Jonas Westerling wasn’t a Steeler player when they won the Play Off final last season.
But that won’t stop him beaming with pride when the banner is raised to commemorate the event, at Sheffield Arena tonight, before the friendly against Manchester Storm,
The 35-year-old Swede has immersed himself in the Steeler culture, since joining from Södertälje SK, in the Summer.
And after four matches at iceSheffield, the centreman is looking forward to switching to the club’s primary base. “It is going to be awesome for me, as well, to play in the Arena for the first time” he said. “It will be a really good crowd I think and it is going to be a magic moment for me.”
Westerling, a tireless worker and an enthusiastic competitor at both ends of the rink, said he had not expected to come in and play on the first line. “I try to my best every day for the team and play where the coach wants me to play.
“Which line it is, it doesn’t matter to me. But it is nice to play with (Mathieu) Roy and (Tim) Wallace, they are really good players.”
He iced against his former team Sodertalje recently and then German side Nurnberg and is looking forward to facing Elite League opposition, even if it is in a pre-season challenge match.
The friendly games had been a major as part of his learning curve, he said.
n Ex Steelers’ defenceman Christoffer Bjorklund is looking forward to playing for his new club Braehead Clan: “My recollection was of them having a great arena and really supportive fans, getting behind the team” he said. “It was loud. For me, an atmosphere like that gets me going.”