SHEFFIELD Steelers have failed in a surprise attempt to lure back a veteran defencemen who played for them more than five years ago.
Canadian Jason Robinson retired from the British scene at the end of last season, after two campaigns with Coventry Blaze.
He had spent much of the last eight years in England (London Racers, Newcastle Vipers, Sheffield, 2005-6, and Coventry) and had decided to stay at home in Ontario and play semi-pro.
But The Star understands that Sheffield player coach Ryan Finnerty asked the 33-year-old to consider coming back to the UK.
Sheffield do not have a big aggressive net-clearer in their ranks and Robinson fancied the task, asking Finnerty for two days to consider the offer.Sadly for Steelers, family considerations put an end to the notion.
Finnerty continues to review the market potential for a D-man, which will put the club’s current import defenders on alert.
The only overseas defencemen that could be regarded as safe are the much-valued Matt Stephenson and Chad Huttel, who is on a comparatively modest salary.
Meanwhile Steelers host Dundee Stars on Sunday. The Scots may be sporting a few cuts and bruises - and that’s before they step on the Arena ice.
Coach Brent Hughes fears training sessions have become meek. Surprisingly he has advocated the odd training ice punch-up, if it is to invigorate his next to bottom placed squad.
After a 3-0 home defeat by Coventry Blaze, he said: “We have to compete hard at practice. Guys have to start going through the wall for each other, if they want to drop the gloves in practice, then so be it, at least they are battling.”
The Elite League has responded after The Star highlighted Hull Stingrays goalie Christian Boucher’s Twitter abuse of locally-based referee Andy Carson.
He Tweeted: “I’ve never wanted to punch a human in the face until today. #WorstRefInTheLeague”
The Star asked the League for a view on the outburst. Director of hockey operations, Andy French, said: “The Elite League is disappointed to read the quotes from Christian Boucher on his Twitter account. We take a very dim view of such outbursts and it is a matter we take seriously.
“We will be in touch with all ten Elite League clubs to remind them of the responsibilities of their players, staff and management when it comes to their conduct in the media and social media.”
An ‘I Hate Andy Carson’ page was created on Facebook some time ago.