers last season will be attempting to revive their fortunes, in the forthcoming term.

By Bob Westerdale
Thursday, 06 June, 2019, 05:00
Flashback to 2017: Belfast Giants' Brendan Connolly with Sheffield Steelers' Scott Aarssen during Saturday nights Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Centreman Brendan Connolly, 33, has signed from Glasgow Clan, the team that beat Steelers five times out of six in 2018-19.

Clan humiliated Steelers 6-0 and 6-1 at the House of Steel, in January and February.

Now, after becoming leading scorer with the Scots (31 goals (65 pts; 58 games) and Belfast Giants in the previous season (27 goals, 73 pts, 53 games) he has been recruited by Aaron Fox.

“Brendan is a guy who has proven that he can really produce at this level” said the coach.

“The intangibles he brings on a nightly basis is what I love most about his game. He plays on the edge and is super competitive.

“He’s one of those guys that really cares about winning and will do whatever is asked of him to achieve that. I think playing with that emotion and energy is something this team lacked last year.

"He leaves everything on the ice and I think our fans will fall in love with that part of his game.

“He can play multiple positions and also had some real good chemistry with (Marc-Olivier) Vallerand back at (ECHL club) Greenville Road Warriors a few years ago, they were one and two in scoring that season.”

Connolly, a EIHL Gardiner Conference champion last year, said Fox's vision for the future was one he swiftly embraced.

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"The way Aaron told me of his plans for the team excited me. He explained my role and what he expected, I liked that he saw me as an influential player.”

Brendan Connolly, picture: Al Goold (www.algooldphoto.com)

"When I saw Marco had signed in Sheffield I thought, that’s a good signing for them.

"Ofcourse it was a pull to come here, we have had chemistry before and there is no reason why we won’t again.”

“I bring energy and passion I guess. I’m an in your face type of player. I can play in all situations but throughout my career I’ve been considered a goal scorer.”

The Canadian - who is just 5ft 8ins tall - turned professional in 2009 after spending four years at Ferris State University in Michigan, USA.

In the following seven seasons Connolly scored 72 league and play off points in 380 games in the East Coast League while also playing 21 AHL games.

Europe beckoned in 2015 and a split season, 36 games in Fehervar (Austria) and 18 league and play off games SC Riessersee (Germany).

In 2016-17 Connolly led Rungsted Seier Capitals in both goals and points (20+28) in the Danish Elite league.

Connolly will make his debut at iceSheffield on Saturday, August 17 against HK Poprad, from the Slovak Extraliga.

Meanwhile, Josh McFadden – and offensive defenceman last season for Sheffield, is signing for EV Landshut in Bavaria, Germany. Landshut play in the third tier.