Sheffield Steelers: Mark Matheson may be set for Arena exit

Mark Matheson could be gearing up to return to his journey around the European hockey scene.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 10:31 am
Updated Thursday, 13th June 2019, 10:50 am
Mark Matheson
Mark Matheson

The distinguished Sheffield Steelers' defenceman was player-assistant coach under Paul Thompson last season - the first since Darrell Hay in 2015 - and continued the role with aplomb under Tom Barrasso.

But his service hasn't been enough to guarantee a spot in Aaron Fox's roster of 2019-20, so far.

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Fox hasn't said no to 35-year-old Matheson, but the new coach is still monitoring the defenceman market in north America and Europe.

The Star understands Matheson has made inquiries in Germany, about a new position in their top league.

In the past, he has travelled around the various leagues in mainland Europe.

After leaving north America and the Chicago Wolves behind in 2013, he played for Vienna Capitals, of Austria, Linköping, of Sweden, Norwegian side Stavanger Oilers and Rouen in France, before signing at Sheffield.

Matheson was injured playing for Sheffield against Nottingham Panthers towards the end of last season.

But if fit and with the benefit of learning on the job as right-hand man to two Steeler coaches, he will doubtless be an attractive proposition to many teams.

The Canadian coached the Steelers side for two games before Barrasso took over and was well-respected inside the locker room.

Despite missing out on 14 matches last year, the offensive-minded blue liner still ended up fifth top scorer.

*Elsewhere in the EIHL, ex Nottingham Panthers' defenceman Mathieu Gagnon has inked a contract with Manchester Storm. Gagnon doesn't hesitate to drop the gloves when he feels he needs to- he has fought former Steelers' enforcer Zack Fitzgerald several times.

Robert Lachowicz and Brett Perlini have re-signed for Panthers.

Coventry Blaze have signed goal-poacher Evan Bloodoff from Fife Flyers - he scored 97 points in 110 games for the Scots.