Steelers want to go back to their future

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Steeelrs coach Ryan Finnerty is hoping to unlock some secrets of the past to ensure a healthy, vibrant future for the Sheffield club.

The team boss plans to pick the brains of some of the stars of yesteryear, the likes of Tommmy Plommer, Tim Cranston and Jason Lafreniere, to discover what magical ingredients kept the stands - and the trophy cupboard - full.

Finnerty was just a 10 year school kid in Lethbridge, Alberta, when Steelers were formed - so his knowledge of that time is patchy, to say the least.

But he told The Star: “When I talk to any of the fans they soon remind me about the glory days.

“Most of our present day players have heard the names of guys coming in (for Saturday’s 20-year anniversary Festival of Hockey.

“It is good for the boys to put faces to the names that we have been hearing about, the likes of Plommer and ofcourse Ron Shudra who is a legend around this part, then there is Dennis Vial and the rest who were involved in the big brawl at Nottingham Panthers (2001.) It will be good to talk to them and get their take on what happened then and see if we can get it back now!”

There are plenty of teams with a longer history than Steelers, but few with such a story of ups and downs, says the player coach.

“When you think about everything that has gone on, all championships that this organisation has won, the Steelers have created a lot of memories for players and fans alike. The Festival sees a lot of former players taking time out of their busy schedules in north America and bringing their family over for this.

“It really shows what the Steelers mean to them. I imagine that they take it as an honour to be invited back.”

Festival of Hockey schedule: 11am The Steelers of Tomorrow, Junior exhibition. 1.15pm. The Legends of the last 20 years - The Steelers greats of years gone by introduced out onto the ice. 3pm Steelers Legends v Cardiff Devils legends. 6.30pm - Steelers v Cardiff Devils.