Smooth operator - with a chip on his shoulder: Guillaume Desbiens’ assessment of new Sheffield Steeler
Sheffield Steelers have signed a player in Michael Davies who is both a quality performer and an agitator on the ice.
That's the view of former Steeler Guillaume Desbiens who was delighted to see his old team-mate recruited by coach Aaron Fox, for 2019-20.
Many fans feel that the ice hockey club never really filled the shoes of Desbiens, who retired from the sport and works as a sales representative for a construction firm across the pond.
But Desbiens, now 34, keeps an eye on events at the House of Steel.
And he'll be watching out to see the impact that Davies, 32, has in the Elite League.
"We were together with the Chicago Wolves during the latest (2012-13) lockout in the NHL" recalled the French Canadian.
"Our (AHL) team was stocked with guys that would have been playing up in the NHL had it not been for the lockout.
"Him and I were in and out of the line-up but every single time he played he would score and I was thinking to myself: 'Just dress the guy every damn game!'
Desbiens, who also played with Nottingham Panthers-bound Mark Matheson and goalie Matt Climie at Chicago, describes the American as a player who can be flexible in different positions
"He is versatile and can play both wings and centre. He excels on the Power Play and can be used on the Penalty Kill as well.
"Michael is a gifted goal scorer and plays with a chip on his shoulder.
“He is a great teammate and one of the funniest guy I know."
Desbiens has a busy life and doesn’t have time to play himself, these days - his wife gave birth to their second daughter, 10 weeks ago.
But he does scout for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, a junior team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is an assistant-coach with a high school team in Minnesota.
He has fond memories of his two seasons saying he cherishes memories of the friends he made in the team and the wiser Sheffield community.
"I will never forget our playoffs run two years ago" he added, referring to the 6-5 overtime win over Cardiff Devils, in Nottingham, in April 2017, in which Steelers came back from 4-1 down.