Why Justin Hodgman would love to see Davey Phillips back at Sheffield Steelers
Justin Hodgman will be a happy man if Davey Phillips' name appears on next season's Sheffield Steelers' roster.
The club's new Canadian signing played with the Great Britain international on the same Toledo Walleye team, more than a decade ago, in the US.
Steelers have yet to announce whether Phillips will be a returnee.
Some fans would find it hard to believe that he is destined to play anywhere else.
Phillips joined Steelers in 2016 and has played 265 times for the side since.
He plays smart and simple, defensive hockey and his showing for GB in the World Championships will have increased his confidence going into the new campaign.
However, it remains to be confirmed if the two 33-year-olds will pair up again.
Asked about his time with Phillips in the ECHL, Hodgman said: "I remember David from Rockford's training camp (AHL affiliate team, the Rockford IceHogs) and our time with Toledo. We hit it off right away, way back when."
Phillips played a dozen games for Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák in Hungary in the Covid interrupted 2020-21 season at the same time Hodgman was at the rival Ferencvárosi TC club.
"It was cool to see him in Hungary this season too," said Hodgman.
"He's a great player and I look forward to seeing him."
Hodgman knows few of the other players on the EIHL scene.
"I don't know much about the rosters, I did follow the Elite Series a little bit.
"I was rooting for Sheffield to pull it out, but it looked like they had a very competitive team and fought right to the end.
"The roster is already shaping up nicely for next season, and I'm excited to see who we add."
Hodgman's ice hockey philosophy will be warmly greeted by Arena supporters.
"Team success is the only thing that matters," said the centreman. "I think we would all agree. That will be the focus from day one. We want to produce wins and championships for the fans of Sheffield."
*So far, Steelers have only announced one defenceman on the upcoming season's roster, Adrian Saxrud Danielsen.
But that capture is a hugely significant one for the club, according to winger Robert Dowd
"He is a great guy as well as a great player, I like him a lot," said Dowd.
"It's wicked that he's coming back, it's an unreal signing. He is big, fast, strong, talks a lot and will be a stand-out D for us next year.
"I think of him as a rock for us. He doesn't make many mistakes and chips in offensively with goals and nice plays. But the main thing is he is so solid at the back."