Who is your top pick from Sheffield Steelers’ “disappointing” import category in 2018-19?

Tanner Eberle was the pick of the import bunch in Sheffield Steelers 2018-19 season - although the majority overseas players were a disappointment.

Monday, 15th April 2019, 8:14 am

That's the view of Steelers official David Simms, who will watch with interest in the ice hockey close-season as a new Sheffield coach recruits a fresh pool of skaters.

Asked if most of the imports had failed to excite in the season which ended last weekend, Simms replied: "I think they would be the first to agree a lot of it hasn't gone according to plan for them.

"I think there are exceptions to the rule.

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"There are some players who I think have given absolutely everything for us and they have been first-class and we congratulate them.

"And some of them just haven't worked out. They haven't panned out the way we'd have hoped.

"That's why unfortunately a couple of them ended up losing their jobs mid-way through the year."

Asked about a similar clear-out to the previous season, Simms said that would be a matter for the new coach.

Tanner Eberle charges the net v Dundee

"He has been watching (Steeler) games, I am sure, I think it is inevitable that there will be a turnover of personnel.”

Simms said the 2000-2001 Grand Slam team had proven a significantly-changed line-up can be successful.

But in the past few years, he conceded that winning teams had stayed true to its core.

And whoever takes the team on would continue the philosophy of building around a core.

Asked which import had played well throughout last season he said: "Tanner Eberle...I think he gives a damn.

"As mere mortals, all we can ask is that somebody goes out and leaves everything on the ice."

Like Jonathan Phillips, he gave 100 per cent every night.

"Eberle was everything that it said on the tin.

"I don't think we expected him to score 20, we expected him to play on a seven to nine position and when he does that I think he has been excellent for us.

"He had a great middle part of the year.

"(Anthony) DeLuca and (Evan) McGrath had taken over at the back end of the year" he said.

"I would be very happy if he (Eberle) was in our line up " said Simms referring to next season.