Gord Baldwin says it was an honour to walk straight into Sheffield Steelers’ line up and become captain.
He wore the ‘C’ in pre-season matches in Slovakia and Hungary. Whether or not he will keep it, may depend on a players’ vote.
Steve Goertzen was touted as an option to replace Jonathan Phillips over the Summer but Baldwin may take some dislodging after commanding performances last weekend. Phillips, I would imagine, will be given a specific role of some description by coach Doug Christiansen.
Baldwin was a “bit surprised” to have been picked as skipper. “It was an honour and I was pleased to help the team go in the right direction but nothing has been formally decided yet” he said. The 26-year-old considered last weekend’s series a success, given the quality of the opposition and he complimented the side’s work ethic after three games in 72 hours.
Meanwhile Goertzen, who did not play as he rehabilitates his shoulder, got in plenty of training while abroad. He and injured team-mate Dustin Kohn took part in early morning training sessions with coaches Christiansen and Marc Lefebvre.
“It was great being out there, I just wish I could have played a bigger part” said Goertzen. “It’s frustrating but it’s part of the game. Dustin and I took advantage of every bit of ice we could and got worked hard by Doug and Marc. I can certainly feel my shoulder getting better. My shot has started to return. It’s more my legs and lungs, right now.
Assistant coach Lefebvre put the Steelers due through their paces but could see an improvement daily: “Those two guys worked as hard as anyone whilst we were away. It is lonely training on your own or just with one other player but it’s what you have to do get stay in shape and get back into the line up. These two are totally committed and professional.
“They both want to get back into the line up as quickly as possible and showed great commitment. We have to be careful with Steven, I think if we left it to him he would play. We need to make sure he comes back fully fit. As coaches we will do whatever we can to give him the one on one treatment on and off the ice to that will get him back sooner rather than later”