Tim Spencer is coming to Britain to escape being an ice hockey robot.
Sheffield Steelers’ new enforcer has spent two decidedly average seasons in the American Hockey League where his role has been strait-jacketed.
The winger was at Springfield Falcons primarily to fight. And if he veered away from the dump-and-chase mentality - or lost the puck with a misplaced pass - he’d be benched.
Last season was particularly frustrating and that was reflected by his stats: no goals, two assists and 17 penalty minutes in 20 games.
“The NHL lock-out affected my ice time really badly” Spencer told The Star. “There were so many players at the club it was difficult to get out there. I’m looking forward to playing my normal game in England but with a little more freedom. I’ll still play tough and hit hard but maybe carry the puck more down the ice and make a pass instead of just getting it in there. I’m used to playing like a robot, keeping it simple rather than taking the puck to the net.
And if you turn the puck over in the AHL that might be the last shift you play. It’s very limiting” said the 27-year-old Canadian.
Spencer, who has never been to Europe before, will be more than happy to defend his new team-mates. “Fighting does not faze me. I’ve been doing it all my career. I’ve had to face some tough guys. I handled myself well against (ex Steeler) Colt King. Fighting is an adrenaline rush. I defend my team-mates, I have a protective personality.”