'This is a tough league...' Sheffield Steelers' Daine Todd up for a battle in EIHL
Daine Todd does not view his move from Germany's top league to the Elite League as a step-down.
The defenceman played 66 games in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) with Iserlohn Roosters before injury and the Covid lockdown interrupted his career.
Late last month, he took the plunge and signed for Sheffield Steelers, where he hopes to win a trophy in his UK debut season.
Todd says the burgeoning reputation of the EIHL, plus the fact Steelers are known as a family-orientated club, was central to his selection of them as employers, despite interest from elsewhere.
"Obviously the DEL league was a very strong league, but I have heard so many good things about the 'English' league" said the skater.
"It seemed like it was a league on the rise in terms of getting better and better each year. I see it as a good opportunity for me to continue playing."
He said while there would be differences in the hockey he'd left behind in Europe: "I don't view it as a step down for myself, it is still going to be good, tough hockey and I have to play well."
The player will probably have a clearer assessment after this weekend, when his new team battles with Nottingham Panthers in an away and home challenge series.
Todd says he loves to take on the role of quarterback and said that his first year with Jokerit in the KHL and then Luleå HF in Sweden were examples of him playing offensive hockey.
"I do consider myself an all-round two way guy who can play well at both ends," he said.
Todd confirmed that other teams had expressed some interest in his services, before Sheffield closed the deal.
"There was interest from teams here and there as summer progressed but nothing super close. And the more I spoke to Aaron Fox (Sheffield coach) and players who have played there saying great things made a quick choice once I started that conversation.
"One helpful person was John Armstrong, he was a big help to talk to even though I don't know him very well.
"He was a great resource to talk to. His wife and he have loved their time there, and enjoyed the city, how well the team treats its players.
"It speaks to how long he has played there (212 games.)"
His pal and ex Steeler Gord Baldwin's experiences also influenced him.
Todd said while his previous experience of Britain had been one short trip to London, he'd loved the European lifestyle.
Now he was looking forward to witnessing the passion of the Sheffield fans, he said.