Thomas stays but three go

MARK Thomas today became the last defenceman to be signed by Sheffield Steelers this summer.

The fast-maturing blue-liner committed to his sixth season with Dave Matsos's team; although the news is not so good for two other d-men, Scott Basiuk and Jonathan Zion.

The Canadian pair have been cut free by Matsos and are looking for work elsewhere. Winger Mike Sgroi has also been chopped from Matsos' line-up for 2010-11.

General manager Mike O'Connor said: "Mark played with more confidence than ever last season and is a hugely reliable fifth d-man. We have had to make changes - we were a fifth-placed club, it would have been crazy not to.

"Mark is clearly maturing and we desperately wanted to keep him, but we felt it was time to say goodbye to Basiuk and Zion. We won't be taking Sgroi back either."

Basiuk was injured much of last season, but was a rock defensively when fit. Steve Munn returns from a year in Japan to fill his boots. Zion was a decent quarter back, but he has been replaced by ex Newcastle d-man Jeremy Domish. Enforcer Sgroi was loved by many fans, but his ready fists were not enough to keep him at Sheffield.

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