He might not be Sheffield Steelers’ highest paid player - that distinction goes to Mathieu Roy.
But Andreas Valdix is regarded as the club’s most intelligent craftsman - the man who makes the team tick.
And today the club were relieved, as much as anything, to announce they had re-signed him for another year, despite interest from clubs worldwide.
While Steelers had been playing it cool, publicly, over their interest in re-signing the 32-year-old Swede the fact is they were as keen to see him return as any of last year’s crop.
“He is worth the wait” said coach Paul Thompson after agreeing a new one year deal.
Significantly, Steelers expect to get more from him this coming season than last.
Valdix (inset) missed 20 games last term with two hand injuries yet still impressed coaches and team mates centring one of the EIHL’s most dynamic line alongside Levi Nelson and Robert Dowd.
“He is quality; he has the ability to make those around him better” said the coach.
“Injuries curtailed his year. We expect him to kick on. He is a premium player. His skating is at elite level, his defensive play is very strong and as we saw last year he has an offensive upside as well.
“He is an intelligent and skilled forward.”
The player said: “I had a great year in Sheffield, winning the (Play Off) championship in Nottingham was a fantastic feeling. I’m so happy we have been able to put this deal together for another year.
“The injury was frustrating but it’s a pitfall of the game, sometimes sticks break hands. I’m fully recovered and excited to jump on the plane and head back to Sheffield. The aim is to win the League, that’s the big one. We came close last season and want to go better this coming year.”
Valdix scored 10 goals, and 37 points in 36 games, in his first year with the Steelers and was a major reason behind the club’s play off success in April.
Former Steelers’ coach Dave Matsos has been appointed Hamilton Bulldogs (Ontario Hockey League) as an associate coach.