Steelers: Canadian-Kazakhstani centre is latest veteran to join class of 2019-20

Canadian-Kazakhstani centre Martin St. Pierre is the latest veteran to join Steelers' class of 2019-20.

Saturday, 27th July 2019, 10:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th July 2019, 2:39 pm
Aaron Fox at Rhino office - pic by Bob Westerdale

The centre, who will turn 36 next month, is effectively a replacement for Evan McGrath.

He was recruited by Sheffield coach Aaron Fox from Kunlun Red Star in the KHL where he played 27 games last season. The 5ft 9ins forward scored 12 points for Red Star.

Previously, he has played 587 AHL games, 241 in the KHL and made 39 appearances in the NHL, his experience has also taken him to the top leagues in Finland, Austria and Switzerland.

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Fox described his latest signing as "a high-end skilled forward who has put up big numbers at every level,” Fox said.

“He really excels on the Power Play and is more of a pass first centre. He should come in and make a big impact from day one.

“He’s another great veteran character guy for the dressing room. He really adds some depth to our Centre position.

“I had him with me in Medvescak in the KHL and he will definitely help us”.

Ottawa-born St. Pierre has a mixed review on Elite Prospects website, who said he was: " a center with good vision and offensive instincts. Is an accomplished passer and a powerplay option. Lacking in size, he could improve defensively."

St. Pierre, who played for Montréal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, commented: "Aaron was the guy who took me to the KHL.

“The hockey world is a small one so when he reached out to me this summer I was immediately interested. We had remained in touch and had a good relationship, my agent also knew Aaron so the deal wasn’t a difficult one.

“The European market for imports has slowed down a little this year and for guys who are my age especially, so the UK became a really interesting proposition.

"I reached out to Aaron Johnson for a player’s perspective and the word back from him was excellent.

"I’m looking forward to joining a club that has a winning tradition, a well run organisation with a great fan base. Who could ask for more.”St. Pierre describes himself as “offensive minded.”

He added: “Listen I’m not the biggest of guys on the ice but over my 16 years pro I’ve learned the tricks of the trade, I’m experienced. I’ve always been an offensive guy, I like to make plays.

“I’ve worked hard on the defence and I’d like to think I play a good all round game, I don’t like to get scored on.”Steelers, who have seen goalie Jackson Whistle leave for Nottingham Panthers, have yet to make clear if his brother, Brandon, will be icing for them again this coming season.