Doug Christiansen is relishing the opportunity of coaching Steelers talisman Jeff Legue this season.
It was no great shock when Legue scored the first goal under the Christiansen regime in Slovakia, last Friday.
After all, he’s been Sheffield’s most creative player for years.
Recalling the goal against Kosice, Christiansen said: “It was a key moment. No-one knew what to expect and he made a phenomenal play and it’s in the back of the net. He fundamentally changed the course of the game. He gave the team belief.
“I used to look at the score sheets night after night whilst in Belfast as the Giants and the Steelers chased titles - it was Legue who tied it or scored the winning penalty shot. He is an exciting player to coach and to have on your team.”
Christiansen, on one hand, indicates he may allow Legue freedom to express himself.
“I think you have to allow your great players to be great and to try not to get in their way” he said, but added: “Ofcourse you want to give him some structure and some better ideas on what we think we can do to create offence.
“We are obviously going to have our own systems and structures that he is going to have to live within but so far he has bought in a 100% and is making adjustments to things we have already talked about which I like to see because it shows he is coachable and willing to work and to improve”.
Whilst Legue routinely leads the Steelers for scoring, some think that he may be hard to play along side since the departure of Joey Talbot. “We’re about to find out” said Christiansen. “We are trying to find the right match-ups for everyone not just Jeff. We are trying to move the pieces around. Jeff has played in a number of positions for me, on the power-play he has played on the half wall, the point and the goal line.”
* n Forward Tim Spencer misplaced his passport while in Hungary - and had to wait to fly to the UK, until last night.