Shoot! Sheffield Steelers' coach wants ruthless approach from new forward

Mitchell Balmas is partially colour blind - yet he has no difficulty picking out orange shirts during Sheffield Steelers' games.
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In fact, he's a little too good at distributing the puck!

His coach Aaron Fox is hoping Balmas develops more of a selfish streak over the next few games, starting on Saturday night at Nottingham Panthers.

The 25-year-old forward from Cape Breton Island, Canada has made a highly promising start to his EIHL career.

Mitchell Balmas screening the goaltenderMitchell Balmas screening the goaltender
Mitchell Balmas screening the goaltender
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His boss, though, hopes he can influence him to become more direct when offensive opportunities emerge, saying: "He is almost a little too unselfish at times, where he is looking to pass first, but he has got such a great release. He needs to shoot the puck more."

Fox congratulated Balmas for being "all over the puck all night" in his first League game at Sheffield Arena, last Saturday, when he was partnered with Scott Allen and Brett Neumann.

"He is a great player. When we signed him to get that deal done I felt the time had passed for us to be able to bring him in.

"But when his agent reached out and said: 'Hey, he is actually really interested if you guys still are' it was a no-brainer for me because I loved his game."

Liam Kirk, Czech asset Pic Pete BestLiam Kirk, Czech asset Pic Pete Best
Liam Kirk, Czech asset Pic Pete Best
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Balmas must have savoured that simple line of communication - in junior hockey, he twice found out he'd been traded via Twitter posts!

The skater should be in action twice this weekend as Steelers open their Challenge Cup group at Nottingham and then entertain Cardiff Devils in the league on Sunday.

He won't be fazed by the size of crowds, as he once played in front of 18,000 fans in an outdoor game in Ottawa.

Meanwhile, Maltby-born former Steeler Liam Kirk, who lost his position with NHL outfit Arizona Coyotes recently and has signed for HC Litvínov in the Czech Republic, has not ruled out a return to north America.

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After being released by the Coyotes, the winger said: "There wasn’t too much available but after a couple of weeks Litvínov came to us with a good offer.

“After speaking to the coaching staff and a couple of players and other people who have been in Czech, it was all positive so I decided it was the best opportunity for me.”

“I guess at the moment, everything is still pretty fresh, but my dream was always to play in the NHL and you never say never,” he told the American media platform PHNX.

“If you had asked me during that Covid season when I was playing in Sheffield if I thought I was going to sign an NHL contract, I would have laughed at you so you never know."